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Plaintiff on the Stand in Perry v. Ethicon Pelvic Mesh Trial

cvnThanks to Courtroom View Network for access to live streaming video of the Perry v. Ethicon trial. Mesh News Desk is prevented from showing any plaintiffs or evidence or from quoting directly from the case.

Coleen Perry took the stand in her pelvic mesh defective product case against Ethicon on Wednesday, February 4.

She is an attractive woman, about 50 years old, with light blonde hair cut in wavy layers. She is wearing a sleeveless print dress and does not appear to be overweight as was alluded to in the opening statement by the defense counsel. She speaks clearly, is friendly and gives complete answers to one of her attorneys, Peter de la Cerda (Edwards & de la Cerda.)

Ms. Perry experienced incontinence and went to consult with Dr. Singh in her home town of Tehachapi, California, 35 miles east/ southeast of Bakersfield, California where this trial is being held.

Case 1:13-cv-00729-AWI-JLT 

Judge Lorna Brumfield, Metropolitan Division, Superior Court of California, Kern Co.

The complaint (Perry Petition PDF) lists seven causes of action, including Failure to Warn, Design Defect, Negligence, and Loss of Consortium.

Pain Never Goes Away

Peter de la Cerda

Peter de la Cerda

The plaintiff says she was never given patient information about the TVT-Abbrevo, one of the TVT family of polypropylene meshes made by Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson. Under questioning, Ms. Perry said she did not understand the sling could cause lifelong mesh erosion, pelvic and vaginal pain, or painful intercourse.  Had she known, would she have agreed to the sling implant?  No, said Ms. Perry.

The surgery was performed March 2011 by Dr. Luu, a Bakersfield, CA colleague of Dr. Singh. She was told she would be healed in eight weeks.  Instead, Ms. Perry told jurors that the pain never went away and intercourse was painful. Her husband was injured by what felt like shards of glass.  Mesh had eroded through the vaginal wall she was told by her doctor and she’d need a mesh removal which occurred in October 2011.

Dr. Luu told her by removing the mesh and cleaning up scar tissue it would help with her pain.  But the October 2011 surgery did not alleviate the pain.

Around the same time, Ms. Perry went to a medical doctor who used natural treatments and alterations in diet instead of pharmaceuticals as part of a complimentary medicine treatment.  Primarily Ms. Perry wanted to lose weight, get her hormonal irregularities under control including night sweats, digestive problems and diarrhea.  She did not go in for the pelvic pain.   With a positive outcome, Ms. Perry had written a letter commending her doctor on her renewed hormonal health and related problems and began walking again.

Kim schmid

Kim Schmid, Ethicon attorney

In opening arguments, defense attorney Kim Schmid, told jurors that Ms. Perry felt so well after her mesh removal that she wrote a glowing letter to her doctor and had taken up exercise again. But under questioning from her attorney, Ms. Perry said that improvement in her health did not include her pelvic issues which were not even addressed by the alternative practitioner.

Car Accident

In June 2013 she and her husband, a Los Angeles firefighter, were in a car wreck. A taxi ran a stop sign and broadsided them and sent them into another car. The couple’s car was totaled and they were hospitalized.  She sustained injuries in her neck, and under questioning by J&J attorney Kim Schmid, Ms. Perry emphasized the pain was in her neck, not her pelvis.

After her husband retired, the couple prepared a trip to Hawaii.  She said she wasn’t going to let the pain stop her from enjoying the trip of a lifetime with her husband. She was in pain but she decided she was going to push through it.  The couple agreed to join in the activity chosen by each. Since she loves gardening and flowers, they went to gardens. Her husband picked zip lining, and his wife joined him.  Before the jury, defense counsel referred to a photo that showed Ms. Perry zip lining that had been presented during her deposition.

Mr. de la Cerda established Ms. Perry now had a chance to explain the photo in its proper context.

Present Pelvic Pain

The degree of her vaginal pain today depends on whether it’s a good or bad day, said Ms. Perry.  Some days it feels like her tissue is tearing and stretched like its coming apart, pain she’s had since the original surgery.  It’s an everyday occurrence and part of her life.  In terms of rating her pain, on the lower end of the scale it’s a 3. She has days where it is more moderate depending on her activity. Then there are days when she has to lay down. It’s always there, she said. Bending, lifting, housecleaning, doing the laundry, any movement can make it worse.  Every aspect of intercourse is painful and sometimes the pain causes her to see stars and is impossible to finish, she said tearing up.

How has it affected her relationship with her husband?  She said she feels like damaged goods because of a decision which has ruined everything. She twirls a tissue as she described pulling away from her husband, afraid a touch might lead to a request she cannot fulfill. It is devastating, she said as she dabs her eyes and is now crying fully.

She doesn’t like to take pain medication and instead refrains from social activities that may be embarrassing due to incontinence.

Dr. M. Tom Margolis, urogynecology

Dr. M. Tom Margolis, urogynecology

The defense asked Ms. Perry about her treatment with Dr. M. Tom Margolis who had been referred to consult on the Perry case.  A Dr. Flynn would be the expert doctor for the defense and Ms. Perry had to be subjected to a pelvic exam by him as well.  Attorney Schmid established even though Dr. Flynn worked for Ethicon he did nothing wrong or inappropriate. Ms. Perry agreed.

Kim Schmid then went through Ms. Perry’s work history establishing that she did not work outside the home from 1994 to 1996.  She had attended interior design school, cosmetology school and had worked part time at a winery and in catering.

The defense needs to establish what is meant by a loss of income when the jury deliberates by showing she was not earning a full-time salary.

Past Medical History

Dragging out many documents from her past history, Kim Schmid, the attorney for Ethicon, attempted to show that Ms. Perry suffered health complications before her mesh implant in March 2011.  Presenting questionnaires from medical facilities where she had been a patient, the defense established Ms. Perry had high cholesterol and had been prescribed Lipitor.  She stopped taking the statin drug because of a fear of the side effects. Defense also talked to her about her history of high blood pressure she had before her multiple pelvic surgeries (she often reminds the jury) and a history of fainting and seizures, difficulty breathing, seasonal allergies, asthma.

Under her alternative care doctor, Dr. Mather, Ms. Perry said she is off all prescriptions and feels better with those problems, which she emphasized are separate from her ongoing pelvic pain.

The case began January 26th and is predicted to take three weeks, however there was no trial last Thursday or Friday.

The plaintiffs are represented by Wagstaff & Cartmell LLP, Richard A. Freese of Freese & Goss, Stewart Albertson of Albertson & Davidson LLP and by Peter De La Cerda of Edwards & De La Cerda PLLC.

Ethicon is represented by Bowman and Brooke LLP, William Gage and Burt Snell of Butler Snow LLP and by Soo Lin and Joshua Wes of Tucker Ellis LLP. #

25 Comments

  1. jade says:

    There WILL be JUSTICE. Keep the FAITH.

    MANUFACTURER’S IDEALOGY:

    One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a

    well. The animal cried piteously for hours as

    the farmer tried to figure out what to do.

    Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the

    well needed to be covered up anyway;

    it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

    He invited all his neighbors to come over

    and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began

    to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the

    donkey realized what was happening and cried

    horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he

    quieted down.

    A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally

    looked down the well. He was astonished at what

    he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his

    back, the donkey was doing something amazing.

    he would shake it off and take a step up.

    As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel

    dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it

    off and take a step up.

    Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey

    stepped up over the edge of the well and

    happily trotted off!

    Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds

    of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well

    is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of

    our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out

    of the deepest wells just by not stopping,

    never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

    MESH VICTIMS PHILOSOPHY:

    Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

    1.Free your heart from hatred – – Forgive.

    2.Free your mind from worries – – Most never happen.

    3.Live simply and appreciate what you have.

    4.Give more.

    5.Expect less.

    NOW! Enough of that crap.

    The donkey later came back,

    and bit the farmer who had tried to bury him.

    The gash from the bite got infected and

    the farmer eventually died in agony from septic shock..

    MORAL FROM TODAY’S LESSON:

    When you do something wrong,

    and try to cover your ass,

    it always comes back to bite you.

    No virus found in this message.

    Checked by AVG – http://www.avg.com

    Version: 2015.0.5645 / Virus Database: 4260/8970 – Release Date: 01/21/15

  2. sandy says:

    absolutely love this laugh for the first time in a long time thank you Jade!! let’s hope we turn out as good as the donkey did

  3. thanks Jade ! I’m laughing

  4. justme says:

    Dear Jane,

    I went to the dentist today. and am shocked at what he said and found…

    I was and am in extreme mouth pain and I was told I had an open sore that would not heal. Sounds gross, sorry, but the message is important and this is all true. I thought it was an ulcer that many people get in the mouth, on the gums and lips. But, it would not heal. Every time I thought it would get better, it would get bigger and the infection was growing, unbeknownst to me. I just felt pain,

    The assistant looked and said, oh wow, what is that? Then my dentist of 20 years comes in and takes a look and says it is a huge skin tag that grew quick and large inside my mouth and was rubbing the upper high gum line causing the open wound and infection.

    I could not see it, only feel it and the swelling. It was too high up in my mouth.

    He had to remove it, and he had to tend to the open wound. He said I would be in extreme pain. Great, more pain to deal with.

    He said the possible cause is immune system or internal and asked me how many skin tags had appeared on my body lately? I told him a lot, and being I am in my 50’s, it was odd how this could happen to me. My family has none.

    He then said, get that mesh out of you. Get it out. Your body is rejecting it. I already know that, but the skin tag inside my mouth was scary.

    I was going to go to Miklos & Moore in Atlanta, but I am scared of what happens after the surgery. Has anyone here used them for mesh removal? If yes, can I talk to you through email? I don’t have Facebook, but do have email.

    Jane, thank you again for all you do. Without this site, no one would be reporting on Mesh Victims on a daily basis. Mesh is so dangerous, and most doctors are ignoring the side effects and dangers. They refuse to believe or admit anything is wrong with it, I don’t understand.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Interesting skin tags. Has anyone else had this experience? We know all sort of rashes could be linked to the body going haywire but anyone else on this? Very interesting. thanks for sharing.

    • Paige says:

      I used Drs Miklos and Moore for my removal and they are fantastic. Request to see Dr Moore – he is the more personable of the two but they do all their surgeries together so you get both of them.

  5. ANA says:

    I don’t see why her working status is so important. They shoiuld be consentrating on womens metal, emotional, and physical status.

    By the way, Jade’s manufacturers idiology has described how we are being treated, hopefully the end defines the same description.

  6. Wow disgusting !! I have had several skin tags lately even on my chest & neck & I said what in the world is causing this to happen . Had some on my leg & chest little tiny ones. What does this have to do with the immune system though. I was told that my auto immune system was bad too. I have an elevated WBC all the time . It’s even been in the 20,000 plus and I never ran a fever . I felt so terribly bad though & almost septic but a trip in the hospital for a few days & vancamiacin & a couple other strong antibiotics helped me out .

  7. Debbie says:

    Having a hard time trying to sleep not that I don’t every other night so I’d figure I would just write a little something I have to go to get my CT scan done tomorrow to see what’s going on I’m a little concerned as I live a long way from UCLA.My husband emailed Dr Razz s office saying what was going on with me his nurse Jean sent back an email stating that Dr Razz wants me to get a CT scan done if he is asking me to get it done it worries me as he did the second revision surgery.Guess I will find out soon enough I hope the results of the scan doesn’t take long to get back to my Dr as I’m worried enough as it is just hoping I don’t need another surgery as I haven’t recovered from the last one to good as of yet.I apparently can’t take my Metformin for fourty eight hours to I’m hoping that my blood sugars won’t get really high as I just seemed to have got type 2 diabetes from no where over the last few months it never seems to end something else happens to me then something else goes wrong well I bitched enough try to sleep I guess.

  8. Betty says:

    What about polyps on the cervix and in vaginal? Anyone else experiencing this, and absesses in the vaginal and anul area

  9. justme says:

    Ms. Jane,

    The skin tags are most likely a part of the body rejecting the foreign object in the body and the virus caused by the mesh rejecting in our bodies.

    It definitely has caused me severe dental and gum issues. I didn’t know what was wrong with my teeth until I read your mesh banner about teeth loss and issues on your site. I showed it to the dentist a while back. Now he is all interested in mesh and the effects on women.

    Skin Tags: These types of skin tags are different, more big than small, come up in clusters, and they appear rapid and with no notice, just like the one in my mouth. It was big, and like bam, was there.

    They appeared on areas of my body where the mesh is located first, and spread to various places. When I showed them (the ones on neck ,to the dentist, he said immune deficiency or internal deficiency is possible. This goes along with unusual spots or spotting on the legs as well.

    Of course everything can not be blames on mesh, but our bodies are letting us know very loudly that we have internal issues and us women in our 40’s & 50’s know this is not just a normal part of age progression.

    The pharma companies can’t say it is not the cause of so many different symptoms and problems, because they never did a long term study on women to determine the long term effects.

    Betty yes, that is also a side effect. Don’t let the OBGYN tell you different. It IS mesh related. They will come and go. Some will be painful, others just a nuisance. These polyps and cysts are again, in odd places. if you have already experience prolapse organs/erosion from the mesh, you may see an increase, IMHO.

    I am not a doctor, or medical professional, but what I have experienced with mesh, I have read where many other women have too, minus the mouth tag. How disgusting. And humiliating. If I don’t share, one of my mesh sisters may have one too, and freak out or not understand. If it does happen, it has to come out by your dentist. My stories are only to prepare.

    Make sure your medical professional documents all of your treatments, complaints, concerns, and does not just blow you off when you mention something to them. You are most likely being recorded every time you go to the doctor, so speak clearly so his/her transcriber gets it right.

    They already know these mesh products are crap, and not for human use. Very few will ever admit it is not the “Gold Standard.”

    • Jan Urban says:

      I just had a HUGE polyp almost a inch in diameter.removed from my uterus that was not present 3 years ago. the size astounded the doctor he gave me a picture of it. with 3 views. I will have to ask for more details on the lab testing of the darn thing. Strange happenings……One might think Aliens were causing all that goes on and in our bodies the way we are treated. ” Oh No. It’s not the Mesh”. Yea Right…….I swear the strength to endure that all of us have is really something. If they still had State Hospitals they probably put us all in one.

  10. PLC says:

    How is this trial going so far? Do you think jury will be ready to decide by Friday?

  11. Lara says:

    OMG….skin tags and funny little skin things and little rashes and blood spots – i have heaps all over my abdominal area and down my legs, thighs, knees – i never used to get them before the mesh…my doctor told me the same thing , that my body’s immune system is doing it – but he didnt link it with the mesh because i am in New Zealand and the doctors here are completely ignorant of the side effects of mesh …

  12. Someone needs to ask the judge and the defence if they would take 20,000 us to let a doctor put one of the mesh products in them or in there spouse or even there daughter.

  13. Marie says:

    Jane- was MMND served with legal papers preventing the said disclaimer about quoting evidence?

    • Jane Akre says:

      No, as a condition of the live stream Courtroom View Network agreed they would only allow access to me if I abided by the rules they agreed to with this court/ judge, that I would not show images and direct quotes from court. I don’t agree with not allowing access to the public in a public courtroom and it could have been challenged with a nice lawyer letter to start, but that was their fight and they didn’t want to go there and I was grateful for the access. Thank you for asking and the opportunity to explain…~ ja

  14. Carly says:

    Does anyone ever get Pulsation up and down your spine where it take your breath away? If so would anyone know what is causing it? HELP ANYONE……………………………I HAVE SKIN TAGS ALL OVER MY NECK…..IS THERE A WAY TO GET RID OF THEM? LOVE TO ALL…CARLY

  15. Bejah says:

    I am not sure where to leave this comment but it seems increasingly clear that we need to create a database of symptoms, of post implant developments, of causal factors. This seems very important. We need to ask for volunteer. We all need to participate and ask our physicians to as wekk, I have just read posts where several of you (Thank you) have told us of skin tags, for example. We need volunteers. Stat work is not my strong suit but I will try to get us started if e have no one else for now. I will call Jane tomorrow to talk with her first about how to do this. I imagine then posting a Beta version for you to comment on, This wikk only work if we make a commitment to it,

    My recent entry:

    I. I discovered that my teeth were ground down badly, so much so that one front tooth became damaged when a piece chipped away. I was morttifffied. I do not chew on anything that coun cause thisl My dentist said he can fix it. Thankfully the $2500 worth of workkk will leave me with a $250 co-pay but then what. THey will make me a teeth guad, Still this is so unsetting.

    2. I discovered that I have some sort of gowth on my kidneys. It needs to be removed before any surgery to removal to the mesh.

    Please keep track of any possible post implant problems and share them with the rest of us for the common good. It could save your life to do so.

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