Pelvic Mesh Trials Naming J&J

Jane Akre
July 16, 2015
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The following is a partial list of the upcoming pelvic mesh trials naming J&J's Ethicon mesh as defective. Understand that the schedule frequently changes so this is the most up-to-date. Other manufacturers cases will be added as they become available.

Trial updates

The Jennifer Ramirez v. Ethicon case was supposed to start July 13 in San Antonio, Texas before Judge J. David Canales. (case #2012-ci-18690), 73rd Civil Division, Tx.

However, J&J/Ethicon removed the case to federal court in June. Edwards de la Cerda law firm filed their remand papers the next day, but the local district court (Western District of Texas) punted the decision to the Southern District of West Virginia. At the present time there’s been no decision from the Southern District of West Virginia as to whether this case will go back to San Antonio. A decision could come soon.

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August 24, 2015 – Tonya Edwards v. Ethicon 2:12-cv-09972, Charleston, WV before Judge Joseph Goodwin. The device in question is the TVT-O. Edwards was implanted at Piedmont Healthcare, Atlanta GA by Dr. Harold Wittcoff. Counts include Negligence, Strict Liability-Manufacturing Defect; Failure to Warn; Defective Product; Design defect; Fraud and fraudulent concealment, Negligence, Breach of express warranty, violation of consumer protection laws, gross negligence, unjust enrichment, loss of consortium and punitive damages.

Attorneys are Mark Mueller, John Fabry, Breanne Vandermeer. The case was filed December 31, 2012. This trial is limited to six days writes Judge Goodwin in a June 12, 2015 order.

Judge Ken Molberg, 95th Judicial District, TX

Judge Ken Molberg, 95th Judicial District, TX

September 21, 2015 – Carol Cavness v. Ethicon , She was implanted with the Gynecare Prosima Pelvic Floor Repair System, April 24, 2012. DC-14-04220, 95th Judicial District Court before Judge Ken Molberg, Dallas. Attorneys are Blankenship Law and Freese and Goss. See here.

The case was filed in April 21, 2014 against Ethicon and Teresa Kowalczyk MD, a doctor at Hunt Memorial Hospital, Baylor Healthcare system. Cavness had a partial explant and suffers pain discomfort, difficulty voiding, continued incontinence, infection, bleeding. Included in the multiple finings here is a Motion to exclude the testimony of Michael Thomas Margolis MD as an expert witness. This documents goes on for 63 pages about other experts suggested to appear in this case.


October 26, 2015 – Josephine Marie Rabiola v. Ethicon, 53rd Judicial District Court, Travis County, Austin TX. She was implanted with both the TVT-Secur System and the Gynecare Prosima Pelvic Floor System (for pelvic organ prolapse). Dr. Tomas G. Antonini and Lone Star Urogynecology and Continence Center are defendants in this action. She was implanted by Dr. Chris Hart, MD on May 24, 2010 at Seton Southwest Hospital in Austin, Tx. Case #D-1-GN-13-002039. (DC-14-04220). The case could take up to three weeks. This jurisdiction is not available online but here is the Rabiola Complaint.

Federal court, Charleston WV

Federal court, Charleston WV

December 7, 2015 - Mullins et al v Ethicon 2:12-cv-09311 (previous case Bryant et al v. Ethicon), 2:12-cv-02952, 2:12-md-12327, jury selection Dec. 4, 2015 at 8:30.

Thirty-seven plaintiffs will have their case consolidated before Judge Goodwin. All of the plaintiffs have been implanted in West Virginia and have the Ethicon TVT. Dr. Eddie H.M. Sze implanted TVT in more than half of the West Virginia plaintiffs. This will be a strict liability defective design and negligence claims. Still debated is whether it will include causation that plaintiffs say will allow them to make their case. According to a filing, Doc #28, “The question of whether a product is defective is inextricable intertwined with the issues of causation and damages.”

Judge Joseph R. Goodwin

Judge Joseph R. Goodwin

According to Judge Goodwin in PTO #184, filed July 1, 2015, the cases are consolidated on the issue of design defect and all have a common question of law or fact.

“Among these cases, the claims against Ethicon are the same: negligence, design defect, defective product, manufacturing defect, failure to warn, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, and punitive damages.”

In Doc #32 Plaintiffs Plaintiffs’ Response to Def Objections to PTO# 182

Defendants object to consolidated trial and argue that it will lack the required finding that a defect existed in an individual device, which caused her injuries. Defendant (Ethicon) argues that a consolidated trial would feature a composite plaintiff who would suffer every possible injury. The company argues that a determination of defect liability would violate their constitutional rights under the Fifth Amendment due process clause and the Seventh Amendment’s reexamination clause. They call the consolidation a "logistical nightmare".

Plaintiffs say a consolidated trial that includes evidence on complete design defect and negligent design claims including causation and damages would alleviate the concerns. Under West Virginia law there is no requirement to prove there was a safer alternative design. Plaintiffs want a trial on Plaintiffs’ complete claims for design defect and negligent design, including causation and damage issues. Stay tuned. #


Mesh News Desk -Upcoming Trial Calendar

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