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Pelvic and hernia mesh lawsuit updates, news and settlements

• November 2, 2018

Ethicon Mesh Lawsuit Update: Johnson & Johnson Considers Ethicon PhysioMesh Cases Among ‘Most Significant,’ Disclosure Says


Johnson & Johnson considers lawsuits over surgical mesh manufactured by its subsidiary Ethicon, Inc. to be among the “most significant” product liability cases facing the conglomerate, according to a recent filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Johnson & Johnson reported that as of September 30, it faced approximately 37,400 lawsuits over pelvic mesh in the United States alone.

Despite the massive number of pelvic-mesh lawsuits remaining, Johnson & Johnson claims that it “has settled or otherwise resolved a majority of the United States cases.” The pelvic-mesh devices, used in the treatment of stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, also have been the subject of patient-filed lawsuits in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Belgium, with class-action suits ongoing in Israel, Canada, and Australia. (Johnson & Johnson says it expects a decision in the Australia class-action case sometime this year.)

Johnson & Johnson separately reports 1,500 active lawsuits over Ethicon’s PhysioMesh Flexible Composite Mesh, which is used in hernia-repair surgery. According to J&J’s quarterly report, federal Ethicon PhysioMesh cases have been consolidated in multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Northern District of Georgia, and a number of New Jersey state-court suits have been centralized in multicounty litigation (MCL) in that state.

“Following a June 2016 worldwide market withdrawal of ETHICON PHYSIOMESH Flexible Composite Mesh, claims for personal injury have been made against Ethicon, Inc.,” Johnson & Johnson’s disclosure states. “Product liability lawsuits continue to be filed, and the Company continues to receive information with respect to potential costs and the anticipated number of cases.”

“The Company has established accruals with respect to product liability litigation associated with ETHICON PHYSIOMESH Flexible Composite Mesh,” the PhysioMesh disclosure concludes, meaning that, from an accounting standpoint, Johnson & Johnson already has set money aside to pay out over Ethicon PhysioMesh claims.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury following implantation of a surgical-mesh device, contact the experienced team of lawyers at TheLawFirm.com right away for a free legal consultation with a licensed attorney!

Source:
Product Liability.
Legal Proceedings. Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure.
United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Form 10-Q.
September 30, 2018. Filed October 31, 2018.

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• October 31, 2018

Mesh Lawsuit Update: Judge Denies Covidien Attempt to Toss Mesh Lawsuit Over Time Limit


A federal judge on October 25 rejected an attempt by medical-device maker Covidien LP to have a surgical-mesh lawsuit dismissed outright for having been filed after the statutory time limit expired, instead granting the plaintiffs time to amend their complaint and argue why their claims should be permitted to proceed.

Federal District Court Judge Yvette Kane allowed plaintiffs Ronald Soutner and his wife, Janelle, an opportunity to file an amended complaint in which the couple could provide more information to assist the court in its determination as to when the statutory clock began counting on the couple’s claims.

The Soutners sued Covidien after Ronald suffered severe complications from the implantation of Covidien Parietex ProGrip mesh in conjunction with hernia-repair surgery he underwent in late 2011. According to the Soutners’ complaint, which includes a total of ten legal claims, the Covidien mesh caused inflammation so severe that the mesh and portions of the surrounding tissue, including the vas deferens, had to be surgically removed about two years later. The Soutners originally sued in October 2017.

“In light of the nature of the parties’ dispute, the court believes it appropriate to allow plaintiffs to file a second amended complaint including additional facts that would be useful to a determination of when the applicable limitations period began, and whether the plaintiffs exercised reasonable diligence,” Judge Kane’s order read, according to Law360.

Lawyers for Covidien had argued that the statutory countdown on the Soutners’ claims began with Ronald’s second surgery in 2013 and that the couple missed this window when they waited until fall 2017 to sue. The Soutners now will have the chance to argue why they could not reasonably have known that Ronald’s injuries were the result of Covidien’s conduct at that time.

“[At the time of Ronald’s second surgery, the Soutners] could not have discovered through due diligence that their injuries were caused by another party’s conduct,” Judge Kane wrote, stating the Soutners’ position.

The Soutners’ case reiterates once again the importance of seeking expert legal advice right away if you or a loved one ever suffers harm as a result of a medical device or prescription drug. Big Pharma and billion-dollar device makers have lobbied hard for laws that allow injured patients only a short period of time to file their legal claims. Don’t delay! Contact the experienced lawyers at TheLawFirm.com right away for a free legal consultation with a licensed attorney!

Source:
Law360

Mesh Lawsuit Update: Johnson & Johnson Appeals $20 Million Mesh Verdict


A little more than a decade ago, New Jersey resident Peggy Engleman, like millions of Americans, was suffering from stress urinary incontinence, a common condition that particularly afflicts women who have been pregnant and given childbirth. In the hopes of relieving her symptoms, in June 2007, Peggy Engleman underwent surgery during which she had TVT-Secur mesh manufactured by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon implanted into her pelvic region.

Unfortunately, rather than relieving her symptoms and allowing Ms. Engleman to return to her normal lifestyle, the TVT-Secur mesh began causing complications only a month later, when it was discovered that a portion of the mesh had become exposed in Ms. Engleman’s vagina, causing her a great deal of pain and discomfort. Ms. Engleman underwent subsequent operations in September 2007, February 2008, and December 2013 in an effort to address the chronic pain. Although portions of the original Ethicon TVT-Secur mesh were removed with each subsequent surgery, doctors still found pieces that had eroded into her vagina during the December 2013 operation, Ms. Engleman’s fourth surgery involving the mesh implant.

In April 2014, Ms. Engleman saw a television ad for a law firm taking on surgical mesh claims just like hers. She sued, and, following a three-week trial in April 2018, a Pennsylvania jury delivered a verdict in her favor, ordering Ethicon to pay $2.5 million in compensatory damages and $17.5 million in punitive damages.

Now, however, Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon are seeking to have that verdict dismissed, arguing before a three-judge appellate panel on October 17 that Ms. Engleman’s claims should be tossed out because she did not file her suit until after the two-year statute of limitations had expired. The appeal revives what was a major issue at trial: When should the two-year countdown begin?

Before the appellate panel, attorneys for the defendant companies continued to argue, as the jury explicitly rejected at trial, that the two-year period should begin in 2007 when Ms. Engleman first became aware of the issues with her Ethicon mesh implant.

At least one of the judges sitting on the panel appeared to express skepticism over such an argument, with Judge Alice Beck Debow saying to an attorney for the defense, “Everything you’re telling us now, the jury heard that and they found there was no statute of limitations violation,” according to Law360.

Ms. Engleman’s case is part of a pelvic mesh mass tort program taking place in Pennsylvania state court in Philadelphia County. At the time of the April 2018 verdict, Law360 reported that 183 other cases remained pending as part of the program.

Ms. Engleman was the third plaintiff in the Philadelphia mass tort program to prevail on similar claims against Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon. In 2015, a jury awarded a woman from Indiana $12.5 million, and, in 2016, a New Jersey woman received $13.5 million. (In September 2018, the judge overseeing a subsequent case announced that the jury had deadlocked, resulting in a mistrial. Though the jurors were able to agree that Ethicon had been negligent in designing the mesh implant, they were unable to reach a consensus as to whether that negligence was the cause of the plaintiff’s alleged injuries.)

This case shows once again how important it is to file your legal claim as early as possible! If you or a loved one has been injured by a problematic mesh implant or other defective medical device, contact the experienced attorneys at TheLawFirm.com right away for a free legal consultation with a licensed attorney!

Source:
Law360
Law360
Law360
National Association For Continence (NAFC)

• October 23, 2018

Mesh Implant News: Australian Health Minister Issues National Apology over Mesh Implants


“On behalf of the Australian Government, I say sorry to all of those women with the historic agony and pain that has come from mesh implantations, which have led to horrific outcomes,” Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a videotaped national apology released October 10 “This has been an issue over some decades in many cases, and on our time, on our watch, that [sic.] we both recognize the problem, and we’re moving to take sweeping action to repair it.”

The apology came nearly a year after Australia, in November 2017, banned transvaginal mesh products used in the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse and over six months after the conclusion of a parliamentary report looking into the devices. The statement by the Health Minister accompanied the release by the Australian government of its policy response to the parliamentary report, which includes measures such as permanent funding through Australian Medicare for the removal and treatment of pelvic mesh implants. The government also says it will work with states and territories to conduct a national audit of mesh implants and to create voluntary registries of mesh implant recipients that would track complications and other data.

According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Health Minister Hunt has stated his support for requiring healthcare professionals to report all side effects for all implantable medical devices, though he says making such reporting mandatory would exceed the legal powers of the federal government.

Senator Derryn Hinch, representing Victoria as a member of Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party, was one of the main proponents of the parliamentary investigation into transvaginal mesh implants. He has dubbed the circumstances surrounding the mesh implants “one of the biggest medical scandals” in his country’s history.

Many Australian women, some of whom participated in the parliamentary investigation, say they were not taken seriously by their healthcare providers when they reported feeling intense pain and other symptoms following implantation of a transvaginal mesh device.

“Women are still not being believed by their doctors,” Australian mother Joanne Villani told ABC News, who said she still experiences chronic symptoms from her mesh implant over a decade after the initial surgery. “Doctors are still implanting mesh and telling women it’s new mesh, and it is the same mesh…I would like mesh to be banned until it’s been shown to be safe. If it’s not shown to be safe, then it should never be used again.”

If you or a loved one has suffered from complications due to the implantation of a surgical mesh device, contact the experienced lawyers at TheLawFirm.com now for a free legal consultation with a licensed attorney!

Source:
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
The Guardian
Parliament of Australia – Standing Committees on Community Affairs

Mesh Lawsuit Update: Parent Company Allocates $200 Million for Atrium Mesh Claims in U.S, Canada


Late in the evening on Sunday, October 14, Swedish medical conglomerate Getinge stunned financial analysts around the globe when it announced that it had allocated some $200 million in anticipated costs to cover allegations in the United States and Canada over surgical mesh manufactured by its subsidiary Atrium Medical Corp. Morgan Stanley estimated that the $200-million set-aside represents approximately eight percent of Getinge’s entire equity value.

The sheer size of the financial provision, which senior Getinge executives say should cover all costs associated with the Atrium mesh claims, suggests that the companies’ liability may be greater than previously anticipated, prompting a slide in its stock price.

“The [$200 million] provision today materially exceeded our expectation,” a Morgan Stanley analyst told clients, according to Bloomberg.

Presently, approximately 900 lawsuits have been filed over Atrium’s polypropylene mesh, with patients alleging they suffered serious complications after having the device surgically implanted to repair hernias and other pelvic-area conditions. The first trials are expected to take place in 2019.

Despite Getinge’s assurances that “the claims are being vigorously defended,” the $200 million set-aside shows the company’s true feelings about the strength of its legal position.

Stay tuned to TheLawFirm.com for the latest updates on surgical mesh lawsuits.

Source:
Bloomberg

Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Update: Doctor Behind Early Mesh Trials Received Money from Johnson & Johnson


According to a report published October 10 in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), the Swedish doctor who in the 1990s invented a method for using surgical mesh to treat urinary stress incontinence had undisclosed conflicts of interest involving the outcome of early clinical trials in which he was involved, trials that purported to show the astounding efficacy of the procedure.

A company formed by Dr. Ulf Ulmsten had a contract in place with Ethicon, Inc., a subsidiary of consumer-goods giant Johnson & Johnson, that would pay out approximately $1 million should a second round of clinical trials return results in favor of the new procedure, which utilized a novel device that came to be known as tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) and which since has been performed on millions of women around the world.

Predictably, perhaps, the second round of trials showed even more promising outcomes than the first, and, on top of the payments from Johnson & Johnson, Dr. Ulmsten’s company, Medscand, would be sold just a few years later for $14 million.

“Johnson and Johnson said it accepted that its lucrative financial offer to Ulmsten had been on the table before the second trial was carried out but rejected any suggestion that this had compromised the outcome of the trial,” the BMJ reported, adding later that “Ulmsten’s financial relations with Johnson and Johnson were not acknowledged in the paper [about the second round of trials].”

Adding to the controversy over Ulmsten’s results, the bulk of the data from his trials was destroyed by fire in 2009, making it even more difficult, if not impossible, to gauge their reliability.

“[A]s tens of thousands of lawsuits illustrate, the simple device wasn’t the miracle many were sold on,” Tanya Basu wrote October 13 in The Daily Beast, referring to vaginal mesh implants in a piece discussing the BMJ report. For Basu, the confirmation of a financial conflict of interest only confirms that the “problems with the implants…go back to the beginning.”

If you have suffered complications following implant of a surgical mesh device, contact the experienced team of lawyers at TheLawFirm.com today for a free legal consultation with a licensed attorney!

Source:
British Medical Journal
The Daily Beast

Ethicon Mesh Settlement Update: Judge Orders Creation of Settlement Fund in Ethicon Mesh MDL


In an order issued September 14, the judge in charge of federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) over pelvic-repair systems manufactured by Ethicon, Inc. authorized the creation of a qualified settlement fund and assigned a fund administrator to oversee it. The move marks the potential start of winding down the litigation, which has been ongoing for over six years and continues to include tens of thousands of active cases.

Pretrial Order #318 was issued by US District Court Judge Joseph R. Goodwin in response to an Unopposed Motion for Approval of Qualified Settlement Fund, which had been filed September 13 by a law firm representing numerous plaintiffs in the MDL. Lawyers from Milstein, Jackson, Fairchild & Wade LLP had requested creation of the qualified settlement fund to facilitate the efficient processing of a confidential settlement agreement they reached with the defendant companies, including Ethicon and, presumably, its parent company Johnson & Johnson.

From the bench at the US District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, Judge Goodwin appointed as fund administrator the company Archer Systems, LLC, which has been “given the authority to conduct any and all activities necessary to administer” the settlement fund.

Terms of the confidential settlement agreement were not disclosed in the court order, nor were the number of plaintiffs covered by the agreement. According to the MDL’s Member List of Cases, as of October 13, 2018, the MDL included 40,398 total cases, of which 16,536 had been closed, leaving 23,862 active cases remaining.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective medical device, contact TheLawFirm.com right away for a free legal consultation with a licensed attorney!

Source:
MDL Docket No. 2327 Website

• September 28, 2018

Ethicon Mesh Lawsuit Update 2018: Jury Finds Negligence But Deadlocks on Connection to Injuries in Philly Ethicon Mesh Case


The jury has deadlocked in the seventh Philadelphia-based trial over alleged defects to pelvic mesh manufactured and distributed by Ethicon Inc., causing the judge to declare a mistrial, Law360 reported September 24.

The case involved plaintiff Susan McFarland, who originally sued Ethicon in July 2013 over injuries allegedly caused by its TVT-O pelvic mesh, which McFarland had implanted in 2008 to treat stress urinary incontinence. However, rather than relieve her symptoms, McFarland contends that defects in the TVT-O design have caused her permanent injuries, including the inability to have sexual intercourse with her husband.

While the jury reported to Judge Michael Erdos that it was able to reach agreement that there had been negligence on the part of the defendant Ethicon, the jurors were hopelessly deadlocked when it came to whether the Ethicon’s negligence was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.

According to Law360, the jury initially informed Judge Erdos of the deadlock on Friday, September 21, but the judge asked the jury to reconvene for one more day of deliberations to see if its members could agree on a verdict. On Monday, the judge finally relinquishing, dismissing the panel.

“There seems no reasonable hope that a verdict of 10 jurors or more can be reached,” Judge Erdos conceded before the court prior to addressing the jurors directly. “Everyone stood by their convictions and that’s the most we can ask of you.”

Of the six previous Philadelphia-based trials over Ethicon pelvic mesh, the juries in five have sided with the plaintiffs, resulting in over $105 million in total damages.

If you or a loved one has been injured by defective surgical mesh, hernia mesh, or pelvic mesh, contact the experienced team of attorneys at TheLawFirm.com today for a free consultation with a licensed attorney!

Source:
Law360

Surgical Mesh Lawsuit Update: Jury Hears Closing Remarks in Philly Ethicon Mesh Case


Following the conclusion of closing arguments on Tuesday, September 17, a state court jury in Philadelphia finally will decide the case of a woman suing Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon over complications she suffered following implantation of Ethicon TVT-O pelvic mesh. Ethicon has lost five out of six such cases to be heard before the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas thus far, resulting in over $100 million in damages awarded.

In her final arguments, Tracie Palmer, representing plaintiff Susan McFarland, emphasized that Ethicon had failed to conduct any clinical trials prior to introducing TVT-O pelvic mesh onto the market. As a result, Palmer alleged, her client had suffered serious lifelong injuries including debilitating pain and the inability to have sexual intercourse.

“There was nothing to stop them from doing a clinical trial except for greed,” Palmer told the jury, according to Law360.

The plaintiff McFarland received an Ethicon TVT-O pelvic mesh implant in April 2008 to treat stress urinary incontinence. Approximately 18 months later, McFarland reported to her doctor that she was feeling an unusual amount of pain during sex, and an inspection revealed that the Ethicon mesh device had eroded through her vaginal wall and would need to be surgically removed.

Even after undergoing revision surgery, McFarland reports continuing to experience a number of debilitating side effects, including a high number of severe urinary tract infections, the need to frequently urinate, and severe pain during intercourse, making it impossible for her to have sex with her husband.

Representing defendant Ethicon, attorney Kathleen Turner argued that Ethicon TVT-O pelvic mesh has been proven safe and effective and continues to be used by surgeons to address the same condition from which McFarland originally suffered. Turner also contended that McFarland had waited too long to bring her claim, exceeding the relevant statute of limitations.

It now will be left for the jury to decide.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective pelvic mesh device, contact the TheLawFirm.com today for a free legal consultation with a licensed attorney!

Source:
Law360

Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Update: NJ Supreme court sets up multicounty litigation for Johnson & Johnson Hernia Mesh Claims


According to an announcement by the state judiciary on August 15, 2018, the New Jersey state supreme court has ordered the establishment of multicounty litigation to consolidate claims over an allegedly defective hernia mesh implant designed and manufactured by Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon.

While the court decided to consolidate all New Jersey state law claims involving J&J and Ethicon’s Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh via multicounty litigation, it did not include cases related to other, similar hernia mesh products produced by J&J and Ethicon. Attorneys for the plaintiffs had sought multicounty litigation covering the Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh as well as other multilayered hernia mesh made by the companies.

According to Law360, the application for multicounty litigation, filed on behalf of 62 individual plaintiffs, also had requested that the consolidated cases include Proceed Surgical Mesh, Proceed Ventral Patch, Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh, Prolene 3D Patch Polypropylene Mesh, and the Prolene Hernia System. Cases involving these products will continue to proceed through the state court system, though as individual cases and not as part of consolidated proceedings.

Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh was subject to a global recall by Ethicon in May 2016. Though intended to treat hernias, safety concerns over the product were raised after multiple independent studies showed the potential for serious injury to recipients.

According to the plaintiffs’ application to the New Jersey supreme court, “Utilizing an anti-adhesion barrier on the side of a polypropylene hernia mesh graft that faces the abdominal wall [such as the Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh does] increases the risk that the graft will not incorporate into the abdominal wall, causing the graft to fold, buckle and migrate, posing a threat to adjacent organs.”

Stay tuned to TheLawFirm.com for the latest legal updates on defective medical devices and dangerous drugs. And if you or a loved one ever suffers an injury, contact the experienced team of lawyers at TheLawFirm.com right away for a free legal consultation!

Source:
Law360

Mesh Lawsuit News: Court Docs Reveal Execs Warned Surgical Mesh Material “Not For Human Implantation”

Documents uncovered through a New Jersey court case over allegedly defective surgical mesh products made by CR Bard and its affiliate Davos have revealed that the company’s executives were warned decades ago by the suppliers of plastic used in the devices that the material was “not for human consumption”, according to a report published August 12, 2018 in The Sunday Post.

“Do not use this Chevron Philips Chemical Company LP material in medical applications involving permanent implantation in the human body or permanent contact with internal body fluids or tissue,” a document included with The Sunday Post report clearly states. The document, dating back to 2004, is labeled as a “Material Data Safety Sheet” for the material “Marlex® Polypropylenes (All Grades).” A former Bard exec has admitted under oath to being aware of the warnings.

In spite of the documented warning from the manufacturer of the material in question, makers of surgical mesh and other devices continued to use Marlex in millions of devices that were implanted into unsuspecting patients over a period lasting more than a decade. Such devices were banned in the United Kingdom in 2014 after serious questions were raised as to their safety and efficacy.

According to The Sunday Post, the New Jersey court case has revealed evidence that CR Bard and its affiliate Davol were warned of the safety concerns with the plastic material as far back as 1997.

In light of the newly revealed information, some advocates in the United Kingdom are calling for criminal investigations into the makers of surgical mesh devices, many of which were paid for by that country’s National Health Service (NHS). In Scotland alone, approximately 1,800 women per year received the medical implants, which are intended to address bladder problems and pelvic organ prolapse, but instead left many with life-altering injuries.

After being warned by Chevron Philips Chemical Company of its safety concerns regarding Marlex use in permanently implanted devices, rather than head the warnings, Bard and other companies simply turned to third-party suppliers for the material, who failed to raise similar concerns.

The dangerous material continues to be used in products manufactured and implanted in patients to this day.

Stay tuned to TheLawFirm.com for the latest updates on defective and dangerous medical devices, and if you or a loved one is ever injured by a medical device or drug, contact the experienced team of lawyers at TheLawFirm.com for a free legal consultation with an actual attorney!

Source:

The Sunday Post

Surgical Mesh Lawsuit: Attorney Faces Malpractice Claims Over Surgical Mesh Settlement

In yet another striking example of how one’s choice of attorney can mean everything for the ultimate success of a lawsuit, attorney Barry Johnson faces allegations of malpractice from a former client who claims that Johnson accepted a smaller-than-possible monetary award in settling claims over defective surgical mesh made by C.R. Bard, Inc. and its subsidiary Davol Inc.

The malpractice allegations arise out of multidistrict litigation (MDL) over allegations that Kugel Mesh made by Bard and Davol was defectively designed, resulting in serious harm to recipients of the device. The MDL resulted in a large settlement, of which plaintiff Rickie Patton accuses his then-attorney Johnson of accepting an unnecessarily small portion on his behalf.

Presently, the legal malpractice suit is embroiled in controversy over its venue, with Johnson arguing that an arbitration clause contained in a 2007 representation between Patton and Johnson’s former law firm should govern, requiring that the malpractice claims be subject to arbitration rather than court proceedings.

For his part, Patton argues that the arbitration clause should not apply, and the malpractice claims should be heard before a judge in open court. Among Patton’s reasons for why the arbitration clause is not legally binding are that the arbitration page was not initialed by Patton as required by the document itself and that the clause was signed in 2007 while Johnson did not join the firm until 2013.

Johnson’s former law firm, the Johnson Firm, is also a defendant in the case. (According to the judge overseeing the case, the Johnson Firm is named for a Steven Johnson with no apparent familial relation to defendant Barry Johnson.) In 2017, the Johnson Firm initiated arbitration proceedings in Texas to determine whether the arbitration clause applies, but the arbitrator found that the clause nonbinding.

This led to an attorney for the firm arguing before a federal judge in Rhode Island on July 5, 2018, trying to convince the court to dismiss the arbitrator’s ruling and find the arbitration clause to be binding upon the parties. The proceedings are ongoing.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective medical device such as surgical mesh, contact the experienced team of attorneys at TheLawFirm.com now for a free consultation!

Source:

Law360

Mesh Lawsuit News: PA Appeals Court Considers Out Of State Plaintiffs In Ethicon Mesh Cases

A Pennsylvania court of appeals is weighing the jurisdictional merits of out-of-state plaintiffs who brought claims in the state against Johnson & Johnson unit Ethicon Inc., which engaged with Pennsylvania-based Secant Medical Inc. to manufacture its surgical mesh products. J&J and Ethicon have challenged the lower court’s decision to exercise jurisdiction over approximately 70 cases involving out-of-state plaintiffs, which presently are making their way through courts in Philadelphia county. Plaintiffs in the mass tort program claim to have suffered harm as a result of the allegedly defective surgical-mesh implants.

Defending his decision to allow the out-of-state cases to proceed, Judge Arnold New has argued that Ethicon’s decision to engage with Pennsylvania-based Secant Medical for manufacturing represented a conscious decision by the company that exposed itself to Pennsylvania courts under the legal “minimum contacts” standard.

“The non-Pennsylvania plaintiffs established moving defendants have sufficient minimum contacts with Pennsylvania such that this court’s exercise of personal jurisdiction comports with the notion of fair play and substantial justice,” Judge New wrote, according to Law360. “Moving defendants purposefully availed themselves of doing business in Pennsylvania by reaching out to a Pennsylvania corporation…to fulfill its manufacturing needs.”

The out-of-state cases are part of a mass tort program that has consolidated similar cases in Philadelphia courts. While the out-of-state cases were allowed to enter the mass tort back in 2015, lawyers for Ethicon have re-challenged the decision based on two recent rulings by the US Supreme Court that have set new precedent in the area of jurisdiction. Ethicon argues that these new Supreme Court cases mean that a company can only be sued in the location where an injury actually occurred or where the company is headquartered.

In a statement, attorneys representing out-of-state plaintiffs said, “It’s clear that J&J has significant [ties] with Pennsylvania in the vaginal mesh cases both because that’s where the mesh was made and because other J&J activity in Pennsylvania was key to mesh development. We are confident that the Superior Court will agree that jurisdiction in Pennsylvania is proper.”

If you or a loved one has been injured by faulty surgical mesh, contact the experienced team of attorneys at TheLawFirm.com today for a free consultation!

Source:

Law360

Mesh Lawsuit: NJ Mesh Plaintiffs Seek Consolidation Of Mesh Cases

On Thursday, April 11, the New Jersey state judiciary confirmed that dozens of plaintiffs suing Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon USA over allegedly defective mesh implants have petitioned the state’s high court seeking consolidation of their claims. In requesting consolidation as multicounty litigation (MCL), attorneys for the plaintiffs have highlighted the similarity of the issues raised among the claims and the large number of plaintiffs.

In all, attorneys representing a total of 62 different plaintiffs signed off on the application for consolidation, emphasizing that hundreds of additional cases are expected to be filed. The applicants have requested that the consolidated cases be assigned to Superior Court Judge Rachelle Lea Harz of Bergen County, who presently oversees all MCLs in Bergen County in addition to six of the subject cases.

At issue are a number of different mesh-implant products designed, manufactured, marketed, and sold by Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon USA including: Proceed Surgical Mesh, Proceed Ventral Patch, Ethicon Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh, Prolene 3D Patch Polypropylene Mesh, and Prolene Hernia System. According to the application for consolidation, all of these products share “one or more deviations from an uncoated, two-dimensional polypropylene design.”

Among the claims brought by plaintiffs are allegations of design defect, failure to warn, breaches of warranties, and manufacturing defects. According to plaintiffs, implantation of the multilayered hernia mesh products in question has resulted in serious harm.

Have you or a loved one suffered complications followed the implantation of a surgical mesh product? If so, contact the experienced team of attorneys at TheLawFirm.com now for a free consultation. The law places strict deadlines on your ability to file a claim, so don’t delay and call today!

Source:

Law360

• April 13, 2018

Mesh Lawsuit: Bard Found Liable For $33 Million In Mesh Trial

After a nearly four-week trial, jurors took less than one full day of deliberations to find medical device maker C.R. Bard Inc. liable in the trial of a woman who claimed to have suffered debilitating pain as a result of products designed and manufactured by Bard. In reaching its verdict, the state court jury awarded the plaintiff $33 million in compensatory damages.

Plaintiff Mary McGinnis and her husband sued Bard in 2011 over its Avaulta Solo Support System and Align Trans-Obturator Urethral Support System, alleging that the products were defectively designed; that the company knew the products were unsafe; and that the company failed to adequately warn doctors of the potential risks associated with the devices. In its verdict, the jury agreed.

After having the Bard devices surgically installed, McGinnis claims she encountered a series of severe health problems of which she was not forewarned, including the inability to have sexual intercourse with her husband due to severe pain caused by the Bard devices.

Attorneys for the defendant device maker argued that McGinnis’ health issues were the result of preexisting health conditions and were not caused by Bard’s devices. Further, they asserted that the plaintiff and her surgeon had indeed been informed of the risks associated with the devices and that the plaintiff had failed to demonstrate that the devices meet the legal standard for a defective product.

The jury divided its $33 million compensatory damages award into $23 million for Mrs. McGinnis and $10 million for her husband, Tom.

Following the verdict, Adam Slater—an attorney for the plaintiffs—expressed gratitude that, in his view, justice had been served for the couple.

“I’m very happy for Mary and Tom, who came to New Jersey from North Carolina and lived in a hotel room for a month, putting their entire life aside,” Slater said, according to Law360. “They got justice today.”

Have you or a loved one suffered injury as a result of a surgical mesh implant? The experienced team of attorneys at TheLawFirm.com are standing by now for a free consultation. Contact us today!

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Source:

Law360

• April 5, 2018

Mesh Lawsuit: Harvard Prof Testifies For Defense in Bard Mesh Trial

In a potential setback for a plaintiff claiming that gynecological surgical mesh designed and distributed by C.R. Bard was responsible for numerous serious post-procedure complications, an assistant professor at Harvard medical school testified on April 5 that the complications instead were attributable to the plaintiff’s own preexisting conditions and to other post-implantation surgeries.

However, during cross-examination by plaintiff’s counsel, the expert witness conceded that from 2013 to 2016 he was paid over $300,000 by medical device makers and pharmaceutical companies. The Harvard surgeon further admitted under oath that he never had testified in court that pelvic mesh had caused a woman’s injuries, always concluding to the contrary.

Dr. Peter Rosenblatt—assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, practitioner of female pelvic medicine, and reconstructive surgery specialist—was called to the stand by defendant Bard to refute plaintiff Mary McGinnis’s claims that the medical device maker was aware of safety issues relating to its Avaulta Solo Support System and Align Trans-Obturator Urethral Support System yet failed to warn of the potential risks.

Taking the position that “[t]hese devices did not cause [the plaintiff’s] harm,” Dr. Rosenblatt, under questioning from friendly defense counsel, walked the court through various slides previously displayed by a lawyer for the plaintiff during the trial’s opening remarks, offering alternative explanations. In conclusion, Dr. Rosenblatt stated that in his opinion the potential benefits of Bard’s devices outweighed the risks, arguing that alternative treatments put forth by the plaintiff as safer were either less safe or less effective than the Bard products.

Mary McGinnis had the Bard devices implanted in March 2009 after suffering from a vaginal prolapse. The Avaulta Solo device was installed to support her bladder, and the Align Trans-Obturator Urethral Support System was intended to prevent urinary incontinence.

Adam Slater, attorney for the plaintiff, has argued that Bard failed to adequately study the devices before going to market, citing the lack of clinical studies. Also, Slater claims that internal company documents show that Bard was aware of the products’ safety issues but chose to do nothing about them.

Dr. Rosenblatt, as expert witness for the defense, attempted to refute these claims, saying that clinical trials on the particular devices were unnecessary because research already had been conducted on similar products.

“There was plenty of clinical data available, there were devices that had come on the market that were very similar,” testified Dr. Rosenblatt, according to Law360. “There was also the Avaulta Classic on the market which was very similar to the Avaulta Solo.”

If you or a loved one has suffered serious complications following the implantation of surgical mesh, contact the expert attorneys at TheLawFirm.com now for a free consultation!

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Source:

Law360

• March 28, 2018

Mesh Lawsuit: Court Rejects Plaintiff's Bid To Revive Mesh Claim

Upholding a lower court’s dismissal of the case, a three-judge panel for the New Jersey Appellate Division ruled March 19 that a plaintiff alleging harm caused by a surgical mesh implant made by C.R. Bard Inc. had failed to present sufficient evidence demonstrating that the device was the source of the alleged harms. In its ruling, the appeals court cited deficiencies in the lower-court testimony of the plaintiff’s expert witnesses.

Kemuel Goodson of Georgia brought the claim after suffering serious complications following the 2006 implantation of Bard 3DMax Mesh to address hernia problems. Goodson reports experiencing chronic pain in his groin region as well as swelling of one of his testicles, symptoms he associates with the mesh-implant surgery. In an attempt to address these issues, Goodson underwent multiple additional procedures and surgeries, including one to remove his right testicle.

However, in its ruling, the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s conclusion that the testimony of Mr. Goodson’s expert witnesses had been too general in nature and had not addressed with sufficient specificity the Bard 3DMax Mesh. The court’s decision also noted that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had never required that the product be removed from the market.

Ultimately, the appellate panel agreed with the Atlantic County Superior Court’s view that the plaintiff had failed to meet the Georgia state law standards for both his product defect and negligence claims. With regards to product defect, Georgia law requires that a plaintiff prove that a product’s design is defective and that the defect caused the plaintiff’s injury. However, according to the court’s decision, the plaintiff’s experts failed to address defects in the implanted product or to propose alternative designs.

As for the plaintiff’s negligence claim, the court also affirmed that the plaintiff had failed to demonstrate that defendant owed a duty of care and that a breach of this duty caused the plaintiff’s injury.

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Source:

Law360

• March 28, 2018

Mesh Lawsuit: Plaintiff Argues Mesh Implant Maker Knew Risks

On Monday, March 19, attorneys representing a woman alleging that she suffered injuries due to surgical mesh manufactured by C.R. Bard Inc. argued before a New Jersey state court that Bard knew of risks associated with the device but failed to adequately warn patients. According to lawyer Adam Slater, representing plaintiff Mary McGinnis, a surgeon for Ms. McGinnis has stated that if she had known of the risks at the time, she would not have implanted the device into the plaintiff.

While attorneys for defendant Bard have maintained that the products are “safe and effective” while meeting all requisite standards for entering the market, plaintiffs contend that internal company documents show that Bard was aware of known risks but failed to report such findings publicly or to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

For example, Slater—attorney for the plaintiff—pointed to a September 2008 memo written by Bard executive Bobby Orr, which purports to deal with a “hypothetical” situation that Slater argues was, indeed, factual. In the memo, Orr cites potential problems with the weight and pore size of the company’s surgical mesh products, the exact issues that the plaintiff argues have led to her numerous significant complications, which have required multiple additional surgeries.

These statements contradict the position taken in court by Bard’s attorneys, who have argued that the weight and pore size are suitable for the devices’ intended uses.

Plaintiff McGinnis had two Bard surgical mesh products implanted in 2009: The company’s Avaulta Solo was intended to support her bladder, while its Align system was installed to address stress urinary incontinence.

Notably, the Orr memo predates the implantation of the devices into Ms. McGinnis by approximately six months. Argued Slater, “They know they have this need [to address issues related to the devices’ design] and they keep selling the product.”

If you or a loved one has suffered complications following the implantation of a surgical mesh device, the expert attorneys at TheLawFirm.com are standing by now for a free consultation. The law places strict time limits on your ability to file a claim, so don’t delay, contact us today!

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Source:

Law360

• March 12, 2018

Johnson & Johnson Must Pay $35 Million In Pelvic Mesh Lawsuit

In January 2009, Indiana resident Barbara Kaiser underwent surgery to install a Prolift pelvic mesh device designed and manufactured by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon Inc. Based on the information available to them at time—a great deal of which came from the device’s manufacturer—Ms. Kaiser’s healthcare providers had determined that the implanted device was the best option available to treat her pelvic organ prolapse. However, as would come to light years later, what was then the “best information available” to Ms. Kaiser’s doctors was not necessarily the best information that could have been made available to them.

Not long after the Ethicon Prolift mesh was installed, Barb Kaiser began to experience groin pain, bladder spasms, and unusual soreness during sexual intercourse. When she brought these issues to the attention of her doctor, he told her that the surgical mesh might be the cause.

More than nine years after the installation of the Prolift surgical mesh, Ms. Kaiser received some measure of justice on March 9, as a federal jury came down with a verdict in her favor, ordering Ethicon to pay $35 million in damages for negligent design and failure to warn. The $35 million award included $10 million in compensatory damages and $25 million in punitive damages.

A spokesperson for Ethicon immediately announced the device maker’s intent to appeal the verdict, telling Law360 that the jury’s conclusion “contradicts the evidence that the product was properly designed and that the company appropriately informed surgeons of pertinent complications.”

Over the course of the two-week trial, Ms. Kaiser alleged that Ethicon’s marketing to healthcare professionals and patients significantly understated the risks associated with Prolift mesh by minimizing or concealing evidence of high rates of device failure and patient injury. To support her claim, Ms. Kaiser pointed to a 2011 study for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that concluded there was scant evidence supporting surgical mesh as better than available alternatives in treating pelvic organ prolapse.

In the complaint, Ms. Kaiser’s attorneys argued, “During a hearing in September 2011 in Gaithersburg, Maryland, an FDA review team concluded there was insufficient scientific evidence as to the safety and efficacy of the transvaginal surgical mesh used to treat pelvic organ prolapse, including defendants’ Prolift.”

This recent verdict only adds to the hundreds of millions of dollars juries across the country have awarded over defectively designed and misleadingly marketed surgical mesh devices. If you or a loved one has suffered injury as a result of a surgically installed mesh device, contact the team of experienced attorneys at TheLawFirm.com now for a free consultation.

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Source:

Law360

• February 23, 2018

Covidien Agrees To Defective Pelvic Mesh Settlement

Claiming that pelvic mesh manufacturer Covidien—currently a subsidiary of Medtronic—had agreed to an overly generous settlement in resolving allegations that its products were defective, Medmarc Casualty Insurance Co. filed suit February 12 seeking to avoid paying out $17.3 million in claims resulting from the settlement.

The conflict between the insured pelvic mesh manufacturer Covidien and the insurer Medmarc centers around claims going back nearly a decade over the defective nature of surgical mesh manufactured by Covidien and marketed by C.R. Bard. From 2008 to 2011, Medmarc Casualty Insurance subsidiary Noetic Specialty Insurance Co. issued three separate $10-million products-completed operations insurance policies to Covidien. Medmarc and Noetic accuse Covidien of failing to live up to its obligations under the policies with regards to the settlement.

Among the alleged violations, the insurance companies claim that the device makers failed to disclose the fact that, in a separate settlement, Covidien had received over $100 million dollars from C.R. Bard in order to settle all claims between the companies. Further, the insurance companies allege that in reaching a settlement figure with plaintiffs claiming injury from Covidien’s product, Covidien did not properly evaluate the value of each individual claim, as required under the policies.

The suit represents just another aspect of the fallout from a slew of claims brought against the makers of surgical mesh products over the past decade alleging harms caused by defective products. To date, these cases have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements.

If you or a loved one has had surgical mesh implanted and has suffered harms as a result, the expert attorneys at TheLawFirm.com are standing by for a free consultation. The law places strict time limits on the filing of claims, so don’t delay!

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Source:

Law360

• February 7, 2018

Court Dismisses Bard and Davol Mesh Lawsuit

On February 7, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a blow to plaintiffs seeking to hold medical device makers Davol and C.R. Bard accountable for an alleged failure to adequately warn about the risks associated with the defendant companies’ Composix Kugel hernia patch. The plaintiff suffered numerous serious complications when, following implantation, the device detached from her abdominal wall. The appellate court ruling confirmed a lower court’s dismissal of the case on the basis that the plaintiff’s doctors had been aware of the device’s risks, even if the patient claimed not to have been.

The case was decided under the so-called “learned intermediary doctrine”, which is recognized in the case’s home jurisdiction of Florida. The doctrine essentially says that medical device maker’s duty to warn extends only to a patient’s doctor, not to the patient him or herself.

In applying the learned intermediary doctrine, the Court wrote, “If the physician had independent knowledge of the risk that caused the plaintiff’s injuries—substantially the same knowledge as an adequate warning should have been communicated—then the plaintiff cannot prevail on a failure-to-warn claim.”

Plaintiffs Norma and Nelson Olma originally brought suit against Davol and C.R. Bard in 2013 after Norma was forced to undergo numerous surgeries to address issues associated with the implantation of an extra-large Composix Kugel hernia patch. Both the doctor performing the original implantation and a doctor performing the implantation of a replacement patch testified in the lower court that they were aware that the complications suffered by the plaintiff were known risks associated with the device.

At TheLawFirm.com, we don’t believe that anyone should rely blindly on the claims of medical device manufacturers, drug makers, government agencies, or even their own doctors. We believe that people should have full access to all of the most up-to-date information so that they can make their own informed decisions about matters impacting the health of them and their families. That’s why TheLawFirm.com strives to provide you with regular updates on important issues that might slip through the cracks of mainstream news outlets, and it’s why our team of expert attorneys is standing by to help protect your legal rights. Contact us now for a free consultation.

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Sources:
Law360

• February 6, 2018

$18.5 Million Dollar Verdict Against Boston Scientific Upheld

On February 6, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a verdict against Boston Scientific Corp., finding in favor of plaintiffs who had been awarded $18.5 million over claims that they had suffered serious injuries as a result of Boston Scientific’s Obtryx pelvic mesh devices. In part, the defendant company had challenged a lower court decision to consolidate multiple cases.

The appeal stems from a jury verdict reached in November 2014, which found that Boston Scientific’s Obtryx Transobturator Mid-Urethral Sling System was defectively designed and that the company had not done enough to warm doctors and consumers about the potential harms. In rejecting Boston Scientific’s claim that combining multiple cases had confused and overburdened the lower court’s jury, the Court of Appeals described the District Court as having “bent over backwards to ensure that distinct questions of fact and law could be appropriately developed at trial and distinguished by the jury.”

In addition to challenging the consolidation of multiple cases, Boston Scientific also had argued that the verdict should be overturned on the basis that evidence of Obtryx’s approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had been excluded from trial and that the plaintiffs had failed to outline adequately specific design flaws with the drug or to propose safer alternatives. The appellate court rejected those claims as well.

Writing for the three-judge panel, Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III noted that such evidence “was largely introduced through the testimony of physicians, some of whom testified that there were significant risks not included in the Obtryx’s directions for use. A jury could reasonably conclude based on this evidence that Obtryx’s instructions were inadequate.”

Boston Scientific describes its mid-urethral slings as “designed for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence.”

According to the FDA, “[u]rogynecologic surgical mesh are intended to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and female stress urinary incontinence (SUI).” The FDA describes the implantation of urogynecologic surgical mesh as a “complex procedure” that is “performed ‘blind,’ meaning the surgeon cannot directly visualize placement of the surgical mesh and relies on the urogynecologic surgical mesh instrumentation, palpation of anatomic landmarks, and experience to access critical ligaments and attach anchors and other devices needed to secure the mesh.”

If you have been a recipient of implanted surgical mesh and have suffered health complications as a consequence, the expert attorneys at TheLawFirm.com are standing by to help you explore your legal rights with a free consultation.

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Sources:

Law360
FDA.gov
BostonScientific.com

• January 29, 2018

Multidistrict Litigation moves forward against johnson and johnson ethicon physiomesh

Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) over serious health problems allegedly caused by hernia mesh designed, manufactured, and marketed by Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon continues to move forward in United States District Court, with the Court establishing the procedures by which a trial pool of cases will be chosen from the hundreds included in the MDL. The timeline set by the Court calls for discovery in the trial (l) pool of cases will be chosen from the hundreds included in the MDL. The timeline set by the Court calls for discovery in the trial pool cases to be completed by mid-February 2019.

On January 19, the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division issued an order describing the procedures by which counsel will select the first pool of cases to be tried and setting the timeline for initial discovery proceedings in those cases. In the order, District Court Judge Richard W. Story establishes that 34 total cases will be included as part of an initial discovery pool, with ten of those cases then to be selected as trial pool cases. Selection of the 34 initial discovery pool cases is to be completed by June 22, and the ten trial pool cases are to be chosen by December 1, setting the stage for expert discovery in early 2019.

The Georgia MDL involves Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon’s PHYSIOMESH Flexible Composite Mesh, which is installed surgically in order to reinforce areas of weak tissue that are at risk for a hernia or where a hernia may already have occurred. While hernia mesh may help provide strength to damaged tissue and reduce the chances of a hernia reoccurring, PHYSIOMESH Flexible Composite Mesh specifically and hernia mesh in general have been associated with a variety of health complications. Common side effects of hernia mesh include infection, obstructed bowels, recurrence of the hernia, and pain. Mesh migration and mesh shrinkage are also frequent problems.

TheLawFirm.com will continue to monitor the latest developments in hernia mesh litigation to provide you with the most up-to-date information available

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• November 30, 2017

Ethicon, a division of Johnson and Johnson, was aware of potential complications related to a pelvic mesh product before its launch in 2005

A series of internal emails suggest that the company was aware of potential problems. Some changes were suggested but rejected due to “commercial limitations”.

In the years that followed, doctors reported problems with patients who were implanted with one of the mesh devices.

For example, one email from a doctor read that “this patient will have a permanently destroyed vagina, and I am only hoping to get her out of this without more morbidity”.

Ethicon said that it weighs the risks and benefits in determining whether to keep a product on the market.

However, a doctor working for the company suggested a warning in a 2005 email:

“WARNING: Early clinical experience has shown that the use of mesh though a vaginal approach can occasionally/uncommonly lead to complications such as vaginal erosion and retraction, which can result in an anatomical distortion of the vaginal cavity that can interfere with sexual intercourse. Clinical data suggest the risk of such a complication is increased in case of associated hysterectomy. This must be taken in consideration when the procedure is planned in a sexually active woman.”

This proposed warning were rejected as not ‘absolutely necessary’.

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• November 22, 2017

c-Qur hernia mesh is causing many post surgery problems

If you are suffering complications from a hernia mesh surgery, you may be overwhelmed with information. Not only are you dealing with the pain but probably also trying to find a medical solution to it. You may also be thinking about hiring a lawyer.

If you do decide to sue, you will be involved in what is called a ‘mass tort’. Mass torts are product liability lawsuits against drug companies and device makers over dangerous drugs and devices. Frequently, there are thousands of plaintiffs, and their cases are ordinarily consolidated into a single court.

You may not know who made your hernia mesh, but here are some of the common brands that we believe are concerning. It is important to know that not all brands or makes of hernia mesh are problematic. There are an estimated one million hernia operations conducted each year, and statistically, they occur in a little under 2 percent of all men. Not all of these patients have problems of course.

• October 3, 2017

Ethicon mesh lawsuit update

Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson known for manufacturing, among other products, several models of a controversial surgical product called pelvic mesh, went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in a bid to have overturned a $3.27 million decision against it in a case about that very device. The Supreme Court denied that attempt with a single line of text.

SCOTUS declined to review the ruling that had been handed down by the Fourth Circuit Court, providing the last word in a years-long discussion and allowing plaintiff Jo Huskey, who first filed her claim in 2012, to keep the settlement without any further challenge.

Ethicon had argued that an appellate court had erred in prohibiting certain product review evidence, but SCOTUS denied this argument.

Pelvic mesh – also known as transvaginal mesh, or TVM – is a polypropylene device that is used often in the treatment of post-childbirth stress urinary incontinence. The devices have come under fire in numerous lawsuits for their purported tendency to deteriorate, fray, and otherwise harm internal tissues and organs.

Huskey, who filed her suit in West Virginia, is one of thousands of women suing Johnson & Johnson over their mesh products. Hers was the first bellwether case to go to trial in a massive Multi-District Litigation (MDL) case against Ethicon.

Huskey alleges that the plastic of her TVT-O sling was dangerously defective, because it eroded, causing her severe, ongoing pain. The device could not be entirely removed in revision surgery. 

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On This Page

Pelvic/Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Updates

Articles Related To: hernia Mesh

Hernia Mesh Overview & Lawsuits

Hernia - Pelvic Mesh Devices and Complications

Vaginal mesh lawsuits, problems and updates

Mesh Trial Results

Bladder Sling Lawsuit 
Date: September 2014
Texas
Ruling: Boston Scientific: GUILTY
Amount: $73.5 million 

Pelvic Mesh
Date: November 2014
Miami
Ruling: Boston Scientific: GUILTY
Amount: $26.7 million 

Vaginal Mesh Trial 
Date: May 2017
New Jersey
Ruling: Johnson & Johnson: GUILTY
Amount: $20 million 

Vaginal Mesh Trial 
Date: December 2017
New Jersey
Ruling: Johnson & Johnson: GUILTY
Amount: $15 million 

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Hernia Fact:
18.5 Million people suffered from hernia injury in 2015
• October 3, 2017

Canadian Women Join Mesh Lawsuit but Doctors Stress The Importance of Mesh Devices

In spite of the fact that thousands of Canadian women have filed lawsuits or joined existing lawsuits over the alleged health risks of vaginal mesh devices, a number of doctors and surgeons have stated that the polypropylene plastic devices play an important role in modern surgical medicine, and that, though many of the devices have indeed malfunctioned, vaginal mesh implants have an important role to play in the health of Canadian women.

• September 26, 2017

Summit Urged By Former Secretary Of Scotland On "Worldwide Catastrophe" Related To Mesh Device Injuries

International summit urged by former secretary of scotland on "worldwide catastrophe” of the serious injuries caused by pelvic mesh device
Alex Neil, a former Health Secretary of Scotland, called for an international summit to address what he called the “worldwide catastrophe” of the serious injuries caused by pelvic mesh devices.

When Neil held his position with the Scottish government, Scotland became the first country in the world to suspend use of the devices, which, as mounting medical evidence has shown, have been linked to a wide variety of serious health, quality-of-life, and psychological problems.

Pelvic mesh devices – also known as vaginal mesh devices, or transvaginal mesh (TVM) devices – are made of a versatile, lightweight plastic called polypropylene, which has been shown again and again to damage internal organs and tissues in a variety of ways.

Neil urged his successor, Shona Robison, to coordinate a summit about the devices. Robison has been criticized for accepting the safety findings of a panel that studied the devices. That panel consisted largely of representatives from the devices’ chief manufacturers.

Neil’s proposal has support across Scottish government officials of all political parties.

Nearly 450 women who allege they have been harmed by vaginal mesh devices have joined together to file the largest legal action in Scottish history: a lawsuit that amounts to more than $94 billion.

If you or a loved one has been injured or harmed in any way by a pelvic mesh patch, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. Contact the expert attorneys at TheLawFirm.com right away so we can help you file your lawsuit.

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• September 19, 2017

Australian Doctors Admit Errors in Implanting Vaginal Mesh Devices

Jenny King, the director of the Urogynaecological Society of Australasia, stated recently that many surgeons have been incautious in their decisions to implant vaginal mesh devices in their patients, remarking that the controversial devices had been implanted too often and with too little regard for their potential health consequences.

King said that many surgeons believed vaginal mesh devices – also known as pelvic mesh devices and/or transvaginal mesh devices (TVMs) – were “magic.” King argued that doctors should be – and should have been – more careful in the use of TVMs, especially in young and healthy women.

Still, King said, the devices should not be banned outright, as they can often be a successful treatment for stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, two common post-childbirth complications.

Around the world, pelvic mesh devices have been linked to severe pain, infection, and sexual dysfunction. The makers of vaginal mesh devices have been taken to court in numerous countries, and are being investigated in others. Trials have taken place and are ongoing in the US, and formal medical/legal inquiries are underway in several nations of the United Kingdom and Australia.

Johnson & Johnson, one of the largest manufacturers of pelvic mesh devices, recently pulled two of its TVM devices from the Australian market, but insisted that that action had to do not with safety concerns but with diminished profit margins.

The inquiry by the Australian Department of Health is currently underway.

• September 17, 2017

Too little Action Vaginal mesh cases

Dr. Wael Agur, a medical expert who has advised the governments of the United Kingdom and Scotland on various medical matters, has stated that the nation of Wales has not taken the actions required to protect its citizens from the dangers posed by vaginal mesh devices.

Government health agencies in Scotland and England no longer recommend that women receive vaginal mesh devices (also known as pelvic mesh devices) because the devices have been implicated in a wide range of serious health problems. The national health agency of Wales, however, still permits the use of vaginal mesh devices.

Dr. Agur stated that he found the Welsh government’s attitude toward vaginal mesh devices, or Transvaginal Mesh (TVM), surprising, since, he said, it was Welsh gynecologists and urogynecologists who conducted one of the most thorough studies into the health effects of vaginal mesh products.

TVM devices are chiefly used as a surgical solution for women who suffer from incontinence, and/or to treat the prolapse of such organs as the vagina, uterus, and bladder, which may become stressed and distended from childbirth. Vaginal mesh acts as a sling to hold organs and tissue in place.

Most vagina mesh devices are made of a lightweight plastic called polypropylene, which has been shown in numerous studies to fray, shred, and “melt into” tissue, thereby causing severe pain, reproductive complications, and sexual dysfunction. Around the world, numerous vaginal mesh devices have been the subject of lawsuits and recalls.

Dr. Frank Atherton, Wales’s chief medical officer, has not issued any specific guidelines or recommendations concerning the devices, but has suggested that his agency will take “a different route” than Scotland and England to provide for the health of its citizens. Dr. Wales suggested that mesh devices may be used safely, but women throughout the United Kingdom have voiced their disagreement.

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• September 11, 2017

Out Of State Plaintiffs Want Mesh Cases Heard

A group of plaintiffs who are considering legal action against Johnson & Johnson over the company’s allegedly injurious pelvic mesh products have stated that, though they do not reside in Pennsylvania, they have cases that are sufficiently connected to the business of that state that the trials should be heard in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.

The statement was released in light of two recent court decisions concerning the jurisdiction that state courts possess in cases concerning out-of-state plaintiffs.

In June, the Supreme Court of the United States issued an 8-1 decision – now known as the Bristol-Myers Squibb decision – that effectively prohibits state courts from hearing any cases filed by residents of other states. In August, in light of the SCOTUS ruling, a Philadelphia judge said that he would rethink whether any non-Pennsylvania pelvic mesh cases that had been filed as part of that state’s mass tort program could remain in a Philadelphia court.

The maker of the pelvic mesh devices in question is Ethicon, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that has its base of operations in New Jersey, a state that is just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. Ethicon says that its New Jersey location means that Pennsylvania courts have no jurisdiction over trials involving its products. Ethicon wishes to have nearly 100 cases dismissed from the trial docket.

Plaintiffs have countered that the allegedly defective mesh products were designed, tested, and manufactured in Pennsylvania, a sufficient reason for the trial to be held in that state.

A jury in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas recently handed down a landmark decision against Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson in highly publicized trial. The jury ordered the company to pay $57.1 million in damages to a plaintiff who claimed that Ethicon pelvic mesh products had caused major damage to her health and quality of life.

Pelvic mesh devices have been implicated in numerous serious health problems, including loss of urinary function, internal organ damage, sexual dysfunction, and various types of infection.

• September 6, 2017

Sixth Pelvic Mesh Trial Concludes in Philadelphia

Deliberations have begun for the jury in a Philadelphia trial over Johnson & Johnson’s potential liability in a lawsuit involving a woman who alleges that one of the company’s pelvic mesh devices caused her incontinence and urethral damage.

Attorneys for plaintiff Ella Ebaugh encouraged the jury to hit J&J with substantial punitive damages on top of any damages they may award for personal and medical damages. Ebaugh laid the blame for her client’s injuries squarely on Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon.

The jury has heard both sides’ testimony for the past month.

Johnson & Johnson has lost four of the other five pelvic mesh lawsuits that have taken place in Philadelphia. In those four trials, juries have ordered the company to pay nearly $50 million in damages.

Ebaugh alleges that her injuries were caused by the Ethicon TVT-Secur pelvic mesh device, which surgeons implanted in 2007 to treat her stress urinary incontinence. That product is no longer on the market. Ebaugh received a second mesh implant – an Ethicon TVT implant – the following year, when her symptoms had not improved.

In 2011, Ebaugh’s doctors found that the mesh had eroded into her urethra, and was therefore likely the cause of the serious pelvic pain she was experiencing. Over five years, doctors required three additional surgeries to remove the mesh.

Ebaugh has suffered from continued incontinence, intrinsic sphincter deficiency, cystitis, depression, and sexual dysfunction.

Ethicon is accused of negligence in conducting clinical studies of their mesh devices, and of unlawful gains at Ebaugh’s expense.

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More Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Updates - June - July 2017
• July 27, 2017

Half of Women with Pelvic Mesh Will Require Further Surgery, Study Finds

According to a study conducted by the major Australian health insurer nib, nearly half of the women who have undergone pelvic mesh surgery are later readmitted to the hospital for complications relating to the implanted device.

The survey studied the cases of 138 women who had been implanted with pelvic mesh devices – also known as transvaginal mesh devices, or TVMs – between 2011 and March of 2017, and found that 60 of them required additional hospitalization.

The women who were readmitted to the hospital suffered from a variety of ailments related to the implantation of their pelvic mesh devices: mechanical failure, organ damage, and infection, among other conditions.

nib’s statistics differ from those reported by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, the agency that regulates medical devices in Australia. That agency found that only 99 women with pelvic mesh devices suffered from complications between 2012 and 2016.

nib conducted the survey to understand where its health insurance expenses were going, and learned that many of their expenditures could have been curtailed if unsafe pelvic mesh devices had been either more clearly labeled or pulled from the market. Representatives of the company also advocated for better communication between device makers, doctors, and patients.

The makers of pelvic mesh devices are embroiled in a number of lawsuits in various countries around the world.

• July 27, 2017

British Health Agency Urges Better Communication about Pelvic Mesh Devices

A report by the National Health Service, the nationwide health agency in the United Kingdom, has issued a report that strongly suggests that doctors and patients improve their communication concerning pelvic mesh devices, also known as transvaginal mesh devices, or TVMs.

The Mesh Oversight Group also urged better record-keeping concerning matters involving complications from the surgically implanted devices, which are commonly used to treat urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.

Numerous women in the UK have come forward to speak openly about the severe pains they’ve experienced as a result of the implantation of the devices. Pelvic mesh devices are made from a plastic called polypropylene, which has a tendency to shred, unravel, and melt into internal tissues and organs.

The devices are the subject of numerous lawsuits in the U.S.

If you’ve been surgically implanted with a pelvic mesh or transvaginal mesh (TVM) device, and have experienced pain or discomfort, talk to your doctor immediately. Then, talk to the expert attorneys at TheLawFirm.com. We can help you with your case.

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• July 25, 2017

Johnson & Johnson’s Victory in Pelvic Mesh Case Reversed

Just over a month after a jury found that a Johnson & Johnson pelvic mesh was not responsible for the damages she claimed, Kimberly Adkins’s post-trial motion for a damages hearing has been granted by a Philadelphia judge.

The judge issued a statement opining that the jury in Adkins’s initial trial had been inconsistent on the issue of whether a design defect in the pelvic mesh had caused her injuries. Thus, the judge ruled, a damages hearing was appropriate.

The case had been the only one of five to rule in favor of Johnson & Johnson, whose Ethicon subsidiary manufactures a variety of pelvic mesh devices, also known as transvaginal mesh devices (TVMs).

Adkins’s initial loss had broken a string of plaintiffs’ victories in pelvic mesh cases against Johnson & Johnson. In one trial, the plaintiff won $20 million; in another, $2.1 million; in a third, $12.5 million; in the fourth, $13.5 million.

Adkins contended that Johnson & Johnson’s expert medical witness had been inconsistent about whether her injuries had been caused by her surgically implanted mesh device.

• July 25, 2017

Three Pelvic Mesh Cases against Boston Scientific Withdrawn in Philadelphia

In the wake of a recent U.S Supreme Court ruling concerning the right of state courts to exercise jurisdiction over non-residents, three Philadelphia lawsuits pending against Boston Scientific over its allegedly injurious pelvic mesh devices have been withdrawn.

All three cases had been filed by residents of Delaware, and were withdrawn after the Supreme Court’s June ruling.

The three cases, and numerous others, are part of a mass tort program against Boston Scientific that was established by the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas in 2014 in the face of a large number of claims about the potential harm caused by the company’s pelvic mesh devices, also known as transvaginal mesh devices.

The withdrawals come after Boston Scientific attorneys filed a motion for dismissal on the grounds of the recent SCOTUS case, now generally known as the Bristol-Myers Squibb case. Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson that also manufactures pelvic mesh devices, has filed a similar claim on similar grounds.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs have said they will re-file the suits in Delaware.

If you’ve had surgery to implant a pelvic mesh device, and have been plagued by medical and health complications, you may be entitled to be part of a lawsuit. You need the expert legal assistance of TheLawFirm.com.

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• July 17, 2017

Plaintiffs Allege J & J Covered Up Damaging Clinical Reports

In the ongoing class action case in Sydney, Australia, against medical device manufacturer Johnson & Johnson, the court has recently heard allegations that the corporation tried to prevent French health authorities from publishing a report about the risks of pelvic mesh devices manufactured by J & J.

At issue in the case is whether the pelvic mesh devices – also known as transvaginal mesh devices – are responsible for the plaintiffs’ chronic and debilitating pain. Some plaintiffs have alleged that the devices, which are often surgically implanted to treat common complications from childbirth, have ruined their sex lives and destroyed their livelihoods.

The plaintiffs’ attorney presented in court the notions that the women in Australia were treated by Johnson & Johnson as “guinea pigs,” and that the devices had not been properly tested before they were released onto the Australian market in 2005.

A central point in the attorney’s presentation was that Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon, under which imprint the majority of the company’s pelvic mesh devices are made, took steps to quash the publication of a report by Haute Autorité de Santé, the French national health authority, that opined that the devices required further clinical testing in order to be released safely on the market. By the time J & J got wind of the report, the plaintiffs allege, the products had been on the Australian market for two years, and the company acted to suppress its publication.

Further, the plaintiffs allege, Johnson & Johnson ramped up its already-aggressive campaigns to market their transvaginal mesh devices to doctors and surgeons. These reports stressed the products’ safety and efficacy. In the words of the plaintiffs’ attorney, the company’s attitude was “sell first, test later.”

Class action and Multi-District Litigation (MDL) cases are pending against Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson in numerous American states as well as in several other countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia.

• July 17, 2017

Canadian Transvaginal Mesh Class Action Suit against Boston Scientific Receives Official Certification

A Canadian court has granted official certification to a class action suit against Boston Scientific, the makers of several transvaginal mesh (TVM) devices. The plaintiffs in the case are women who have had TVMs surgically implanted, and who blame the devices for serious personal injuries and reduction in their quality of life.

Any Canadian citizen who received a Boston Scientific transvaginal mesh device – also known as a pelvic mesh device – for the treatment of Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) or Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) is eligible to join the class action suit. SUI and POP are common side effects of pregnancy and labor, and are often treated with pelvic mesh devices, the efficacy and safety of which have been questioned in numerous legal trials and clinical studies in several countries.

This specific case involves only TVMs manufactured by Boston Scientific, and does not include, per Canadian law, devices made by other manufacturers of the devices, such as AMS, Cook Medical Inc., Covidien, Johnson & Johnson, or the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon.

If you live in Canada, and have been surgically implanted with a Boston Scientific TVM device, you are entitled to be part of this ongoing case. To find out how, contact TheLawFirm.com. We are licensed to practice in the U.S. and in Canada, and the consultation is always free.

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• July 5, 2017

Pennsylvania Judge Urged to Relocate Pelvic Mesh Cases

Boston Scientific Corp. and Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon have urged a state judge in Philadelphia to dismiss several of the cases pending against the companies over allegedly faulty pelvic mesh implant devices. The defendants cited a recent ruling by U.S. Supreme Court as justification for their motion.

In a case against Bristol Myers-Squibb concerning the health hazards associated with the blood-thinning drug Plavix, the Supreme Court ruled in June that California state courts did not have the jurisdiction to issue verdicts in the cases of the members of the Multi-District Litigation (MDL) suit who do not reside in California.

Ethicon and Boston Scientific cited that recent decision as the grounds for their request that the judge in the Philadelphia case dismiss any claims brought by residents of states other than Pennsylvania.

The judge’s decision is pending.

If you believe you’ve received dangerous prescription medications, contact your doctor. Then, contact TheLawFirm.com. We can help you obtain the financial compensation to which you may be entitled.

• June 27, 2017

800 British Women Mount Legal Action against Hernia Mesh

The pain and suffering caused by hernia mesh devices are not strictly American phenomena. An 800-strong group of British women are taking legal action against the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) over the agency’s use of vaginal and hernia mesh devices.

In a news article from the BBC, Leila Hackett, who had umbilical hernia mesh surgery in 2013, described the pain caused by the device as “like somebody scratching you from inside your body. … It started off like fiery, burning agony, but it never stopped hurting or itching.”

Though her doctors told her that the hernia mesh was not the source of her pain, later surgery found that the mesh had attached itself to Hackett’s organs and had caused a twisting of her bowels. Her surgeon required four hours to remove the mesh from her body.

The NHS stands by its numerous recommendations that patients undergo the implantation of hernia mesh devices, stating that the technique has been successful for decades.

The attorneys at TheLawFirm.com do not agree with the National Health Service. We believe that hernia mesh devices are dangerous and that they can cause severe pain. If you have experienced pain as a result of a hernia mesh device, contact us to find out how we can help you. Contact us for a free consultation. We can help you.

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Lawsuit Verdicts and Settlements

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$15 Million verdict Against Johnson & Johnson Ethicon Pelvic Mesh

December 15, 2017
Once again, Johnson & Johnson has been hit with a large award over a defective medical device. A New Jersey state jury has awarded $15 million in damages against Johnson & Johnson unit Ethicon over claims the company lied about the safety of a pelvic mesh product that caused a woman debilitating pain. The verdict included $10 million in punitive damages.

After nearly three weeks of testimony, the jury found for the Plaintiff, and her husband, finding that her injuries were caused by the defective design of the company's product. They also found that Ethicon had given inadequate warnings for the mesh. The Plaintiffs were among the thousands of women nationwide who filed lawsuits against Ethicon and J&J for injuries and damages caused by the Gynecare Prolift pelvic floor support mesh product, which was on the market from 2005 through 2012.

This is the second pelvic mesh suit against Ethicon to go to trial in New Jersey, the headquarters State for Ethicon. After the first pelvic mesh trial, the New Jersey Supreme Court declined to review a jury’s $11.1 million award to the plaintiff.

The plaintiff said she had the mesh implanted in 2008 to treat a pelvic prolapse, but that the mesh had a design defect and Ethicon knew it was dangerous but kept this information from patients. The mesh caused vaginal pain and pain when having sex.

Ethicon’s defense was that the surgeon had excessively tightened the mesh. However, the jury didn’t buy it and awarded a substantial verdict.

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$20 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson for injuries suffered from Vaginal Mesh Device

May 1, 2017
The mesh attorneys at TheLawFirm.com were pleased to see that a Philadelphia jury returned a $20 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson for injuries suffered by a New Jersey woman after receiving a vaginal mesh device.

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Woman Awarded $2.1 Million in Lawsuit Against Ethicon Transvaginal Mesh

May 31, 2017
On May 26, a Pennsylvania jury has awarded $2.1 million to a woman who suffered severe health consequences when the transvaginal mesh (TVM) manufactured by Ethicon, Inc., deteriorated inside her body. The mesh is made from a plastic called polypropylene.

Ethicon is a division of healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson. This case marks the fourth consecutive defeat in Pennsylvania for Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon TVM products.

In the most recent trial, Ethicon’s Gynecare Prolift mesh was implanted into the plaintiff’s body in 2006 as a treatment for urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Her case rested on her claims that the mesh caused several permanent health and wellness complications, including constant pelvic pain, incontinence, and urinary tract infections, as well as severe pain during sexual intercourse. The jury reached its verdict in nine hours.

Only one week earlier, another Pennsylvania jury ordered Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon to pay $20 million in punitive and compensatory damages to a woman who had had Ethicon’s Gynecare TVT-Secur mesh implanted. Two juries in Philadelphia have awarded $12.5 million and $13.5 million to other transvaginal mesh plaintiffs.

Over the last nine years, Johnson & Johnson has had to defend itself in a growing number of lawsuits involving its TVM products. In 2008, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warned that the devices had been linked to at least 1000 reports of serious injuries over a three-year period. The FDA updated its warning in 2011, when the number of reported transvaginal mesh complications tripled in number.

Ethicon announced in 2012 that it would no longer sell four of its pelvic mesh devices, including the Gynecare TVT Secur, the Gynecare Prosima, the Gynecare Prolift, and the Gynecare Prolift+M. Despite such moves, the company insisted that its products were safe. The FDA disagreed, however, ordering Ethicon and 20 other TVM manufacturers to conduct more extensive research into the risks associated with their devices.

HAVE YOU SUFFERED COMPLICATIONS AFTER TRANSVAGINAL MESH IMPLANT SURGERY? Speak with one of our TVM lawsuit attorneys today. You may be entitled to serious financial compensation. The consultation is FREE. Our mesh implant legal experts will help you any way they can.

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