Mesh Medical Device News Desk, May 1, 2017 ~ Hello to everyone. I hope this May finds you in a hopeful mood and regaining your health.
If not, I certainly hope you can connect with the mesh community that seems to be springing up all over the Internet!
Please reach out to others who may need a helping hand, a reference or just a shoulder to cry on.
(This site is not a legal referral service and does not constitute medical or legal advice. Please consult with a professional. It is run by a journalist and supported by advertising.)
I just returned from the Johnson & Johnson annual shareholder's meeting, where many campaigners took to the street outside the State Theater to let shareholders and CEO Alex Gorsky know their true profit is only known when they acknowledge the harm that's been done.
Inside the theater, a rehearsed presentation ensued electing the 10 members of the Board of Directors amid a rally about the health of the J&J stock. I was struck by the words "sustainable" and "people come first" as part of the company's credo, repeated by the CEO. How did that square with the people across the street?
April 27, 2017 campaigner
About 30 women and their families protested J&J in an orderly, heart-felt, display, complete with signs and chanting. These are the women who could make it here, I thought. Each one represents at least 10,000 mesh implanted women who can't make it to a mesh rally, because they are too sick or broke from fighting to regain their health! And that doesn't even begin to include the one million hernia mesh implants a year!
All use polypropylene! Some day in the not so distant future, we may come to recognize that this cheap plastic is not an ideal, bio-compatible material for an implant, I believe. Especially a permanent implant.
Mesh Medical Device News Desk has been reporting on the issues for five years now and the calls are only growing. So are the cases. There are now 102,000 product liability cases filed in one West Virginia court, consolidated in multidistrict litigation. Another 10,000 are filed around the country.
2017 JNJ Campaign
Also increasing is the media coverage. Internationally, the media is less afraid to report of Pharmaceutical Giants, so we see front page stories in Scotland, Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
Here in the U.S. a flashing screen inside the meeting of all of the J&J products, from Benadryl, Aveeno, Neutrogena, Imodium, Roc, Baby products, the list goes on and on. Someone sitting nearby said no wonder we don't hear about the problems in this country.
If you have been injured by mesh, please visit these pages, Use the Search Bar to find out more about your manufacturer. Understand the issues, speak to your doctors and lawyers. And insist they speak to you! Read more on mesh law firms here.
If mesh has been suggested to you, ask if the doctor can do a non-mesh repair. Are you a candidate? A doctor without those skills might not be your first choice. Be an informed consumer, something you may have to do for yourself, since so many doctors remain in the dark about polypropylene mesh and its potential complications.
As I was leaving the shareholder's meeting, a man standing next to Mr. Gorsky asked me if I had a question. Gorsky had just turned away and I didn't get to speak to him. I noted this suited man's name tag said Executive VP and General Counsel. Perfect, I thought.
Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas
My one question was since Mr. Gorsky had insisted the company was about sustainability, is the present situation of fighting mesh- injured women in court sustainable, since the company had lost so many cases so far? Might a multi-billion dollar global settlement be in the works?
He looked at me as though I had grown two heads, and suddenly turned his shoulder while muttering something about not discussing litigation. In a flash he was gone.
Little did I know that at that same hour, a Philadelphia jury was delivering the third verdict for a plaintiff in another mesh trial - $20 million, which included $17.5 million in punitive damages!
That meant among three trials in one Philadelphia courtroom, J&J was facing $34.5 million in punitive damages alone.
Can any company say those record losses represent sustainability?
Take care of yourself and take care of each other, and carry on!