Mesh News Desk, October 7, 2015 ~ A juror in the Cavness trial has agreed to come forward after a call was put out on the last Mesh News Desk story. Your editor has confirmed through two sources that she was an actual juror. Here is what "Karen" has to say. She wants to remain anonymous. Likely Karen will respond to your questions beneath this story.
Your editor thanks this juror for coming forward.
Q: What was the discussion in the jury room?
“The discussion in the jury room was very different depending on the day & the topic. We were given five questions to answer but if you answered "no" you could not proceed to the next set of questions.
'The first question asked if there was a design defect with proximate cause in regards to Carol Cavness. The definition of proximate cause is a "substantial factor" which is where the first confusion set in. Substantial factor does not mean the LARGEST factor, it just means a large factor & that there could be numerous factors (which was explained to us by the judge).
'This was the big go around on Friday. People said they do not think the mesh was the main cause & it was argued that it did not have to be the main cause. This was on Friday afternoon.
"On Friday afternoon everyone was insanely exhausted. We were to be there at 9 & they were not ready for us until 11:30. So we sat in a very small jury room for over 2 hours. Then we had to sit through closing arguments & then we were read the charges & by the time they let us deliberate it was Friday @ 3:30. As you know-best decisions are not made at 3:30 on a Friday afternoon, so we decided to call it quits for the day around 4:45 because we felt as though we were getting nowhere & Monday we would have had fresh minds."
Q: Did the jury think they had reached a decision for the Plaintiff on Friday afternoon?
"I do not believe anything discussed Friday was relevant. No one was focused. Everyone was very stressed, tired & numerous other emotions. It’s a lot to have been thrown on us for a Friday."
Q: What changed?
"Let me talk about what changed between Monday morning & Monday afternoon. When we got there Monday we submitted the question about proximate cause. Once that was explained we took a vote on the first question. The results were 9-3, in favor of the plaintiff. We had to reach 10-2 so this is the route we took. We asked the 3 (for the defendant) to explain why they thought what they thought & how they came to reach their decision. During that time people began to agree or say they were on the fence. We took another vote & it was 4(defendant)-3(plaintiff) 5-Maybe's.
"The MAIN reason people changed their vote was because in all the doctor’s reports & evidence given, her pain was the same before the surgery as it was after the surgery. If her pain was exactly the same - how could it be the mesh? The defendants also argued throughout the case it was a pulled muscle in the pelvic floor & pelvic floor therapy would help substantially. This was recommended to her numerous times throughout the years & she barely started going Mid-2015; which did not help the case & although she is going now the jurors said "well now they have years & years to correct in therapy vs. if she would have gone in 2012." That was a very large portion of what had changed."
Q: What was the confusion about?
"The confusion was 100% with the question – “Was there a design defect." We had sat in that court room for 2 weeks. We heard about her job, her family, her numerous surgeries to remove the mesh, whether the mesh was still inside Carol, whether the mesh took tissue out of Carol when it was explanted, internal emails from Ethicon asking "If there is no benefit with the mesh over native tissue repair why are we doing it." We heard this for 2 weeks & the "design" of the Prosima was never discussed.
"It wasn't that it was disproven that there WAS NOT a defect. It was not proven to us either way. The questions we were expecting were "should Ethicon ever have put this on the market" "is there still mesh in Carol Cavness" etc etc. Not if there was a design defect. They did talk about how the mesh was denser than that of Prolift or Prolift+M (not sure the technical name)- but it was brief & that is not a defect, it’s just their opinion."
Q: Who was that guy who told the lawyers he didn't like corporations and yet remained on the jury, he was not stricken?
"I have no idea who this would be? There were only 4 men (5 with an alternate) & I do not remember anyone saying that. We also did not find out Ethicon was a part of Johnson & Johnson (a giant corporation) until the juror's were picked & opening statements started."
"Let me know what else you may need!
"I am very, very sorry for the loss Carol Cavness has faced & the fact that she had to air all her "dirty laundry" to complete strangers. I hope & wished she would have won. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks the way I do."