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Mullins Deadlines Set to Move Consolidated Pelvic Mesh Case To Trial

Byrd Federal Court in Charleston, WV

Byrd Federal Court in Charleston, WV, June 2, 2015

It is the case that would consolidate 37 women, all implanted with Ethicon’s TVT (tranasvaginal tape) mesh into one trial.

It was schedule to be heard April 11, but now a new schedule issued  by the judge presiding over this federal multidistrict litigation attempts to close any loopholes that have allowed the case to miss its trial date.

When it is heard later this year, it will be the largest number of plaintiffs to face Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson, in one trial. There are more than 31,000 defective product cases filed before Judge Goodwin in this multidistrict litigation naming Ethicon, more than any of the other six plaintiffs.

Terreski Mullins and her 36 co-plaintiffs all reside in West Virginia, Even though they had different implanting physicians, they all received the TVT, a mesh used to treat incontinence.  All claim injuries from the procedure and the mesh. In an effort to move  these cases along, they were consolidated into one trial.

Judge Joseph Goodwin

Judge Joseph Goodwin

Judge Joseph Goodwin, in an order issued March 15th, says no case specific discovery has been conducted on the design defect claims, though discovery, expert disclosure and pretrial motions have been completed.  The defense medical exams have also not been completed as there was disagreement on just what plaintiffs could request to make the exams more convenient and less intrusive.

Judge Goodwin in his order sets specific deadlines to move things along. Among them:

*March 31, 2016 –  Plaintiff Face Sheet should be completed

*May  12, 2016- Interrogatories, Request for Admissions and documents should be completed. Both sides are limited to 15 interrogatories (a series of questions the other side poses of plaintiffs). Each side is limited to no more than six experts.

*May 26, 2016 – Plaintiffs serve expert reports on causation, warnings or case specific issues.

*June 16, 2016 ~ Defendants shall serve expert reports on causation, warnings and or case specific issues.

*June 27, 2016~ Rebuttal Expert Reports shall be served by plaintiffs on that date.

*July 25, 2016 ~ All discovery ends. (That is request of documentation from the other side).  Motions in Limine are filed on this date, (what will be excluded from the trial).

While there is no date set for the Mullins trial of 37 plaintiffs, it could be assumed to be conducted sometime after August 8, 2016 when the response briefs to the Motions in Limine are due.

Dr. Eddie Sze, MD formerly of WV University Hospital

Dr. Eddie Sze, MD formerly of WV University Hospital

Plaintiffs immediately notified the court that they have set the depositions for the implanting physicians. They include:

May 18, 2016, the deposition of Courtney Pettiford, M.D. a doctor from Beckley, WV who implanted the TVT in Ms. Dameron (Case No. 2:13-cv-14799. The deposition of Dr. Joe Ellington will be conducted on May 20, another implanting physician from Princeton, WV. The deposition of Dr. Juddson Lindley, M.D. will be taken May 16th in Beckley, WV. Also in Beckley is Dr. Todd Resley who will be deposed May 24, 2016. (related to Ms. Cook’s implant. Case No. 2:13-cv-29260). 

From Summersville, WV Dr. Lukasz Rostocki, M.D.’s deposition will be taken May 25. From Morgantown, WV, the deposition of Dr. Stanley Zaslau will be taken on May 26th. Dr. Cyrus Mali, M.D. of Charleston WV will be deposed by the plaintiffs on May 25, 2016 in relation to the case of Ms. Javins (Case No. 2:13-cv-29260).

Dr. Eddie Sze of Syracuse, NY, will also be deposed on May 3, in that city as well as April 29th by another plaintiff law firm. He was previously appointed to West Virginia university Hospital from 2005 to 2012.  #

 

LEARN MORE:

So,. District of WV, Fourth Amended Docket Control Order, Doc #258

You will need a Pacer Account.   Case No. 2:12-cv-02952,  So District of WV

26 Comments

  1. Debi says:

    Ok, maybe I am not the smartest duck in the pond, but WHY was all this not taken care of before now? This has been going on far too long, now more paperwork, what’s up with that…… someone is dropping the ball on this, but it makes me wonder if

    JNJ is doing this to buy time so they are about to work up a settlement. You would think with the shareholders meeting right around the corner they are going to try to get us out of the way.

    Just a thought.

    • Don't give up! says:

      Debi I hope your right about J&J trying to buy time to settle its been taking a hard toll on them as of so far February was a hard month for them with mesh cases but it’s J&J where talking about who knows what there up to now.

      Let’s all hope that they are buying time to settle they know if this one goes bad it’s going to cast them big.

  2. kitty says:

    So…….they will not be seen as a group?

    • Jane Akre says:

      Not a lawyer but on the issues of defective design they will be seen as a group, their individual harms will be seen individually…. clear as mud? I guess we will have to sit there and watch…

  3. Dawn Zalud says:

    Everything I have read on this case involves women in West Virginia. What about women in other parts of the US that have been implanted and suffered significant injury from this manufacturer Johnson & Johnson Ethicon vaginal mesh tape. Are we being ignored?

    • Jane Akre says:

      This particular case, and only this case, involves 37 women from west virginia whose cases are consolidated into one trial. There are 700 pages plus on Mesh News Desk with LOTS of news about other women from other parts of the country. Put “trial” in the Search Bar and you can read about them.

    • I agree with you what about all of us other Women. I bet if these men couldn’t have sex because of all the pain this has cost they would put a fire under some one.

  4. Mary Pat says:

    Think a about this: if a design harms only one person, the jury will wonder if maybe that person was unique somehow. If a design harms 37 people, it is more obvious that the problem is the design/device. “Was it a fluke, or a common problem?” I am sure the defendents will do everything they can to stop this trial. Imagine if the jury was deliberating on 100,000 design defects in one hearing. Do you think they would question whether the injuries were unique to the patient or widespread due to a design defect? Our sheer numbers give plaintiffs cases strength. The fact that judges will not allow those “sheer numbers” as evidence in the trials gives the defendents more of an advantage. Somehow, someway, we must unite and start using our “sheer numbers” to make a difference.

  5. karen says:

    SEAT WARMERS !!!!

    THIS MUCH LONG SEATING SURE HURTS ME OVER MY ENTIRE BODY !!!!!

    MILKING THAT OLD CLOCK ? TICK TOCK????

    STILL WAITING ON MORE WOMEN TOO DIE OFF ????

    THE WOMAN DIED FROM THE BABY POWDER YOU LOST 73 MILLION JNJ !!!! YOU WILL PAY EVERY PENNY !!!!

    JNJ WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF ???? WOMEN !!!!!

    JUDGE GOODWIN IS TAKING 7 MORE MONTHS ? BUT THIS TIRES UP THE COURTS SCHEDULE !!!!

    ANOTHER CIRCUS ACK THAT GETS LARGER AND LARGER !!! TOO MANY CLOWNS !!! FOR THIS LONG TIME PONZI SCHEME THAT HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR OVER 20 YEARS !!! I THOUGHT ENRON JUDGE TOOK 15 YEARS , THE HOUSING MARKET STILL LOSING !!!!’

    I NEVER FIGURED THIS MUCH HATRED FOR WOMEN BY ALL THESE MEN COULD GO SO LONG IN AMERICA !!!

    BUT WHEN ITS TIME FOR ALL THE INSURANCE INDUSTRIES LAWSUITS AGAINST VAGINAL MESH INDUSTRIES START THEIR TRIALS WILL ONLY TAKE A WEEK AND WILL SETTLE IN THE BILLIONS , PER INSURANCE COMPANY HANDS DOWN !!!!!

    AND THAT JUDGE WILL JUST BE A SEAT WARMER AGAIN !!!!!

    JUST DISGUSTING !!!!

    I KNOW WOMEN ARE NOT RESPECTED IN THE WORLD BUT IN AMERICA EITHER !!!!

    RIGHT NOW THESE MEN WITHIN THE VAGINAL MESH INDUSTRIES IN AMERICAN ARE BEHAVING AS IF AMERICAN WOMEN ARE TERRORIST !!! YOU STARTED THIS WAR JNJ !!!

    WOMEN ARE NOT 2ND HAND CITIZENS , WOMEN ARE NOT LIVESTOCK !!!

    AGAIN WHY ARE JUDGES ALLOWED TOO HAVE A COURT HOUSE , AND A COURT ROOM WHEN THEY ARE JUST SEAT WARMERS !!!!

    AND DONT HAND ME THAT LAW BOOK RULES AND GUIDELINE JUSTICE FOR ALL JUNK !!!!

    THAT LEFT THE BUILDING WHEN POLYPROPYLENE HARD PLASTIC WAS APPROVED BY THE FDA AN AMERICAN PROTECTION AGENCIES THAT KEEP THE SEATS WARM !!!!

    YOU MEN WILL HAVE YOUR TURN AND WOMEN WILL JUDGE YOU ALSO !!!!

    LUCK ON THAT !!! AND WE ALL HOW LUCK PLAYS OUT ?????

    • Don't give up! says:

      Karen: This fight is against mesh right you do know a lot of men are also fighting for there health to by having mesh put into there body’s to right.Ive been fighting with my wife going on six years now and when this site first started I was reading every article I could when Jane wrote one.Not all men are bad Karen if you look at the lawyers for these big companies lots are women and they are trying to say mesh is good and not defective so please don’t blame all men it’s not fair.If you think for one moment I’m not mad as hell as my wife has gone through hell and still is going through hell im furious that this happened and still is happening to people men and women with mesh being used on them.I know this all started over vaginal mesh but it’s the polypropylene plastic that is used in mesh and used in most mesh which shouldn’t be used no disrespect Karen just thought I’d speak my mind thx.

      • Karen says:

        Hi dont give up
        I do want to apologize for stating all men . I know there’s wonderful men in this world i have 3 now at home with me . But those evil ones that have butchered and slaughtered us from mesh . Please forgive me . Take care
        Thank you

  6. karen says:

    Concerns: Transvaginal mesh legal suits are expected to reach more than $20 billion.

    See your ad here

    THE woman on the end of the phone line said hello and gave her name, and then the sobbing started. For at least a minute she tried to talk but the sobbing overwhelmed her. She regained some control and apologised: “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I’ve just had no one to talk to”.

    Then the sobbing resumed as she gasped: “I’m rotting from the inside.”

    The woman is in her 50s. In 2012 she had surgery to treat prolapse – where a woman’s uterus bulges into the vagina, typically after pregnancy – and her gynaecologist, who has worked in the Hunter, the Central Coast, Sydney and other parts of NSW, spoke about the benefits of using mesh as an internal sling to pull her organs back into place.

    He recommended “natural” mesh made of pig intestines, and surgery through the vagina rather than the abdomen.

    In a paper for other doctors in 2007 the gynaecologist praised the “natural” mesh over earlier biological prolapse treatments which, he said, women’s immune systems came to regard as “dead tissue” subject to “a strong foreign body reaction”.

    In the 2007 paper the doctor declared a conflict of interest – he was being funded by the pig intestine mesh manufacturer to conduct a trial of the mesh’s use in women’s bodies.

    The woman said she knew nothing of that.

    The pain after surgery started immediately. It worsened with time. Then the “horrible smell” started, the rounds of antibiotics to treat infections, and comments from the gynaecologist that it was “just the healing process”.

    After nine months she had a nervous breakdown.

    See your ad here

    In chronic pain, unable to have sex, isolated, emotionally shattered and coming to terms with the shocking knowledge there was little surgically that could be done to relieve the pain or remove the mesh, she hinted at suicidal thoughts.

    “I felt like I was treated like a guinea pig,” she said, and sobbed.

    “Why is this allowed to happen?”

    It only made it worse to hear there are many other women like her.

    What has become a global mesh catastrophe for possibly more than 100,000 women who sought prolapse treatment over a decade – which could become one of the biggest medico-legal cases in history – started with a United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision in 2001.

    The FDA approved a prolapse mesh device for surgery through a woman’s vagina based on it being “substantially equivalent” to an existing device for surgical incontinence treatment.

    Any differences between the devices “do not raise new questions of safety and efficacy”, the FDA stated, so a new prolapse mesh kit device was approved without the rigorous pre-market testing required of new devices or Class III high risk devices.

    The decision, which provided a treatment option for gynaecologists in a difficult area where up to 50 per cent of women seek help for prolapse and incontinence problems over their lifetimes, and up to 19 per cent of American women receive surgical treatment, opened a door and manufacturers responded.

    Within a few years up to 40 companies had more than 60 surgical mesh kits for prolapse patients on the American market stating they were “substantially equivalent” to other mesh products, and all reliant on the 2001 FDA approval. They included biological or “natural” mesh products as well as polypropylene plastic devices for vaginal access, or transvaginal, surgery.

    By 2012 there were 47 prolapse and incontinence devices on the Australian market.

    The only problem was the FDA’s decision process was flawed, said leading Australian urogynaecologist and Queensland University Associate Professor Chris Maher in a paper in 2013 headed The Transvaginal Mesh Decade.

    The device approved in 2001 was subject to high complication and infection rates when used to treat prolapse, and was modified and gained a new clearance seven years later.

    But the genie was out of the bottle.

    The first mesh kits with tools to insert the mesh through incisions in a woman’s vagina were on the market in America in 2004. By 2010 more than 300,000 mesh kits a year were being used for prolapse surgery.

    But by that stage adverse event reports were also being logged, with a five-fold increase in adverse reports to the FDA between 2005-2007 and 2008-2010.

    The adverse events included mesh erosion and extrusion into the vagina and urinary tract, bleeding and infections, organ perforation, severe and chronic pain, nerve entrapment and urinary problems.

    By 2013 a Newcastle specialist complained to the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) about the lack of “rigorous constraints” controlling new medical devices, when compared to drugs, after a woman nearly died of excessive blood loss linked to mesh implant surgery.

    The specialist warned the TGA an approved suture device was unsafe after a woman suffered a severe haemorrhage during a trial. The woman complained to the Health Care Complaints Commission about the specialist, saying the operation “went dramatically wrong”.

    In his paper Associate Professor Maher outlined how mesh devices remained on the market for a decade, with sometimes catastrophic results for many women.

    “These products were aggressively marketed to clinicians by the manufacturers on the basis of FDA clearance,” he said.

    Manufacturers, and not Australian, British and American colleges of obstetrics and gynaecology, trained doctors to use the new mesh products to treat prolapse.

    It was not until 2011, after thousands of adverse event reports and the start of serious litigation by patients, that the FDA determined serious adverse events with mesh were “not rare”, and could be “life-altering” for some women.

    In October 2012 the Australian TGA website noted it had only received 63 adverse event notices, the majority from device manufacturers, despite many thousands of devices being implanted.

    The TGA met with the Urogynaecological Society of Australia where the society reinforced its view “the issues were about the use of these meshes rather than the meshes themselves”.

    In his paper Associate Professor Maher noted at least three members of an international gynaecological association that commented about prolapse mesh devices after the 2011 FDA statement received royalties from device manufacturers.

    By January 2014 the FDA warned manufacturers it proposed to upgrade mesh products for vaginal-entry prolapse surgery to Class III high risk category, requiring manufacturers to provide clinical data supporting device safety, and post-surgical data demonstrating safety and efficacy.

    But by that stage civil suits in the US – and the threat of many more to come – coincided with manufacturers withdrawdrawing devices from the market.

    In a significant case American woman Linda Gross was awarded $11.1 million against Johnson & Johnson after prolapse mesh surgery in February 2013 led to 18 subsequent operations. An appeal by the company is currently being heard in the New Jersey Appeals Court.

    Mesh activist Jane Akre said more than 100,000 women had filed lawsuits against companies, with Philadelphia woman Patricia Hammons, 65, the most recent successful mesh device plaintiff who was awarded $12.5 million against a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary in December.

    Akre said device manufacturers, doctors and regulators had catastrophically failed many women.

    Devices entering the market without the clinical assessment required for drugs meant “patients became the post-market clinical trial subjects and many suffered devastating and permanent injuries”.

    “The woman at the other end of the pelvis was not even thought of,” Akre said.

    Transvaginal mesh legal suits are expected to reach more than $20 billion.

    In an internationally-respected Cochrane Review of studies of mesh devices in February, Associate Professor Maher found the quality of evidence ranged from very low to moderate.

    In a Cochrane editorial in February titled No implementation without evaluation: the case of mesh in vaginal prolapse surgery, University of Auckland Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Cindy Farquhar said the transvaginal mesh decade was a warning to doctors who had to “learn from the lessons of the mesh experience”.

    “New interventions should always be subject to rigorous evaluation through randomised controlled trials, and adoption of new interventions must be accompanied by specific training in their use. Future studies should report adverse events carefully and include reporting pain and quality of life. Our patients deserve better studies and, in the absence of evidence, better advice.”

    Port Stephens MP, health lawyer and member of NSW Parliament’s committee on the Health Care Complaints Commission, Kate Washington, said the mesh debacle was consistent with “the dismissive nature of the medical fraternity to women who’ve had significant injury following birth”, including many who suffered with prolapse.

    “This dismissive attitude to what are really serious problems for women is really embedded in the medical profession.”

    The low number of formal complaints from women to Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration about mesh devices was not surprising, she said.

    “This is a hidden issue. The women involved are vulnerable, embarrassed and mortified by what’s happened to them in terms of the injuries they’ve sustained, and the fact that it’s hidden has allowed practices like this to flourish.”

    Associate Professor Maher said while regulators in Australia and America had failed to monitor and influence clinician behaviour relating to transvaginal mesh, litigation lawyers and publicity had brought about change.

    “This scenario is completely unsatisfactory for all pelvic floor clinicians who have failed to demand a satisfactory level of evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of a product prior to its utilization,” he said.

    “It is vital that we review the events that allowed the women we are trained to serve to be exposed to unknown risk during the surgical treatment of prolapse.”

    In 2012 in response to rising concerns about mesh the Australian TGA said it was not possible to know “all the possible complications that may develop” when a new medical device is approved for use.

  7. Anna Daniel says:

    In reading the posts above I can relate to the women with whom I
    can relate to…
    Have gone through most of the areas
    of post mesh horrors, that are permanent…
    Now I read the latest ‘News’…
    it is not only bad news, it’s more than terrible…
    Is it true that mass tort litigant cases have become a commodity for big money investors?…
    What??? Is this true???

  8. Janis Urban says:

    Our comments and conversations throughout the years here on Mesh News Desk are very rarely ever missed by any reader that visits the site. Readers check the site several times a day waiting for the next article to be posted along with it’s comments. A credit to Jane Akre’s Journalistic Integrity and commitment to a story. The topic of Mesh has been covered well and will continue to be covered for the Mesh Story has so many twists and turns. I just wish that the words from some of the comments and conversations could reach around the world. Say on Twitter? All of your words are the Truth and are a powerful tool and I feel your words need to be utilized and shared. Think about it…See you on Twitter.

    • Mary Pat says:

      Can you give us a Twitter lesson? I don’t know how to use it and I bet many others do no, as well. Educate us!

      • Still Standing says:

        Just a cautionary word about Twitter or other social media. All law firms have attorneys who are expert in digital footprints, especially and including the defense. I am posting a link below about how your digital footprint can be traced. I think you should discuss using twitter with your lawyer before you put yourself out there. I imagine that a good defense team will bring any copies of your tweets and other social media to your deposition. Your attorney should not be blindsided at deposition by casual comments you make. You have the right to discuss your mesh issues andcwe should in order to educate ourselves, but discussing your case specifically is something you have agreed in your contract to not do. By posting in multiples social media sites you open yourself up to slip ups. I imagine Jane’s site has a more protective layer than the very open facebook, twitter, etc. is that a correct assumption, Jane?

        https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/social-media-legal-system-digital-footprints-amy-a-edwards

        • Jane Akre says:

          The guts of the site are available only to me. So that is some security but really not truly protection. I believe lawyers don’t want to spend time in discovery and at a deposition wasted discussing someone saying on facebook ” I cant walk” or I’m in chronic pain”…. I’ve never understood how that hurts ones case. Regardless, Im not an attorney, be careful, do not speculate, or blame, only say what you personally know to be true, that is, about your condition… Take a look at your Complaint. That is public record and lays out the facts of your case. …stick to that.

          • Still Standing says:

            To the contrary, Jane. At my deposition, they brought copies of articles I had written for a magazine, a post about mesh on a site I didnt even remember doing, ….they had a very thorough record of everything concerning my name through google. They throw that crap out first, to get you imtimidated from the start. They knew things about my adult children that was shocking to me. Why do they come to deposition with these?…..to make you believe that they kmow every inch of your life. It just made me determined to speak the truth with authority…my attorney said some women broke down and couldnt finish the deposition. So, be prepared for those probing personal questions.

          • Jane Akre says:

            I’ve been deposed and understand they are intended to intimidate and waste money… no doubt. But if you wrote an article about your current physical and mental state AND you stand by that article, what can they do with it? Besides throwing it up in your face- how did knowing that really help them? Seriously, I’m curious, did it get them any points?

            I understand it hurt you and scared you to know the depths defense will go.

            Unless you blamed your doctor (implication- not the mesh manufacturer) or you said you were fully informed about the risks and went ahead anyway, (I’m sure there are other examples of where they could pick you apart) but ultimately you are saying what you will say at trial- that your life was dramatically altered after their product….something they don’t want to hear and certainly do not want you to say at trial.

            So please be careful what you say about your condition. Speak about yourself only, do not speculate and/or cast doubt on others because it may hurt their case. All of this is just my opinion ….

        • Tiredofmesh says:

          I was asked specifically in one of the questionaires my attorney had me fill out for my court file-my screen names and handles and if I spoke about mesh on the internet.

          So I have always been anonymous.

  9. My wife and I have suffered for over 5 years now with the results of J&J’s inferior product. Our quality of life has dwindled so low as we are on the verge of losing everything we have so hard for in the last 35 years. This is a devastating situation we are in. All because of a money hungry company that performed no testing on there product before they sold it. This travesty just has not effected the women that received the product it is effecting families and even could effect a generation. Another thing, how could one Judge handle this type of case load with thousands of women out there suffering from this situation. I can’t belive the federal government has not gotten involded to settle these cases and force J&J to settle these claims. These cases need to be heard, NOW! I wish those bastards at J&J could see my beautiful wife of 38 years suffer everyday just to survive, I hope they suffer one of these days….Somebody needs to involved the government into these cases and get them heard!!! They need to act now!!!

    • Jane Akre says:

      It certainly is time for a Congressional hearing not unlike what Essure folks did by getting a representative to forward their cause. Why is that so difficult for mesh? I’m so sorry about your situation… I’m glad you have stood by your wife… many men do not. Thank you!

  10. Mary Pat says:

    How do we get a congressional hearing? Lets do it.

    • Still Standing says:

      I think we could get a hearing at some time, but election year wont be the time. Our members of congress dont take up controversial topics in election years. Sad, but so true. Pitting them against corporations and physicians will not be a strong political move. Since the entire Senate is up for re-election this year, they will more than likely play it safe. Politics, you know? But there are wheels that can start turning before then. Here is the thing. There are two main concerns: Is mesh suitable for human implantation? and were corporations criminally complicit in taking the mesh to market? Those two get mixed up in conversations. Which one would be the main message? One is a medical issue, the other a consumer issue. How the problem is defined would dictate what house and senate committees would take up the issue.

  11. Chris says:

    So, these women have to go through the horror of those sick disgusting painful tests all over again, then docs need to be deposed, more paperwork filed, etc, etc etc. Hulk hogan filed suit, already went to trial, won and was awarded millions for invasion of privacy, yet all of these women, myself included have waited Years while our PRIVATES have been irreversibly damaged, facing multiple corrective surgeries that may or may not correct ongoing problems, our marriages destroyed, and our lives, our minds left in ruin while j&j twittles their thumbs, requests more postponements, anything to drag this on. HOw in God s name is this possible! They have killed women, caused destruction of lives, it’s sickens me…

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