Ethicon Denied Challenge to Hrymoc Pelvic Mesh Verdict

Jane Akre
March 8, 2018
The Hrymoc's,

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, March 8, 2018 ~ Ethicon had challenged the latest pelvic mesh verdict of $15 million awarded to Elizabeth Hrymoc who said the company made a defective pelvic mesh and failed to warn about its dangers.  

But the Hrymoc case has survived the latest challenge by the health care giant.

Ethicon, a division of J&J, is the last company to settle its roster of thousands of product liability cases, instead vowing to fight them all in court.

Ethicon wanted to overturn the $15 million verdict in favor of mesh-injured Elizabeth Hrymoc.

The 71-year-old was awarded that amount by a New Jersey jury last November after a 17-day trial.

Adam Slater represented Ms. Hrymoc who sat in the courtroom alongside her husband, Thad.  She alleged the Prolift mesh and TVT-O devices implanted in her were defective and the company failed to warn about the risks.  She continues to suffer from pain, vaginal erosion and dyspareunia.  See MND coverage here.

The $15 million verdict included $10 million for punitive damages, intended to punish Ethicon for its behavior.  Ethicon is the medical device division of Johnson & Johnson.   The jury of ten found a wanton disregard for patient health and that Ethicon displayed a malicious intent.  MND coverage here.

Ethicon immediately appealed.

On Monday, March 5, Judge Rachelle Lea Harz of Bergen Co. Superior Court, denied the motion to reverse the verdict. Ethicon also asked for a new trial which was denied.

Judge Harz, who is overseeing hundreds of pending mesh cases, said Ethicon failed to warn about the risks of its medical devices.

Ethicon faces more product liability cases than any other mesh manufacturer in the West Virginia court, which has consolidated more than 104,000 cases.  It is the last manufacturer to offer global settlements and instead has vowed to fight every case in court.

Adam Slater, Courtroom View Network

To date, Ethicon has won only three cases (Lewis, Cavness, Atkins, though Atkins will receive a new hearing).

The next mesh case in this courtroom will be McGinnis v. Ethicon, March 19. Mr. Slater again will represent the plaintiff.

Linda and Jeff Gross, from PBS Need to Know

Ethicon has lost 11 cases before juries in three venues, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Charleston, WV, the Hrymoc case among them.  (Use the Search Bar to see Gross, Batiste, Huskey, Budke, Perry, Hammons, Carlino, Engleman, Belz, Ebaugh).   See MND on trial tally so far here.

Ethicon has offered individual settlement with plaintiffs, as much as $5 million in Wicker v Ethicon.

The case is Elizabeth Hrymoc v Ethicon, Case No. L-13696-14, heard in New Jersey Superior Court, Bergen Co. NJ, before the Honorable Rachelle Harz. ###

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