Transvaginal Mesh Litigation Update: J&J Penalized For Lost Evidence

Audet and Partners, LLP reports that a West Virginia magistrate overseeing multi district litigation in Ethicon v. Pelvic Repair Systems Product Liability Litigation, MDL Case No. 2:12-me-02327, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, will impose monetary sanctions against defendant Johnson & Johnson for its failure to preserve documents pertaining to the pending litigation.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Cheryl Eifert ruled that the defendant’s “negligent loss of relevant evidence has unduly complicated the plaintiff’s discovery and case preparation, and has unnecessarily increased for plaintiffs the cost of litigation.”

The court will determine the amount of the monetary penalties following briefing over the coming sixty days.

Despite plaintiff arguments calling for more severe penalties including default judgment or adverse jury instructions, Judge Eifert ruled that in the absence of bad faith destruction or withholding of evidence, monetary sanctions would be the sole punitive action.

The court failed to conclude that Ethicon acted in bad faith despite its failure to preserve e-mail and other potentially admissible evidence tied to more than twenty current and/or former Ethicon employees, including a president and other executives.

Audet and Partners, LLP represents several plaintiffs in pending Transvaginal Mesh litigation.  If you believe that you may have a potential claim for injuries connected to Transvaginal Mesh implantation, please contact Audet and Partners, LLP for a free case evaluation by calling (800) 965-1461, or by completing and submitting our confidential inquiry form on the right side of this page.

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