As of October 11, 2018, a total of 1,478 Physiomesh lawsuits are pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. District Judge Richard W. Story is presiding over the consolidated litigation, guiding the cases toward bellwether trials.
First Bellwether Trial Scheduled For December 2, 2019
The first Physiomesh bellwether trial in the Multi-District Litigation is scheduled to commence on December 2, 2019. In preparation for this first trial, Ethicon, Johnson & Johnson and the plaintiffs were instructed to select a pool of 24 potential trial cases. Pursuant to Judge Story’s order, 12 of these cases were to be selected by plaintiffs’ counsel, while 12 were to be selected by the defendants.
After identifying the initial bellwether pool of 24 cases, the parties will now engage in individual, case-specific discovery, as both sides of the dispute share evidence and information to build their cases. Case-specific discovery, Judge Story has ordered, should be completed by May 1, 2019.
U.S. District Judge Outlines Next Steps For Physiomesh MDL
In selecting cases for this “Discovery Pool,” plaintiffs and defendants have been instructed to choose lawsuits “that will be representative of all filed cases in order that the process of selection and trial will be a helpful process for evaluation of the entire docket of cases for trial and resolution of the entire docket of cases,” pursuant to Judge Story’s Practice and Procedure Order No. 13. Judge Story has selected February 14, 2019 as the beginning date for expert discovery.
On or before that date, the parties have been instructed to select ten cases to undergo expert discovery, which should be completed by August 15, 2019. Expert physicians, material engineers and medical device professionals will be engaged to provide expert reports and testimony on the facts of each case.