J&J New Jersey Mesh Trial Wraps Up

Jane Akre
December 12, 2017

Tad and Elizabth Hrymoc, from NorthJersey.com

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, December 12, 2017 ~ The pelvic mesh trial of plaintiff Elizabeth Hyrmoc will wrap up this week with closing arguments presented Wednesday, December 13.

Hrymoc was implanted with two mesh products made by Johnson & Johnson - the TVT-O and the Prolift.

Jurors in the New Jersey trial of Elizabeth Hrymoc are listening to lawyers for defendant Johnson & Johnson make its final plea about the safety of its pelvic mesh products. Closing arguments will be Wednesday in this Bergen County trial after an unusually short trial, just 17 days.

Ms. Hrymoc was implanted with Prolift transvaginal mesh, used to treat pelvic organ prolapse, and a TVT-O used for incontinence.

Elizabeth Hyrmoc is represented by Adam Slater (Mazie Slater) who also represented Linda Gross and Joan Budke. He called Prolift, “a stupid idea” with too much mesh that incites a foreign body reaction.

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. This is the second pelvic mesh case heard in New Jersey. The cases in that state were moved from the original New Jersey venue of Atlantic City to Hackensack.

Adam Slater, Courtroom View Network

Slater told jurors during the trial that polypropylene (PP) mesh mixing with bodily fluids causing the PP mesh to be come brittle and completely impossible to remove. Defense has compared mesh to PP suture. Ms. Hyrmoc suffers from pain, infection and dyspareunia.

Dr. Elizabeth Kaveler, urologist witness for Ethicon, CVN, Gross trial

Representing Ethicon is Judy Wahrenberger, Ruprecht Hart Weeks and Ricciardulli LLP; Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP; and Butler Snow. Wahrenberger said Hrymock had a long history of pelvic problems and that all surgeries carry risks.

Hrymoc, 71, a research technician from South River in Middlesex County, sat with her husband, Tad, listening to Slater’s opening. They are seeking damages in what NorthJersey.com calls the “largest tort claims litigation in history.”

Dr. Elizabeth Kavaler, a New York City urogynecologist appeared as an expert witness on the stand for Johnson & Johnson Tuesday, where she was cross-examined by Slater. She was also an expert in the Beltz and the Gross cases.

She has testified she was a “big mesh user” and is a consultant or preceptor for Ethicon. She has testified that mesh “does not have a life of its own,” and does not move around within the pelvis.

This was the first case in New Jersey since the Gross trial wrapped up in 2013 where jurors delivered $11.1 million to the nurse from South Dakota.

J&J is a company worth $70 billion and it should pay for its mistakes. “We know the only language they speak is money….. the only way to deter them and to punish them is to make them pay," Slater told jurors.

The ten jurors (six men, four women) will decide if the Prolift has a design defect and whether J&J failed to warn doctors about its risks. For the TVT-O jurors will decide if Ethicon adequately warned doctors about its risks. Jurors have the option to award punitive damages, which typically exceed compensation for injuries in these pelvic mesh trials

Prolift has been found defectively designed in two cases heard in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas – Hammons ($12.5 million) and Beltz ($2.16 million). Nearby Philadelphia pelvic mesh trials have yielded jury awards ranging from $2.16 million to $57 million.

Defendants have been successful in just seven trials versus 22 plaintiff wins in courts around the country. ###


MND, November 28, 2017, Prolift Trial- A Stupid Idea

MND, The Launch of Prolift Pelvic Mesh- What the Company Knew, MND, January 9, 2015

MND, Ethicon Stops Selling Four Pelvic Meshes, June 2012

MND, Pelvic Mesh Trial Outcomes So Far, October 2017

MND, Day 18 Linda Gross Trial, February 6, 2013, Surgeon says Prolift Warnings were Adequate

MND, Day 16, Linda Gross v. Ethicon, February 4, 2013, Scientist Knew Prolift Transvaginal Mesh was Defective

MND, Dec. 10. 2015, Witnesses in Philadelphia Mesh Trial Tell Tale of Prolift Mesh Marketing

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