MAM rally in Charleston, WV in 2015
Mesh Medical Device News Desk, February 27, 2017 ~ The MAM, Mesh Awareness Movement plans to take its pelvic mesh awareness message to the next mesh event.
March 6, 2017, was supposed to be the beginning of the pelvic mesh trial of Mullins et al v. Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.
In an unusual move to consolidate cases, more than 20 women were planning to have their product liability trials heard in this federal court in Charleston, WV, where nearly 100,000 pelvic mesh product liability cases are filed.
Campaigner in WV, June 2015
In advance of the trial, there were dozens off women planning to rally, as they had on the same Byrd federal court steps in June 2015.
There were plans to drive, carpool and fly to Charleston, WV. Handmade signs were made and press statements written. There were promises of national network news coverage.
Last Thursday, the court said the Mullins case had been continued, with no new trial date set. So the rally is also on hold.
One Mullins plaintiff tells MND she was told to expect her settlement packet from J&J, but there has been no official confirmation that the cases settled.
So what happens now?
Mesh Awareness Movement (MAM) organizer, Lisa Mason, says the women are angry and are not going away.
"A lot of women are getting agitated at the costs of cancelling these trials. Who pays for all of those airline ticket purchased by law firms? That will have to come out of what we eventually have to pay them. We carry the weight of attorney fees and costs," she tells MND.
Mason says there are renewed calls among mesh-injured women to expand the circle of media contacts and renewed enthusiasm for showing up at the Johnson & Johnson annual shareholders meeting, April 27, 2017 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the headquarters of J&J. See the announcement here.
Three years ago, Corporate Action Network organized an event that included a light display on corporate headquarters, a protest outside J&J's headquarters and a direct message to CEO of Johnson & Johnson, Alex Gorsky, by three mesh-injured women inside the annual shareholders meeting.
J&J Shareholders meeting protest 2014
As one woman said:
“Today I call on this board and officers to conduct an investigation on whether it is worth keeping any mesh in your product line. There is no reason any woman should ever have to suffer lifelong debilitating pain or have disfiguring surgeries to remove this product. It is ironic to call a division Ethicon when it acts unethically and continues to injure so many women including your mothers, your wives, your sisters, your daughters, some of your employees, possibly yourself–not to mention myself. Please protect your brand and also protect women.”
Alex Gorsky, CEO J&J
Inside that 2014 shareholder's meeting, Gorsky told the crowd of about 1,650 that the corporation was healthy and its three business segments were all doing well. Shareholders gave Gorsky high marks for his then two-year tenure that’s seen stock prices soaring.
Huffington Post, Associated Press and Reuters all covered the 2014 event.
Johnson & Johnson has been the focus of protest because the company has more defective product cases filed then any of the six other manufacturers filed in multidistrict litigation in WV.
The Light Brigade, April 23, 2014, J&J headquarters
Can coverage April 27, 2014
Fitzgibbon Media Light Brigade Action outside 2014 Annual Shareholders Meeting, April 23, 2014.
Associated Press with video Story here
Fitzgibbon Media Video of April 23, 2014 here
David Hall Photographer-Davideo Multimedia, LLC here
Huffington Post- 10 min in starting here
WTAE story- Pittsburgh here