Mesh Rally Rescheduled Around Edwards v. Ethicon Trial in August

Jane Akre
May 16, 2016
Campaigner in WV
Campaigner in WV

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, May 16  2016 ~ It's been rescheduled at least five times before.

The case of Edwards v. Ethicon (Case No. 2:12-cv-09972), filed in multidistrict litigation in Charleston, WV, which was scheduled for June 3 for jury selection with the opening scheduled for June 6 Monday, has been rescheduled. Again.

Now the case of Edwards v. Ethicon is set to be heard in federal court before Judge Joseph Goodwin with jury selection scheduled for Friday, August 12 and opening arguments on Monday, August 15th.  There is also a slight change the opening arguments could begin on Friday if jury selection goes smoothly so if you want to watch the case, it is advisable to be there then.


As a result, the mesh rally scheduled for June has also be rescheduled. Women and their families impacted by mesh plan to be in Charleston for a dinner and rally Friday night and a presence Monday morning.

MAM or Mesh Awareness Movement brought awareness to the mesh issue in  2015 when a couple dozen folks from around the southeast, showed up in front of the Robert C. Byrd courthouse to raise awareness of mesh complications.   Too often the media has ignored this story, even Charleston WV media, including the CBS station, for example, which is a stone's throw away right next door to the courthouse. But the media turned out in June 2015 and there were several stories as a result.

Plaintiffs' lawyers filing into Charleston court.

Plaintiffs' lawyers filing into Charleston court.


The defendant corporation is Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer facing the largest number of mesh cases consolidated in this federal court among seven manufacturers. Tonya and Gary Edwards of Georgia are the plaintiffs.

This is the fifth delay for this trial as both sides seem to be inching toward settlements, with J&J/Ethicon still, at least publicly, planning to fight each plaintiff in court.

Ms. Edwards was implanted with a TVT-O by Dr. Harold Wittcoff.  Court documents show Ethicon attorneys, Christy Jones and Dave Thomas, want to exclude the expert opinion of Dr. John T. Steege, who would testify TVT-O was defective and caused her present day pain. Defense used Dr. Elizabeth Kavaler, previously seen in the Gross trial, to issue an expert report as well as Dr. Stanley Zaslau.

The TVT-O has already been found to be defective in this same courtroom before Judge Joseph Goodwin in the Huskey v. Ethicon trial. See the background story here.   Also in the Linda Batiste case in Dallas in April 2014, the jury concluded the TVT-O made by Ethicon was defective and awarded Ms. Batiste $1.2 million. See the story here.


Last June 2, Mesh Awareness Movement (MAM) brought women and their families from Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and beyond to join in solidarity and send a message that pelvic mesh should not be allowed to continue to injure unsuspecting women and that mesh manufacturers need to financially care for the women they’ve harmed.

A dinner is planned Friday, August 12 with the rally beginning 8 am Friday morning in front of the Robert C. Byrd federal courthouse.

Anti Mesh rally in WV federal court. June 2015
Anti Mesh rally in WV federal court. June 2015
“Exciting” is what women told Mesh News Desk last year. All of the television stations were here and we will be featured on their noon news.  Finally we are getting the attention we deserve and the message is getting out,” said organizer Lisa Mason.  

Pelvic mesh, used to shore up pelvic organs, was never approved for safety or efficacy by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Instead it was approved for sale by the FDA 510(k) approval process that does not require any clinical trials. Assurances of safety rely on the integrity of the manufacturer.

Husband protests
Husband protests at Mesh rally, Charleston, WV, June 2, 2015

Litigation was consolidated in federal court in Charleston by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in January 2012.

Since then, seven manufacturers now face more than 90,000 lawsuit alleging they sold defective transvaginal mesh which was promoted to doctors as part of an aggressive, yet deceptive campaign. The plaintiffs allege defective manufacturing instructions to doctors and a breach of warranty, negligence, fraud, and more.  They are asking for punitive damages.

MAM rally participant, June 2, 2015
MAM rally participant, June 2, 2015

Many women tell MND their settlement amount is as low as $5,000 after legal fees are paid and any existing liens.

As of April 27, 2016, there were 90,131 cases consolidated in the Charleston court before Judge Goodwin, the largest mass tort ever assembled in one courtroom. They include:

C.R. Bard        13,429

AMS                20,155

Boston Sci      20,830

Ethicon           32,672

Coloplast          2,425

Cook                    487

Neomedic           133


Edwards v. Ethicon – Doc #1 Complaint Ethicon

Soon to  be scheduled, Mullins Et al (Case No. 2:12-cv-02952) Mullins case 37 plaintiffs,

Mullins complaint, July 11, 2012, U.S. District Court, Southern District WV

TVT-O Found Defective, Mesh News Desk, April 2014, Batiste case

Mesh News Desk, Huskey Verdict, $3.27 Million, TVT-O Defectively Designed, Sept 2014

Mesh Awareness Movement on Facebook

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