The legal machinations of Johnson & Johnson have been rejected by a federal judge.
After almost three years of pretrial discovery and hearings, the case of a San Antonio woman vs. Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon was all set to be tried where it was filed, in Bexar (pronounced: Bear) County court in San Antonio, in July 2015. The plaintiff resides in San Antonio, was implanted with mesh there, alleges injury there, and was medically treated repeatedly there for her mesh-related injuries; so the venue was convenient, and it seemed entirely appropriate to the plaintiff and her attorneys.
Johnson & Johnson, however, did not want to try the case in San Antonio. Twenty-eight days before the trial was to begin, J&J removed the case to the federal multi district litigation court in Charleston, West Virginia. J&J improperly claimed that despite having been on file for almost three years, Plaintiff’s claims against her doctor, who had implanted the faulty mesh, were not sincere.
Judge Joseph Goodwin
Judge Joseph Goodwin in West Virgina is presiding over some 70,000 cases (26,000 of which are J&J and Ethicon cases), the largest MDL court docket in the nearly 50-year history of MDL courts. Judge Goodwin looked at the additional case which J&J wanted to dump in his court, and he declined to add it to his enormous list. He examined the case and could find no justifiable legal reason why it had not been tried in Texas state court where it had been filed. Judge Goodwin promptly ordered the case put back where it belonged – Bexar County District Court in San Antonio, Texas.
San Antonio Trial of J&J set for January 2016
Sometimes things happen that make sense. The case will now be heard in Texas state court in San Antonio at the beginning of 2016. J&J succeeded in delaying the trial for some five months, at the expense of the U.S. federal and Texas state court systems, as well as the plaintiff and her attorneys, but the case is now set to be tried.
Come January, Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon will finally have to defend themselves in this case.