Dunfee Pelvic Mesh Trial Will be 11th for Philadelphia Firm

Jane Akre
June 11, 2019

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, June 11, 2019~ The pelvic mesh trial of Linda Dunfee got underway last week in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, which has been a very favorable venue for the mesh-injured community. This is the 11th pelvic mesh trial naming Ethicon (Johnson & Johnson) as a defendant.

All but two have yielded millions for the mesh-injured.

Image: Elia Robertson, Kline Specter

The pelvic mesh trial of Linda Dunfee v Ethicon got underway in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on June 3. [See Case 1510 02736].

Dunfee’s case was filed October 26, 2015 in Philadelphia naming defendant Ethicon Women's Health and Urology, a division of Johnson & Johnson.

Dunfee, 61, and husband Thomas are from Deptford, New Jersey.

Prolift, MedTech Marketing

She was implanted with Prolift pelvic floor mesh, June 18, 2007 in Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia by Carl Della Badia D.O. and Timothy B. McKinney MD.

She underwent explant surgery April 9, 2015 at the McKinney Teaching in Turnersville, NJ with the implant surgeon McKinney.

Ms Dunfee’s attorney is Elia A. Robertson of Kline & Specter (here). Robertson is a former assistant Philadelphia district attorney who works in the area of personal injury, product liability, medical malpractice and sexual assault.

She is joined by Phil Pasquarello, and Lori Donnelly, also of Kline Specter.

Robertson has been the co-counsel in three of the firms largest recent mesh related trials, most recently in the $120 million in the McFarland trial from April of this year.

Kline Specter

Kline Specter has won more transvaginal mesh cases in product liability trials than any other law firm. So far the Philadelphia based law firm has secured $346.16 million for its plaintiff clients while Ethicon won two cases in this venue.

In May, Ethicon filed a 21-page motion to have the pelvic mesh trials moved out of the venue outside of Philadelphia or have a “pretrial cooling off period” before any more trials get underway.

There are about 85 pelvic mesh cases pending in this Philadelphia court, most naming Ethicon as the defendant.

The Legal Intelligencer reports that Ethicon accused law firm Kline & Specter of “false, slated and inflammatory” publicity.

“Defendants are entitled to a trial by impartial jurors based on the evidence adduced at trial, not by a jury inflamed by plaintiff’s counsel outside the bounds of the courtroom,” Ethicon said in the motion.

“Accordingly, defendants ask the court to fashion relief for the upcoming trials—either by transferring the cases outside the five-county media market, or by having a pretrial cooling-off period, during which plaintiffs’ counsel should be instructed not to stir up additional press coverage.”

Judge Kenneth Powell

In March, Ethicon tried to block Judge Kenneth Powell from presiding over any more pelvic mesh trials. The argument was that his mother was involved in a lawsuit against J&J over its blood thinner Xarelto.

The Pennsylvania state Supreme Court denied that request.

Powell presided over McFarland v Ethicon, which in April yielded he largest verdict so far in this venue $120 million.

Prolift Trials So Far in This Venue

Prolift in 3 shapes

There have been four Prolift trials so far in this venue – Mesigian ($80 million); Emmet ($41 million); Beltz ($2.16 million); and Hammons ($12.5 million).

The Prolift prolapse repair mesh has previously been found to be defectively designed. It was quietly removed from the market by Ethicon in mid- 2012. ###


MND, Mesh Trials so Far, (updated constantly)

MND, November 19, 2018, After a Lull Philadelphia Readies for JNJ Prolift Mesh Case

MND, May 23, 2018, Philadelphia Gets Greenlight as Venue for Pelvic Mesh Cases

MND, July 11, 2017, Mesh Makers Want Non-Residents Ousted from Philadelphia Court

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