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What Are the Stages of Lawsuit?

What Are the Stages in a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit?

If you believe you have or a loved one has suffered injury as a result of a defective mesh implant for the treatment of hernia, your first step to obtaining legal relief is to contact an attorney who can evaluate your case.

At Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C., we have trained, experienced consultants available to discuss your situation and circumstances confidentially. We can provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation about your case. To learn more, call us today toll free at (866) 886-4029 or use our HYPERLINK “http://www.surgicalmeshhelp.com/contact-us.asp”online form.

Filing a Complaint

If you choose to go forward with pursuing a legal claim against the manufacturer of the surgical mesh implant that caused you injury, the next step will be to file a civil lawsuit. In our civil justice system, the initial filing is known as the “complaint.”

The complaint will contain factual allegations and state legal claims for relief, such as compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering. In some cases, a complaint may seek recovery for the spouse of a patient who has been harmed by a mesh product, or what is usually referred to as a “loss of consortium.”

A complaint may be filed in state court or federal court, but in certain circumstances the defendant (the party that is sued) will have the opportunity to remove the case to federal court. The defendant also has the opportunity to file what is called an “answer.”

Currently, our law firm is involved in litigation involving the hernia surgical mesh devices sold by two companies: Atrium Medical Corporation, a subsidiary of Maquet/Getinge, and Ethicon, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

If your mesh lawsuit becomes a part of a multi-district litigation (“MDL”), it will remain a separate and individual case. A MDL is not a class-action lawsuit. A class-action involves a single lawsuit filed on behalf of multiple plaintiffs. A MDL involves multiple individual lawsuits that are brought together before a single judge for the purpose of conducting pre-trial proceedings.This allows the parties to address the common issues in a single place so that they do not have to be argued and decided by different judges in different courts potentially with inconsistent results.

Pre-Trial Discovery, Depositions & Motions

After your complaint is docketed in a court, and the defendant has filed an answer, you will engage in pre-trial proceedings that include discovery, depositions and motions.

In a mesh lawsuit, discovery will involve requests for documents, requests for admissions about certain facts, and written questions, called interrogatories. Because of the complex nature of the product liability claims involved in these cases, and the fact that they involve large, multinational medical device corporations, discovery is expected to be an expensive and time-consuming process.  The mesh product attorneys of Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C., have extensive experience with this type of discovery in complex civil litigation.

Additionally, the pre-trial phase of these lawsuits will involve numerous depositions, which are interviews conducted by the attorneys with potential witnesses that are taken under oath before a court reporter. If your case is selected for individual trial preparation by the trial court, the defendants will want to take depositions of you, your family and your medical providers, and we in turn expect to take depositions of certain employees and representatives of the companies that make these products.  Both sides will also have various “experts” that will testify in the case about certain technical, medical or scientific issues, and they will also give depositions.  In some instances, the deposition testimony may be used instead of calling the witness to the stand during trial.

Finally, pre-trial proceedings involve the filing of numerous motions, which are formal requests for the trial court to rule on matters such as forcing a party to take some action, excluding evidence, or clarifying a procedural issue. In civil litigation, it is common for defendants to file pre-trial motions to dismiss some or all of the claims asserted or to dismiss certain parties from the lawsuit.

In a multidistrict litigation case, these matters are addressed in the same court by a single judge. This avoids duplicate or inconsistent rulings in different courts, and it conserves the resources of all parties.

Trial

The mesh lawyers of Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C., prepare each case as if it is going to trial.  We tried the first case in the Mentor ObTape litigation in the Middle District of Georgia (which was settled confidentially before it went to the jury), and we also tried the first case in the seven pelvic mesh MDLs in the Southern District of West Virginia.  That case resulted in a significant verdict for our clients, which was upheld after an important appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

A trial could last several weeks. During the course of the trial, each side will have the opportunity to present evidence. At the close of all evidence, the jury will then be given specific issues on which it will render its verdict, or its decision. Based on this verdict, the court will then enter a judgment that may include an award of damages for the plaintiff.

Post-Verdict/Appeal

After the jury reaches a decision and the court enters judgment, either party may file post-trial motions. For instance, if a mesh manufacturer is found liable for damages, it may file motions to set aside the verdict or judgment notwithstanding the verdict.

Also, depending on the result, either the plaintiff or defendant may file an appeal. This is not a new trial. Instead, the party is asking an appeals court to review what occurred at trial and to decide if any legal errors occurred that would warrant relief, such as ordering a new trial.

Contact Our Hernia Mesh Lawyers Today

At Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C., our mesh lawyers are experienced with complex civil litigation such as defective medical device lawsuits. Our attorneys have been at the forefront of national surgical mesh litigation for several years in the pelvic mesh cases, and we will continue to lead the charge on behalf of the patients across the country who have been needlessly subjected to harm by defective mesh products.

To learn more, call us today toll free at (866) 886-4029

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