WASHINGTON -– Georgia lawyers for women claiming injuries from pelvic implants want to transfer 19 suits from Georgia to West Virginia.
Henry Garrard and Gary Blasingame of Athens, Georgia, propose to consolidate their Georgia cases with 15 they filed at U. S. district court in Huntington.
On July 2, they asked the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi District Litigation to assign all 34 cases, plus two from other districts, to District Judge Robert Chambers.
Garrard wrote that Chambers has become familiar with the issues and the parties through pretrial handling of consolidated cases in his court.
He added that the Southern District of West Virginia has "favorable docket conditions and the resources and capability to promptly and efficiently conduct these cases."
Plaintiffs seek damages from C. R. Bard, Inc., which makes and sells Avaulta Plus and Avaulta Solo synthetic surgical mesh tissue supports.
Plaintiffs claim organ injuries and incontinence. In 26 cases, husbands seek damages.
Some plaintiffs seek damages from Covidien Inc., which makes Avaulta mesh supports.
Plaintiffs in federal court at Huntington also allege negligence and battery against physician Mitchell Nutt, claiming he implanted the devices.
"Dr. Nutt was formerly a citizen of West Virginia (now a citizen of Ohio)," Garrard wrote. "Dr. Nutt is represented by West Virginia counsel."
He recommended transfer "in the interests of convenience to Dr. Nutt."
He wrote that there exists a potential for coordination of pretrial proceedings and discovery with 11 similar actions pending in Cabell Circuit Court.
Chambers has set trials in February and March for two sets of cases.
District Judge Robert Vining of Atlanta has set trial for four cases in August 2011.
In the West Virginia cases, Robert Rogers of Hurricane acts as local counsel in association with Garrard and Blasingame. Lawrence Tweel and Paul Farrell Jr., both of Huntington, also act as local counsel.
Marc Williams and Melissa Foster Bird of Huntington represent Bard.
Don Sensabaugh Jr. and Amy Rothman of Charleston represent Nutt.