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Litigation

1st ObTape Trial Group, 1 Firm's Inventory Settled 5 Days Into Trial

COLUMBUS, Ga. -  (Mealey's) The first trial group in the Mentor ObTape multidistrict litigation has settled, along with the case inventory of one of the plaintiff attorneys, the parties told a Georgia federal court on June 7 (In Re:  Mentor Corp. ObTape Transobturator Sling Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2004, No. 08-md-2004; Shirley Stafford, et al. v. Mentor Corporation, No. 07-101; Jeannie Tucker, et al. v. Mentor Corporation, No. 07-102; Kellie Looper, et al. v. Mentor Corporation, No. 07-130, M.D. Ga.).

(Minute sheet.  Document #28-100617-009X.)

According to a minute entry in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Judge Clay D. Land told the jurors that the parties settled at the start of the fifth day of trial on June 7.

The entry said that outside the presence of the jurors, plaintiff counsel Henry G. Garrard III of Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley in Athens, Ga., "announced that the parties have reached a concrete settlement not only for the named plaintiffs participating in this trial, but also as to all plaintiffs represented by Mr. Garrard and his firm."

Terms were not disclosed.  It was not immediately known how many other cases were settled.

The plaintiffs in the first trial group, Janice Crowther, Shirley Stafford, Jeannie Tucker and Kellie Looper, each had a Mentor ObTape transobturator surgical mesh device implanted in their pelvises to treat female urinary stress incontinence.  They alleged that the device extruded into soft tissue and caused infections.

In addition, Torrence Pinkney, Shirley Stafford's husband, alleged that he was injured by the device while having sex with his wife.

Manufacturer Mentor Corp. was accused of failing to warn.  Judge Land had allowed claims of punitive damages.

Federal lawsuits involving the ObTape device were centralized in the Middle District of Georgia in 2008.  Mentor argues that the ObTape device was not defectively designed or manufactured and that it notified doctors about risks from the device.

The trial began June 2 and was expected to continue through June 28.

[Editor's Note:  Full coverage will be in the June 17 issue of Mealey's Emerging Drugs & Devices.  In the meantime, the minute sheet is available at www.mealeysonline.com or by calling the Customer Support Department at 1-800-833-9844.  Document #28-100617-009X.  For all of your legal news needs, please visit www.lexisnexis.com/mealeys.]

Download the document now:

Mealeysonline.com - Document #28-100617-009X

For more information, call editor Tom Moylan at 610-205-1120, or e-mail him at tom.moylan@lexisnexis.com.