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J&J Wins First Pelvic Mesh Trial in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, June 10, 2017 ~ The fifth trial over its family of polypropylene pelvic mesh finally secures healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson a win in this Philadelphia court. 

After four straight losses in a Philadelphia court to plaintiffs injured by pelvic mesh, a jury agreed with Johnson & Johnson Friday that its pelvic mesh product did not cause the plaintiff a lifetime of pain.

However, the 12-member jury agreed J&J was liable for the defective design of its TVT-Secur.

TVT Secur, Megamed Service

Kimberly Adkins of Ohio was implanted with TVT-Secur  (TVT-S) to treat her incontinence in July 2010.

In her complaint, Kimberly L. Adkins V. Ethicion, Inc., et al ( Case ID: 130700919) lists mesh erosion, painful sex (dyspaeurania), bleeding, catastrophic, severe, permanent injuries, chronic pain, disability, impairment, loss of enjoyment of life, and economic damages.  See the Complaint here. Adkins v Ethicon 

After a 12-day trial, jurors agreed that J&J subsidiary Ethicon Inc. had both defectively designed its TVT Secur pelvic mesh and failed to provide adequate warnings about its risks.

The jury did not find the TVT-Secur caused Adkins’ injuries, known as causation.

Aylstock,Witkin, Kreis, & Overholtz

“Despite our disappointment on the issue of causation, we are grateful that the jury found that that the TVT-Secur product was both defective in design and warnings,” says Bryal Aylstock in an e-mail to Mesh News Desk. 

The jurors found the product defective in design and in warning under Ohio law. Ms Adkins is a resident of Ohio so that state’s law apply.

Since the company had stipulated to the mesh causing at least some of her injuries, lead counsel, Bryan Aylstock says he will be moving for a new trial.

In April, a jury in the same court awarded plaintiff Engleman $20 million over injuries caused by her TVT-Secur. That jury decision included $17.5 million in punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson.

See the MND story here.

There are 182 pending pelvic mesh cases filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Please, most naming defendant Johnson & Johnson/ Ethicon.   ###

 

83 Comments

  1. Kitty says:

    It doesn’t make sense.

    • Hal Lewis says:

      Jury verdicts rarely make sense. Sometimes they are decided because jurors “like” one expert witness (aka “paid mouthpiece”) better than another. Or they don’t like the way a client looks. Or they want to hurry up and get home. The only thing you can guarantee about a jury trial… is that it will be unpredictable!

      • Bejah Butterton says:

        And who knows how long the appeals will go on. Is there a cap, a legal limit? Because of the matter of appeals it seems foolish not to opt for settlement. Do we have any real control in either? Does the defendant corporation have to meet strict criteria to qualify for appeal?

        Bejah

        Bejah

      • Bejah Butterton says:

        Hal, Do you think Adam Slater might help me with state filing in CA against UCLA SOM? I do not want to trouble him with an untenable question but Jane told me a few months ago I should also file in CA against Ethicon, UCLA and the surgeon. Thanks if you have a minute to answer. Bejah

        • Still Standing says:

          Bejah, California has a strict statute of limitations on malpractice lawsuits. Medical malpractice lawsuits have to be filed within three years of the event.

          • Bejah Butterton says:

            Gee, thanks friend. I guess I wasn’t paying close enough attention or did I depend on counsel to do that. I am beginning to think I have been sold out or left by the side of the road. Someone gets promised a nice check in the mail well disguised and I am dead in the water. What else is new. Never give up, never give in.

            Bejah

  2. Anon says:

    Soooo!………..What caused her injuries?
    Strange verdict

    • Jane Akre says:

      Wish someone could sit in on these Philadelphia trials…. I’d love to but it gets very expensive. Anyone live nearby?

      • Bejah Butterton says:

        Can we pay a hired hand to do that for us? Can we tape or have such a person record or note like a court reporter would? Bejah

      • Bejah Butterton says:

        Jane, How about approaching a journalism student at a nearby University through their department chair (or not). Bejah

        BTW If anyone is going to the trial in LA can I please come with you? I live near Palm Springs but can take the train in early in the morning (2am) if someone could collect me at the train station (or I think it stops in Riverside also)…thanks, I would so love to go but still no money to fix my car.

        • Jane Akre says:

          There should be a Boston Sci trial in July in Los Angeles, I’d love to see you there!

          • Bejah Butterton says:

            Absolutely. I will make plans.

            Bejah

          • Bejah Butterton says:

            Jane, If this trial does not get postponed would you like to stay with me? I am an hour out of LA and not five star but there is a lovely Beautyrest in the guest bedroom.

            Bejah

          • Jane Akre says:

            absolutely…… or we could find an air bnb

          • still Standing says:

            Jane, how do you think the SCOTUS ruling will impact the LA Boston Scientific trial in July. It specifically ruled on forum shopping ,where plaintiffs who are harmed by a drug or device file their case in any court that is considered more favorable to plaintiffs. The Supreme Court put an end to that yesterday as they overturned the California Supreme Court ruling and it prohibits plaintiffs from filing in a state where the plaintiff doesn’t live unless they file it in the home state of the company. This ruling concerned Plavix mass tort filed in LA, but less than 10% were actual residents of California and it was not where the company had headquarters. So, theoretically any plaintiff who is filed in state court where they are not residents will have case dismissed and they will have to refile in home state or state where company headquartered. It doesn’t appear to impact MDL, which are in federal court. The article I read mentioned LA, St.Louis and Philadelphia as litigation hell holes.it appears this decision ends that practice. There are 100 mesh cases filed in Philadelphia by non-residents.

          • Jane Akre says:

            I believe this is potentially devastating to plaintiffs. One argument against that is since J&J sells its talcum powder in all 50 states, why can’t any serve as a venue for trial? I dont know why not.

  3. Hal Lewis says:

    Jane, maybe you could repost my article from some time ago? It tried to explain to everyone how UNPREDICTABLE jury trials can be… but nobody seemed to believe me. The simple fact of the matter is that NOBODY has a “slam dunk” mesh lawsuit; everybody will have to go up against these giant law firms who are starting to find out what works for them in trial. Settlement, while not a perfect solution by any means, at least guarantees that a victim will receive something more than a costly, total defeat in court.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Will do…..

    • Hal Lewis says:

      And sure, we can sit here and blame the jury for “getting it wrong” or “getting confused”… but that’s EXACTLY what these highly trained professional litigators are being paid to do. Johnson & Johnson needs to step up and offer fair settlements… but everyone needs to realize that “fair” is not always what the victim considers fair.

      • Jane Akre says:

        J&J will continue to lose and lose big…. with an occasional win, but even this one was a small one with a mixed message. In my opinion.

      • Bejah Butterton says:

        However fair requires that a settlement offer exists and that it is reasonable. A recent post suggested someone was offered $4,000. That is neither fair or reasonable and it suggests to me that some regs need to be put in place governing the acceptable range of settlement offers. If the bastards are going to eliminate punitive damages or put caps on them them we must at least insist on a reasonable range in settlement as a matter of law.

        Bejah

    • Jane Akre says:

      Hal- Good to have you back.

      Here is your article..
      http://www.meshmedicaldevicenewsdesk.com/the-difference-between-hope-and-despair-same-facts-different-way-of-telling-a-story/

      In it you talk about women not being satisfied with a settlement because they don’t get a “full cookie…” But I must ask you, if a women takes home less than her law firm- is that alright in your eyes.? Why are law firms who never worked up a case for trial even taking 40% PLUS expenses, plus common benefit fund, Medicare payments Insurance premiums all out of her 60% ? I’ve heard far too many women with catastrophic injuries receiving under $10,000 while they law firms walk away with much more! This is far less than the “full cookie” and on the face of it does not seem anything close to fair. I’m not talking bout the firms that did the work to prepare cases for trial Lawyers work very hard and are not appreciated for all they do. They deserve what they get.

      But as you probably are aware, some legal referral services helped some firms amass cases which they had no intention of ever trying. It was easy money with a guaranteed 40% of even a low settlement. With enough cases that can add up to real money. I hope you don’t take my questions as criticism but it seems like there is some re-examination of the system that needs to occur here. Agreed?

      • Hal Lewis says:

        I will try to address and answer your questions, but please keep in mind that whenever a settlement is inadequate due to insufficient insurance coverage…NOBODY is ever happy. Conversely, nobody ever seems to complain about paying their lawyer when the outcome is fantastic. Therefore, given that my article lays the foundation for explaining why Mesh settlements will be far less than “fantastic,” I already know that my answers are not going to make anyone happy.

        First of all, the basic rule of ANY court dispute is that lawyers are expensive. The lawyers defending the Mesh manufacturers are billing more than $1,000/hour, and there are usually a dozen of them working on each case at a time. And these lawyers KNOW they are going to collect that big fee regardless of whether they win or lose that case.

        Now look at it from the Plaintiff’s lawyer’s perspective. If you asked every Mesh plaintiff’s lawyer whether he or she would like to be earning a guaranteed $40,000+ a week working on their Mesh cases, most if not all of them would say “Heck Yes!” But… there’s not a single Mesh victim that can afford to pay that money to their lawyer and still have no guarantee of a victory in court.

        So my point is this: Do not use hindsight to criticize a lawyer five years after taking a case for not earning a dime in that time frame and for taking 100% of the risk by agreeing not to charge any fee unless the case ends with a recovery for the victim.

        Along those same lines… the same rule of court is that EVERY litigant (plaintiff and defendant) will walk away with LESS than a full recovery because of court costs and attorney’s fees. Johnson & Johnson will NOT get paid back the $3 million in attorneys fees that they spent defending the case they just won… and a victim who wins $9 million will also have to spend $3 million to prevail. It’s simply a cost of doing business in our US legal system. Nobody gets a free day in court.

        Therefore, every Mesh victim… just like every car accident victim or every medical malpractice victim or every dog bite victim… is going to have to pay 33-40% of their recovery to their lawyer. It’s unavoidable, either through settlement or trial, and there’s a logical reason for it.

        Imagine if a lawyer could only charge a 15% fee when he/she settled a case… but could charge a 40% fee if the case went to trial. You would have lawyers everywhere recommending trial to their clients even when the settlement offer is fair and in the client’s best interests to take. The lawyer would come out better in rejecting a $1 million settlement and getting a $1.2 million verdict… but the client wouldn’t. The system is designed to encourage lawyers to look out for the CLIENT’S best interest without creating a financial conflict between the two.

        So… if every victim in every type of case has no choice but to pay their lawyer 33-40%… then they really can’t complain about whether or not their lawyer went to trial or not. In fact, given how expensive it is to go to trial, the clients actually SAVE money by settling rather than running up huge litigation bills.

        You raised the example of “Calling Centers” who hooked up a bunch of clients with no intention of ever trying their cases… but you ignore the fact that nobody twisted anyone’s arms to hire these firms. Every Mesh victim had the right and ability to do their own research and hire whatever law firm they wanted to hire. They were going to pay 40% either way… so why didn’t they hire a legitimate litigation firm? It’s like a convicted felon crying about “Ineffective Assistance of Counsel” after his conviction when he was represented by the cheapest, youngest, less ethical and most inexperienced attorney in town. Nobody can claim with a straight face that they just assumed “all lawyers are equal” any more than someone can claim that they thought “all college football teams are equal.” Nobody would bet their future on Middle Arkansas Tech beating Alabama… so they should have done their homework when hiring a lawyer as well.

        Now, having said that, I need to defend all of the law firms out there who have NOT started litigating these Mesh cases. It’s NOT because a lot of them aren’t highly capable lawyers; they are! It’s because we ALL benefit by sticking together and putting our BEST foot forward in a UNIFIED effort. That’s what is going on right now with the MDL cases and the Philadelphia cases. We are letting the really good lawyers try the really good cases so that we can get some really good verdicts. If we started letting every lawyer in America try their Mesh cases, we would be getting crazy results all over the place. Some would be very good for plaintiffs, but a lot would be very bad.

        Why? Because Mesh makers can afford to spend $40,000 a week defending these cases… while a lot of victims’ lawyers would be spending money trying to reinvent the wheel. The lawyers trying these cases right now have already taken great depositions and locked down solid evidence against the manufacturers… so the LAST thing we need is some maverick lawyers giving the manufacturers other opportunities to come up with more experts and more testimony and different evidence, etc.

        This is simply how class actions and mass torts work. It always has been. It’s impossible to try all the cases, so 95% of the lawyers are forced to sit back and let 5% of the lawyers try their cases. Believe me… 95% of lawyers representing Mesh clients are CHOMPING AT THE BIT to get into court and try their cases… but the MDL doesn’t allow it. It would just create chaos and a mad rush to the courthouse that brought everything crashing down.

        Sure, every one of the 100,000+ Mesh victims wishes that THEY could be the one going to court next against J&J. Every victim wishes that THEY could be the next one getting paid full value on their case… and every lawyer wishes the same thing. But we’re all in this together.

        As I pointed out in my article some time ago, J&J is the only manufacturer with enough resources to even come close to making fair settlement offers. The others are simply putting all of their money on the table and saying “take it all and split it up.” Unfortunately, the split doesn’t give victims much of anything.

        And right now… I really have no idea whether J&J will ever settle all of the Mesh cases. It looks right now like they will just keep trying a few every year and appealing them for years. If this turns out to be the case… then all of your concerns will be for naught because NONE of those lawyers who are not trying cases will ever make a penny.

        • Jane Akre says:

          Thank you Hal. It’s too late for many but how do you suggest people investigate further their prospective law firms? Some firms promised million dollar cases, I tell people to run if they hear that, because as you said, no one knows the outcome of a trial. This article says one-third is a more standard fee. How do we get to 40% AND the plaintiff paying the common benefit fund?

          http://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1993&context=fac_artchop

          • Hal Lewis says:

            You summed it up perfectly, Jane: RUN AWAY from any attorney who promises you a guaranteed result in your case.

            All your attorney should ever promise is that he or she will work as hard and long and diligently as possible to try and get the best result possible while looking out solely for your best interests.

            Then again, as I stated… and as it says in the Law Review article you posted:

            In these MDL cases where steering committees are assigned by the Court…”the individually retained attorney has no power to appoint or discharge the leaders who assume control of her clients’ cases. Instead, she is relegated to an observer who can do little more than complain that the lead lawyers have violated their fiduciary obligations to the whole group.”

            So NOBODY can complain yet that their attorney isn’t doing anything… because our hands are tied by the system.

            Contingency fees are controlled on a state-by-state basis, but 40% is standard in a complicated case where litigation is necessary. Is this “fair”? Let’s dissect it and see.

            One poster complained a 40% contingency fee isn’t “fair” because the lawyer “wouldn’t have received anything if the client had not been injured.” This is true.

            Conversely, since an injured victim cannot practice law without a license… the injured victim would not have been able to file suit and would therefore not have been able to recover a penny for her injuries without that lawyer. This is also true.

            So it’s a symbiotic relationship with BOTH the lawyer and the victim trying to maximize the recovery for their own financial gain. It’s no different than when people have a great new invention: The person who thought up the idea can feel like they deserve all the income… but we all know that the investor who puts up all the capital and all the risk to finance the idea is going to get a fair share of the profits as well. Because TOGETHER they both profit… but ALONE they both make zero.

      • Nancy says:

        I totally agree with Jane.
        Why is the attorney getting more money than the one injured? If it weren’t for the injured person, an attorney wouldn’t have that case, & not earn any money.
        Also, let’s not forget the attorney isn’t standing & pleading his case while in constant pain, as many of these Mesh victims have to live through all day every day! If you had to go about your daily activities not just at work, but when you come home to relax, but can’t relax because you are in too much pain to relax.
        Now, what’s that worth to you?
        A few thousand dollars, really?

        • Hal Lewis says:

          Please read the article that I wrote (linked above) and you will see that NOBODY is ever going to say that these settlement offers are “FAIR.” There simply isn’t enough money to make that happen. But the solution to this problem is NOT to then turn on your lawyer and start complaining about his or her fee. Without that lawyer, the recovery would have been NOTHING… as it should be pretty darn evident to everyone by now that NONE of these Mesh manufacturers were ever going to voluntarily go out and pay money to unrepresented victims.

          • Jane Akre says:

            Hal- I so appreciate your presence and knowledge contributed here…. but answer this- should a law firm ever walk away with more than the injured patient? And under what circumstance? I’m not talking about the millions in expenses that it takes to bring a case to court (reasonable expenses that is. flying first class is not a reasonable expense, in my opinion) Surely expenses should be recouped, but the rest of the recovery….?

          • Bejah Butterton says:

            Thank you Hal for all the food for thought. I am reminded about something said by one of us some time ago, that we should just live our lives and be thankful for what we have. Focus on this madness will drain our days and lifeblood. Our counsel, if good attorneys will do what they can for us. Life is precious and I do not what to lose one minute of it. Money will never fundamentally change that. Life is not fair. Be at peace with that.

            Bejah

    • Bejah Butterton says:

      I believe you Hal. Please stay on board with us. There is a sense of security that, however magical, is still comforting.

      Bejah

  4. Lordhelpus says:

    So according to this her injuries were caused by what then? THEY hurt her!! Her wounds were inflicted by these criminals, intentionally!! What don’t they see here these jurors?? Sellouts….

    • Advocate says:

      I wasn’t at this trial, but based on her complaint, her injuries may have seemed a bit convoluted for a jury. It’s not like there is a simple science that links the basic trail for them to follow. The ankle bone is connected to the leg bone kind of thing.

      It seems that many in this forum believe that juries accept the injuries are real and related to mesh. You might forget that the people sitting in the box are not doctors or nurses for the most part. They are not suffering your situation or walking in your shoes. There is no way to know what they are thinking when they hear about abstract issues (abstract to how they think) like dyspaurania, bleeding, loss of enjoyment of life, chronic pain and so on.

      While all of these conditions are common to you as victims and those of us working with you, they can be very foreign to those sitting on a jury. For instance, how does a jury member know you lost enjoyment of life other than you saying so? Loss of sex has always been difficult because there are many who either don’t have it, don’t want it or not sure why it matters. They are challenged to put injury value on things they just may not personally relate as important.

      To bring light to the difficulty of presentation to a jury, I’ll give two trial cases we were involved with over the years and they went the wrong way.

      The first was a man who suffered spine injuries resulting from being struct from behind by a semi truck. The jury just didn’t feel those injuries were all that bad and awarded no damages to the client. Yet a surgery had taken place to fuse discs in the clients back. When we polled the jury afterwards (this trial took place in a rural part of the country) one of the men on the jury said he had suffered back pain for years, went to work in the fields everyday and nobody ever gave him any money.

      In the second case the client was awarded a single dollar for their case. We were totally blindsided as the client had several obvious and related injuries to their accident. Again we had a polling of the jury to find out why they only gave 1 dollar. To a person, they didn’t like the attitude or demeanor of the client when they took the stand. They felt the client believed she were entitled to money. They felt the client was expecting them to do for her, what she was entitled to…money. They believed her injuries and the relationship to the accident, but they were not going to give her 1 penny more than necessary.

      From comments I’ve seen posted here, there are several injured that I wouldn’t want anywhere near a witness stand, because of the entitlement feeling. It’s not that you are not entitled to justice but that you give the impression that you expect a certain monetary number to represent your vision of what is just. That can be problematic for juries.

      Again, I know that explaining this to you makes me a target and Anon will ask again, who I’m a Advocate for. None of that changes the reality of a trial and the basis that trial is never better than 50/50, even when we feel good about our position. It’s not a negativity but an unfortunate fact of litigation. Justice cannot come with an expectation of money, even when we ask juries to consider that as part of the equation.

      • Jane Akre says:

        Thank you advocate for reminding us that juries are not always predictable. I personally believe some may not be honest when they are “interviewed” (voire dire) and may have preexisting biases and can’t wait to hit it to the (pick one) defendant or plaintiff. Thank you for your insight.

        • Bejah Butterton says:

          It has always been my impression (bias) that in jury selection attorneys seek out not only the less informed but the less intelligent prospective juror, one who is turned on by being part of the process, one who wants to then do their part for America and not let some money hungry woman try to parlay her aches and pains into big bucks.

          Bejah

          • Jane Akre says:

            That is funny. I was called for jury duty one time. At the time, I it was in the market where I had been an anchor/reporter so was somewhat known. Neither side wanted me!

      • Anon says:

        Advocate
        I agree totally that trials are highly unpredictable. However, when we sit as jurors we have a duty to base our decisions on the legal facts presented in the case (about the plaintiff) by the attorneys, not to render verdicts based on the jurors personal circumstances or personal feelings/judgements about the plaintiff. These trials are being argued in a court of law where the scales of justice needs to be balanced for mesh victims.
        I do agree with you that all can not/will not get a trial. Most of us just want fair settlements.

        • Lordhelpus says:

          Very well said, Jane/Anon👍👍

        • Hal Lewis says:

          Sure, everyone wants a fair settlement… but I wrote an article years ago for this website (linked above) that explained why that simply is impossible.

          I was hoping when I wrote it that I could change the “group think” that seems to be prevalent when injured victims all get together and commiserate. It is perfectly human and perfectly understandable to all feel like we have been wronged and deserve to be made whole… but it is equally unreasonable to keep feeling that way when reality dictates that it will never happen.

          That can only lead to more anger and frustration… which is exactly what I see here. And again… I blame this on a lot of lawyers out there who promised their clients the moon instead of being brutally honest with them from Day One.

          • Kitty says:

            Hal.. You have a point about jurys’. Look at the beloved comedian Bill Cosby. We all know he is guilty. But look at the plaintiff…she has a face only a mother could love..you think?? Mistrial??

      • Bejah Butterton says:

        I am embarrassed to see the obsession about money in the ranks of the plaintiffs. As we go through these trials the focus, which obviously should be on substance, fact and just conduct becomes watered down and muddled, by the introduction of what the key components are worth in monetary terms, the only way we seem to know how to measure anything. We need to employ these cases to assist us in modifying the law so that it is more effective. I would like to see more money go into education than paying people off outside of coverage of things like medical expenses, etc.

        Should discussion of monetary compensation and other types of compensation be near the end of the process as a matter of procedure?

        Off topic (The prisoner, post conviction). He might be assigned to work for the head of building maintenance making sure the bathrooms are nice and tidy. Doing this for a few years along with psychotherapy, exercise and plenty of broccoli should make of him a better citizen. We could graduate him to head of maintenance and observe how he manages. Rehabilitation is a long process.

        In the end, when I read posts like Anon’s, …we seem unredeemable as a species and my post makes me sound like Twinkle Toes.

        B

        Bejah

        • Kitty says:

          BUTTERNUT….What is the problem u have with Anon…she is a really good person. Talk to the hand.

          • Jane Akre says:

            Kitty- You ask why I edit you. First, I do so quiet infrequently. When you refer to Butterton as “Butternut” are you being kind to one another, as it required by my rules. Yes, my rules!! Thank you. Just for everyone, please do not get into personal back and forth on this site. It is not productive. Find a productive, positive way to communicate, no sniping allowed! Thank you all.

        • Anon says:

          Sorry Bejah!!! My words are genuinely meant to encourage, strengthen and to build up.

  5. Anon says:

    I am represented by a very capable law firm that has been honest with me from the beginning. They are working to secure reasonable settlements for their clients. You have obviously never heard the name Adam Slater, of Mazie, Slater, Katz, Freeman.

  6. Anon says:

    Reality Is……………..there has been reasonable settlements accomplished in this tort. There are law firms in this country tirelessly fighting to secure their clients reasonable and fair settlements. You have obviously never heard the name…… Adam Slater of MSKF.

  7. Bejah Butterton says:

    Hello all, I went to my Urologist this week due to increased pain and other strange sensations. He told me he is going to order something called BCG. They called me this afternoon about it. I must go in and have this put in my bladder once a week for six weeks. That means I have to take a bus from Yucca Valley (4,000 feet at my house) to the desert floor in Palm Springs six times at a cost of $11.50 and pick up at 9am and return home at 7pm for six days in a row. I have trouble with exhaustion just doing it for two days in a row. I am going to ask if there are any alternatives. Doctors up here are not an option as they are all inept IMHO as is the little hospital. Has anyone had this done? Please share thoughts. Thanks.

    Bejah

    • Still standing says:

      Bejah, so good to read your words. I’m sorry you have been traveling in a dark place, a place we have all become quite accustomed to. It sounds as if your doctor is doing bladder cocktails. They can help soothe an irritated bladder. I have had them done quite often until I started taking d-Manosse, an over the counter supplement that coats the bladder and bacteria don’t adhere to bladder walls. I have taken it for a year and a half with no UTIs. Before this, I had a UTI every six weeks. Can order on amazon and they are not expensive at all. The surgery has shortened our urethras. They are normally 2-2.5″ long, mine is now about 1/2 inch, so it is easy for bacteria to get into the bladder. Back to the bladder instillations, I learned how to do them myself. It is not hard to do. I just had the vials of the three medicines, drew them up into a syringe, insert a catheter and put the medication through it. Then you remove the catheter. It is much easier than it sounds. Your doctors nurse can teach you in less than 15minutes. It would certainly save you money and the exhaustion of a long bus ride. You have to retain the cocktail for at least an hour or up to 3-4 hours. It may be a good option for you. Changing your diet to avoid acidic foods can help as well. You can find a list of foods that irritate the bladder using google. Avoiding these during a flare can help. Don’t be a stranger, my friend. Be well.

      • Bejah Butterton says:

        Dear SS, Thank you for the wonderful advice. I will follow up. I do try to keep the little bladder empty because my sense is that the urine is like battery acid and explains in part why there is the burning also with the vulva/Vulvodynia. It is shocking to me that your U. is now so small. Imagine after all we have been through, still being shocked by something. So nice to hear from you. Funny you mention “stranger”…I was once checking out at a market in Santa Monica and the checker told me that my name means “stranger”. Bejah

        • Bejah Butterton says:

          A little more on dental damage and BCG

          Dr. Bryan R. Krey and retired engineer Richard G. Dong join forces to facilitate implant placement during cancer treatment

          Background
          Dental problems of cancer patients are often worsened when the patient undergoes chemotherapy. Dentists and other dental care professionals have seen this. Dental problems definitely worsened for Dr. Richard G. Dong, a retired engineer, during his 3½ years of treatment with the chemo-therapeutic drug Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), a live bacteria injection used to treat bladder cancer. The problems included persistent infections developing in two existing molar dental implants on teeth Nos. 19 and 30. Dr. Bryan R. Krey is the oral surgeon performing the dental implant procedures and has followed Dr. Dong’s problems and his inventive ways of handling them. This article describes the simple instruments and techniques Dr. Dong developed that saved one of the existing implants and, together with Dr. Krey’s help, extended the life of the other by an estimated 2 years. Conclusions reached by Dr. Dong and Dr. Krey are summarized at the end of the article regarding the handling and designing of implants for individuals on chemotherapy or who had chemotherapy, and who had experienced worsened dental problems while on chemotherapy.

          So we know that there is dental damage where there is cancer but why where there is propelene mesh? Still looking. The plot thickens. I am assuming you guys are interested in this. Also it is intended as a jumping off point for you to do your own looking around. This could be important for us.

          Bejah

          • Jane Akre says:

            I hear that all the time from mesh implanted, hernia too. Maybe it’s just a good coincidence?

      • Bejah Butterton says:

        Dear SS and everyone, I just looked up what they told me they are putting in my bladder (Can not recall if it is every day or every week at the moment) and now I feel really afraid not that I have not looked death in the eye throughout this before. Here is the excerpt: Bacillus Calmette-Guerin therapy: Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) is the main intravesical immunotherapy for treating early-stage bladder cancer. BCG is a germ that is related to the one that causes tuberculosis (TB), but it doesn’t usually cause serious disease. BCG is put directly into the bladder through a catheter. Any thoughts or comments? Bejah

        • Still standing says:

          Hi Bejah. I did some research today about BCG and any off label applications. Cancer drugs are often used for off label treatments. I am getting weekly methotrexate Injections ( chemotherapy for breast cancer) to try to stop vulvar and vaginal ulcerations) my doctors believe they are a manifestation of hyper immune system due to the mesh. It is working somewhat so far. I found a research article where BCG was studied for painful bladder/ Interstitial cystitis treatment with some positive results. Here is the article from the National Institutes of Health describing the study.

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0013741/

          It could be that your physician recommends this because of UTIs and other bladder dysfunction symptoms. Of course all drugs have unwanted side effects and this one is no different. I encourage you to ask your physician why he ordered the treatments and what are the costs to benefits concerns. You have a right to know all the potential side effects then make your informed decision about how to progress. I am hopeful that this is why your doctor recommended the BCG treatments. It would be hard to diagnose bladder cancer without cystography and other advanced diagnostic testing that you would have been aware of. Have that conversation as soon as possible to answer your questions and ease your mind.

          • Bejah Butterton says:

            Thanks SS, your argument sounds so reasonable and hopeful, still he should have discussed it with me first. The BCG will damage my teeth more sounds like…so would I rather have a bladder or teeth, ha! I wish to review the article you found. Do I know where it is? Let it be said here that if our physicians wish to give us something we must demand that they explain fully what it is and why first! Also I am going to assume that any of us in my position re bladder is at risk as I am so read people!

            Love ya,

            Bejah

    • Bejah Butterton says:

      Here is a bit more information on BCG which will be injected into my bladder on six separate weeks. If anyone has had this done please consider sharing your experience as others may be interested in our community. Thanks.

      Effective, But Mysterious
      BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin) is a weakened form of a bacterial pathogen that has been used widely as a vaccine for tuberculosis for nearly a century. Beginning in the 1950s, the late Memorial Sloan Kettering cancer immunologist Lloyd J. Old and other researchers began investigating BCG as a treatment for cancer, and clinical studies conducted at Memorial Sloan Kettering demonstrated the effectiveness of this therapy for early-stage bladder cancer.

      Although BCG continues to be the preferred treatment for such cancers, it has not been clear how the pathogen invades the cancer cells and — once inside — leads to their destruction. Many researchers think BCG stimulates some form of antitumor immunity, but the exact mechanism has not been well understood. To add to the puzzle, approximately 30 percent of bladder cancer patients don’t respond to BCG treatment, and no test exists to predict which patients will be resistant.

      “BCG is a mycobacterium — a type of bacteria usually taken in only by certain immune cells that are looking for invaders to destroy,” Dr. Glickman explains. “Mycobacteria are not equipped with a means to force their way into other kinds of cells, so it has been a bit of a mystery how BCG enters bladder cancer cells and why certain cells resist the treatment.”

      Bejah

      • Still Standing says:

        Bejah, follow this link. I hope it will ease your mind. It is not unusual for chemo drugs to be used to treat other things. I have methotrexate injections ( a breast cancer chemo drug) weekly because of severe vulvovaginal ulcerations caused by mesh. They were so bad for several years and completely ate through my vaginal wall. Methotrexate has helped when nothing else did. Anyway, in this article, BCG was compared with two other interventions for painful bladder syndrome. It appears that BCG had some success. I hope this makes you less apprehensive about this treatment and that you are able to have a conversation with your doctor about why he is recommending it and what you should expect. There are, of course, side effects. You have to weigh the benefits against side effects.

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0013741/

        • Bejah Butterton says:

          Thanks, dear heart. Noticing another strange thing….I get up from laying or sitting and completely lose balance, have to hold on and the way I think I am going to fall is not the way I fall and it does go on for a few minutes, also dizziness. What is that….my balance center going haywire….

          Bejah

          • still Standing says:

            Bejah, just click on the link in red at the end of my reply to you. That is the article I referenced. Never agree to a treatment without discussing the potential adverse side effects from the treatment. Your doctors nurse may be able to have a more in depth conversation with you. You deserve that time. Methotrexate causes liver damage and lung problems , but I decided it was worth the risks. My doctor and I had long conversations about starting this treatment,

            I don’t know why I developed ulcerations and others haven’t. The fact that mesh impacts each of us in unique ways is the main reason these lawsuits have been so hard to bring to closure. There is not a list of 1-10 of the main reactions all mesh women have in common. Mesh erosion is one of the main complaints and I had many erosion sites. Yet others who are seriously injured don’t have any mesh erosion and they have very valid complications. Mine current ulcerations are considered a T cell-mediated autoimmune response from my body’s reaction to the mesh. These are so painful and destructive and cant be cured, but managed. I had to have half my vagina cut out it was so damaged. How our body reacts to mesh can be influenced by genetic factors (both my parents had autoimmune disorders . The mesh possibly allowed those genetic factors to be expressed), overall health, physical fitness, nutritional inputs, stress, sleep patterns, social support, tobacco use, the list is endless. As you have mentioned, dental health is compromised. I, too, just finished the scaling process. My ulcerations are also oral and they are viscous. I have ulcerations below the gums , resulting in pain and bone loss. My dentist said my mouth care was great, that there was no way to avoid what was going on. Prior to mesh, I only had 4 cavities in my entire 66 year life. I now have to use a steroid mouth rinse and it plus the methotrexate sometimes isnt enough. Your mouth is not separate from the rest of your body. It is a good indicator of other processes going on internally.

            Maybe in another generation, science will be able to tease out all the things that were wrong about transvaginal mesh. I hope so. I have specified that my body be donated to a medical research hospital so the next physicians will be able closely study mesh and its devastating impact.

        • Bejah Butterton says:

          SS-Why did you have ulcerations and I did not? You have been through so much. You are so strong. Bless you.

          Bejah

          • Bejah Butterton says:

            SS, You are an extraordinary person and I thank GOD for you. Both my brother and I are donating our bodies to Harvard Med, FYI. B

        • Bejah Butterton says:

          OK, I read it. We know that Intersistial Cystitis, Vulvodynia and other conditions begin shortly after implant with polypropelene and sometimes right after, so why? There is something in the process or implanted material that is a catalyst. It should not be difficult to determine what that is. Maybe it is in the drugs used during surgery that differ from drugs used in other surgeries or it is the result of an adverse reaction between drugs and materials in the surgical field.

          Bejah

  8. Bejah Butterton says:

    Hello again people, I have lots of questions in my mind….why is my pain getting worse if the mesh is not doing something to me? Dr. told me the adhesions will not increase unless we go in to do more surgery. Is this true? On their own will the adhesions cause problems? I will of course try to research this a bit as well. I have had a reduction in appetite and weight loss to some degree but this tummy will not go away and I do not think it is advisable to do sit ups given the mesh and my spine issues but I can not stand the tummy. Also my boobies are not getting smaller (I was 36B, then 38B and now I think 38C…I feel like I am pregnant. Why these two areas are such a problem I do not understand. Is is a classic female issue or because of the mesh? What exercizes can I do? It really lifts my spirits to be able to fit in my clothes again but I can not let my loved one see my naked until this is better…he knows as a Christian woman I can not have sex until married so that helps still you know how they try to feel you through your clothes…they are so naughty! I asked my Urologist if it was going to kill me, the mesh, directly or indirectly, and he said it would not kill me but it is killing women. I do not understand. Still, there is so much I do not understand. How much more have we learned about it, who is working on this research that is not funded by JnJ?

    In closing, now in the drug store when I see a notice that says something is approved by FDA it means NOTHING to me.

    Bejah

  9. Kitty says:

    Hello Bejah water exercises are best. Squats and water jog…just be careful not to wear a tight bathing suit if u have pelvic nerve damage. I have spinal involvement too.

    • Bejah Butterton says:

      Hi Kitty dear, I do not know what you mean unless it is literal….jogging in the pool and squatting on the LR floor? My dogs will love both of those! How are you BTW? Take care, Bejah

      • j williams says:

        Hi Bejah,
        I too have gained 60 pounds since they removed my mesh????? My stomach has grown 10 inches. Granted I found out that I have a low thyroid, however since taking medication my stomach has not gone down. I was always a thin person, so this is really upsetting to me. I’ve developed not only the thyroid problem but I also now have arthritis, sleep apnea and had surgery because of a chronic sinus problem. I’ve never been so tired in all my life, and I also get really tired after just doing a little housework, this is not who I was and it makes me really mad that my life is now like this. Anyway, if anyone out there has found any solutions for getting rid of the big tummy, please share with us. Thanks

        • Bejah Butterton says:

          Hi j, Thanks for your note. I will do my best. There was a conversation about this some time ago and we should pull it up as a starting place. I suppose the adhesions cause part of it. I also have become so very tired, need to take naps on and off all day. Where is your arthritis presenting? That may or may not be related to the implant. I have been referred to an Endochronologist so that will be interesting. For now I just do the best I can. Take care.

          Bejah

    • Bejah Butterton says:

      Had to add this….screw the bathing suit!

      Bejah 🙂

  10. Kitty says:

    Hi Bejah. U go in the pool…its like a big baby pool . Get the RX from your Dr. They call it water jogging…a bunch. Of old fossils walking around the pool with noodles. You hang on to pool ledge and u squatt?? Spelling. This pool is no higher than 5 ft at the deepest. MAYBE I am just a hick from Wisconsin…was thinking about u. I have sacral nerve and other nerve damage…but the urogyn doesn’t know how that happened…ha how’s ur back.

    • Bejah Butterton says:

      Dear Kitty, Good to hear from you. Missed ya. I understand. Actually we have one of those pools here. It is called the Center for Healthy Living. There are old fossils here also bouncing up and down at the edge of the pool chattering about what is for lunch at the sr. center that day. I will never be that old! Hope that helps your back a lot. I am preparing to go to UCSF for spinal fusion (lumbar). Still doing pre-op. Take care, Bejah

  11. MyVoice says:

    Seems to me if cases were sent back to their originating courts (since fair settlements offers are reportedly not being offered), then having to defend these cases all over the country by paying their lawyers 40,000 a week (up to 12 lawyers working on a case), might change the fairness factor. However, wouldn’t the MDL court lose their 5% cut straight off the top if cases sent back — seems like a motive not to have them sent back and tried. Also, don’t the manufacturers have the game figured out about lawyers really not wanting to take a case to trial but merely getting their 30 to 40% and what sounds like pressuring clients to take it as “fair” as it is going to get?? Just observations …

    • Hal Lewis says:

      All things being equal… YES, you hit on the big concern that manufacturers would have about the HUGE cost of defending all of these cases.

      BUT… and again, I cite the article I wrote… all things are NOT equal in this situation. There is a “limited
      pot of money, unfortunately.

      SO… while “open season” on lawsuits against these manufacturers would cost them a TON of money in defense costs… that would simply leave a TON LESS in their coffers to pay claims.

      There is zero doubt that these companies would be bankrupt in two years if they had to spend $40,000 a week defending 100,000 cases at one time. The math is obvious.

      And that right there is the CRUX of this whole Mesh mess. On one hand, the MDL is trying to “save” money by only trying a few bellwether cases at a time. This would work… usually.

      But in this case, all the results are doing is CONFIRMING that there is nowhere near enough money to settle every claim. 100,000 claims… average verdict is $3 million… that’s $300 BILLION.

      • MyVoice says:

        With their ethical standards, destroying evidence, putting profit before innocent lives, they should go bankrupt in two years…might operate a little differently. They have certainly bankrupted a lot of lives. It seems they’ve got the game figured out or no CEO would willingly allow that to continue. Seems strange they sue one another in the billions and no one seems worried about them bankrupting one other. It is a David against Golaith situation but if Golaith knows David won’t really fight, they win easily. We need an army of lawyers with character of David and judges too who really want justice to prevail between David and Golaith.

        • Anon says:

          Well said………MyVoice
          Mesh has bankrupt and totally ruined thousands of lives. JJ Ethicon is a 70 billion dollar a year pharmaceutical giant. JJ Ethicon pays billions of dollars each year in fines;
          JJ fined 2.2 billion for kickbacks to doctors (North Dallas Gazette)
          JJ fined 70 million for bribing doctors (European doctors)
          JJ fined 2 billion for false marketing
          JJ fined agrees to pay 2.2 billion in drug-marketing settlement ——-Washington Post
          JJ agrees to pay 70 million for bribes, kickbacks——-to settle with SEC and DOJ
          JJ penalized 1.1 billion by Arkansas Judge
          Do your research and please consider the source
          There are moles commenting on this site

          • Hal Lewis says:

            I’m not sure to whom the “moles” comment is addressed… but I suspect there are a few “Pro-Manufacturer” folks reading this site all the time. I certainly hope that nobody believes that I am a mole just because I see the positives in a global resolution. Trust me, I would sleep better at night knowing that ALL of these dirty companies were bankrupted by this litigation… but it would drag out for 30 years like the asbestos mess. Most victims would die before seeing a dime.

          • Jane Akre says:

            No one believes you are a mole Hal…… Hal Lew is a trial attorney in Tallahassee, just in case anyone wondered. Thanks Hal for your thoughtful comments. Much appreciated.

            and HELLO to all you folks at BSC and J&J, Bard and Caldera. Thanks for reading!! Do the right thing. And you know what the right thing is. A 5$ billion global settlement would be a good start. You’ll sleep better at night.

  12. Kitty says:

    The last post for CR BARD 2187 developments was on 6.6.17 . Will they continue to post on 2187 as CR BARD or will it be BD? Jane? Hal?

  13. Monica says:

    I’ve heard the jury turned Ms. Adkins down because of her age and said this was the reason for her pains and such. Is this a reality?

    • Jane Akre says:

      Monica- I so wish I had the funds to sit in on these trials, so sadly I do not have the answer to your question. Anyone who lives in Philly, it would be great if you could sit in. Anyone live there have a guest room? It costs me a lot to cover these trials and I did it for awhile but accrued debt, which I decided isn’t fair to me. Anyone?

  14. Disgusted says:

    The J&J settlement offers are BS, attorneys are urging the clients to agree to these mass settlements so they can make not only 40% but charge the client excessive fees at ridiculous costs for stamps, phone calls, web searches, etc. Then on top of the so called grand settlement offer, the insurance company gets to step in and take yet even more from your settlement. So here is a example, Settlement offer for injured plaintiff is $100, 000.00 The court takes 5% of that right off the top, that is $5000.00. Now your balance is $95,000.00, the attorneys fee is 40%, there goes $38,000.00, leaving you left with $57,000.00, oh but wait, now your attorney has tacked on $11,000.00 worth of fees that are so vaguely described as medical record searches, FedEx, etc. Now you are down to $46,000.00, but wait, they aren’t finished, 25% of that $100,000.00 dollar settlement is put in escrow so they can “ask” the insurance company if they want it! LOL, of course they do so there goes $25,000.00 and now your $100,000.00 settlement offer is reduced to $21,000.00. Oh and your husband is completely cut out of the deal, no questions asked, just done! The big fat cherry on top of all of it is that you get to claim and pay taxes on the full $100,000.00 Yes, that is correct, and if by some chance you are on disability because of the damage caused by the mesh, well you could lose that as well because of your GRAND settlement offer. These are the facts. Injured client gets to claim $100,000.00 income to pay taxes on, out of that $100,000.00 attorney gets $49,000.00, Insurance Company gets $25,000.00, the court or the CBF gets $5000.00 and you get $21,000.00. Your loss of income, the cost of future surgeries, prescriptions and doctors aren’t even a factor. So the Mesh is the Devils gift that keeps on gifting, and you don’t get to return it for a full refund. No, the attorney should not make more money then you on your injury, the attorney should at least wave the ridiculous and excessive charges that they are tacking on. 40% should be the total cost of taking the case, even if they reduce that $11,000.00 fee, they still end up with more then the injured client. This is not justice, this is a business.

    • Still Standing says:

      Anon, just to clarify a couple of things. The attorneys will get 40% of the $100,000, not of the $95,000. However, you pay NO income taxes on your settlement. If it was a jury award, you would have to pay taxes on the punitive damages, but not the actual damages. After the lien search and payment to insurance, Medicare , Medicaid or bankruptcy debt, you will get the remainder of the money back. The 25% holdback for liens is a law. This happens with anyone in medical litigation and is not something the this MDL does on its own. The 5% that is paid into the common fund is to pay for the discovery that is done on behalf of all the litigants. For example, an expert witness is very expensive, literally thousands for one deposition or testimony. It would be cost prohibitive for most litigants to pay for all of that individually, so the 5% is shared cost. My law firm paid 4% and I paid 1%. That could certainly be negotiated. Had your case been worked up,for trial, your case costs on your example would be 4-10 times $11,000. I do not believe that MDLs are good for plaintiffs at all. All of us need to work to expose the underbelly of this practice. Unfortunately, it is the system that we have to navigate through at the present. Hopefully, there will be a better system put in place in the future as the judicial system tries to fix the terrible mess they have created.

      • Jane Akre says:

        I like that you suggested a split to the 5% with your law firm. That sounds entirely fair. Good for you!!!! It is entirely negotiable since Judge Goodwin did not specify what the split should be. Many law firms are taking the full 5% out of the plaintiffs cut. Be an advocate for yourself and split it!

    • Anon, just one more thing to think about. Plaintiff attorneys put up all of the litigation costs when they take your case and get nothing if nothing is recovered. If an attorney takes a case for a flat 40% and could not recover their normal litigation costs, they would not take many cases on contingency, which would leave most of us without representation. Many lawfirms have to borrow money to carry these contingency cases. If an attorney takes 40% only they may be reluctant to move cases toward trial because of the costs. My case was a wave case and was trial ready. My case costs were more than $75,000. This included my deposition and depositions of five doctors. Deposition costs for court reporting and videography are huge. Each doctor charged $1500/hr, so you can see how quickly that adds up. Plus they had to travel around the country to take these depositions. Plaintiff attorneys expend these actual costs without assurance that money will be recovered. Look at the verdicts that were in favor of the defendant. Those cases cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, not to the plaintiff, but to the law firm. I imagine that some expenses are padded, but there are significant and legitimate costs attached to litigation. We brought the legal action and must acknowledge that we have to pay for doing so. Lawyers do have to make money on cases. That is how they keep the lights on and how they feed their family. They have to pay for paralegals and other staff, rent, office equipment, insurance, as any other business does. I’m not taking up for attorneys who are not accountable to their clients and take advantage of them, but I think it is important to remember that we initiated the lawsuit and must pay for legitimate legal services. The average hourly attorney fee is currently about $350 if we were being billed hourly. That can add up rather quickly.

      • Jane Akre says:

        Thank you Still. Many people are unhappy with their law firms here and some have very valid complaints!!! Even lawyers know that not all are ethical and above board. But many work very hard and you are right, expend a lot of time, money and energy to get to the settlement table or to prepare for trial……It’s difficult to fully understand unless you walk in their shoes…

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