After a lengthy jury selection, the case of Suzanne M. Emmett from Lancaster Pennsylvania finally got underway December 3rd. The case blames Johnson & Johnson and its Ethicon medical device division for making a defective device that injured Ms. Emmett.
**UPDATE* After seven days the case adjourned to be reconvened January 7th. The problem was with one of the jurors, who could not fulfill his/her duty. There are 12 jurors in this case with no alternate at the present time. There needs to be an alternate selected .
The case is being heard in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, before Judge Emmett. [Case No. 01495].
Image: Prolift from Sumsuro, Japan
Emmett was implanted with a Prolift mesh used to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) as well as a TVT-O (obturator) to treat stress urinary incontinence. They were implanted by Dr. Patricia Reddy at Pinnacle Health in Harrisburg, PA on May 14, 2007.
Since then she has experienced ten mesh erosions, nine revision surgeries, and several Botox injections with multiple silver nitrate applications. Prolift was removed from the market by J&J in mid 2012.
In 2008 she had corrective surgery with Dr. Vincent Lucente from Allentown, PA.
Her complaint says today she suffers permanent injury, mental and physical pain and economic loss. She still works in the insurance industry.
Ms. Emmett is represented by Kila Baldwin and Elia Robertson of Kline Specter.
Defense attorneys are Tarek Ismail, Anita Modak Truran and Joe O’Neil.
The case opened last week Monday 3rd and called Dr. Thomas Margolis. He was questioned last week and then lawyers played the videotaped deposition of Dr. Daniel Elliot.
Dr. Margolis has served as an expert witness for plaintiffs in dozens of pelvic mesh trials.
His interview appeared on Mesh News Desk in 2011. He is considered one of the top mesh removal doctors in the country.
He told MND (here) that problems with mesh started with the invention of mesh kits, which are “ten times as bad” as the original mesh sold in sheets and cut to fit the patients.
“They were their own death knell. They were so big and problematic. They got the attention of the FDA. They took a bad idea and exploded it.” Dr. M. Tom Margolis referring to mesh makers.
Dr. Margolis, believes there are many options before surgery to correct pelvic organ problems, and that transvaginal placement of mesh introduces bacteria because it is a “clean, contaminated field.”
He has appeared as an expert at the Ebaugh trial, also heard in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Jo Huskey, Carolyn Lewis, Ana Martinez, McFarland, Beltz, Cavness, Batiste, and Ms. Perry, among others.
Dr. Daniel Elliott is a urologist with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. He told MND in 2014 that his department never used mesh kits used transvaginally.
Instead, they perform standard repairs such as the anterior and posterior colporophy with absorbable stitches and not synthetic mesh. He is referring to the urology department alone, not for urogynecologists associated with Mayo,who in some cases, do use synthetic mesh implants.
Read Dr. Elliotts’ 2014 MND interview here.
In October, Ethicon filed a protective order to prevent lawyers to re-depose Dr. Patricia Reddy. Ethicon argued that since Dr. Reddy hadn’t treated Ms. Emmett since 2007.
The original deposition was conducted June 21, 2018. In it she was she was trained on a Prolift implant by Dr. Lucente at his facility in the Lehigh Valley. She was also trained on transobturator tape or TVT-O. Altogether she was trained on four Gynecare devices by Dr. Lucente.
Trials have shown that Dr. Lucente is a consultant to Johnson & Johnson and has been compensated millions in return.
During the deposition Dr. Reddy affirmed that today she would stand by her decision to use mesh to treat Ms. Emmett.
Dr. Reddy, a board certified gynecologist continues to practice medicine in York County, Pennsylvania. ###