Beltz Pelvic Mesh Trial in Philadelphia- Will it be Fourth PA Court Loss for J&J?

//Beltz Pelvic Mesh Trial in Philadelphia- Will it be Fourth PA Court Loss for J&J?

Beltz Pelvic Mesh Trial in Philadelphia- Will it be Fourth PA Court Loss for J&J?

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, May 11, 2017 ~ The case of Sharon Beltz began with jury selection Monday in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, the same venue where there have been three straight losses for J&J over its transvaginal mesh, which includes $34.5 million in punitive damages

Does this comport with the company’s model of “sustainability”? 

The Prolift and TVT-O are the focus of the Beltz case. 

In the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas there are nearly 200 pelvic mesh product liability cases filed naming primarily Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson. A fewer number of pelvic mesh cases name defendant, Boston Scientific. 

Among them is the case of Sharon Beltz, whose trial began this week. (See Beltz etal vs Ethicon Women’s Health and Urology, Case ID: 130603835).

Beltz is suing Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon medical device division, along with Secant Medical that knits the Prolene polypropylene filaments, and Prodesco, Inc of Perkasie, Pennsylvania, which did business under the fictitious name of Secant Medical.

Secant Medical manufactured and sold the mesh components of the J&J pelvic mesh products.


On September 20, 2006, Ms. Beltz was implanted with the Ethicon Prolift System to treat pelvic organ prolapse. Her surgeon was Dr. Heather Van Raatle, MD at St. Lukes Hospital in Bethlehem, PA.

On that same day Beltz, was implanted with the Gynecare (Ethicon) TVT-O System to treat incontinence.

TVT graphic

Beltz says she has suffered permanent catastrophic injury, undergone corrective surgery, “has experienced, and will continue to experience, significant mental and physical pain and suffering, financial or economic loss, including, but not limited to, obligations for medical services and expenses.”

See the Beltz Complaint.

The Complaint reminds readers that even an Ethicon sponsored study, published in the August 2010 Journal of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists concluded there is a high 15.6% vaginal mesh erosion rate with Prolift.  “With no difference in overall objective and subjective cure rates.”

See MND story here. 

Prolift and three other meshes were removed from the market by J&J in 2012. See MND story here. 

Prolift and TVT-O have been found defectively designed in pelvic mesh trials that have already gone to the jury. 

The manufacturer has consistently under-reported and withheld information about the failure rate and propensity to cause injury and complications, says the Complaint.

In all, the defendant deceived the medical community and plaintiffs showing a “callous, reckless willful, and depraved indifference to the health, safety and welfare,” of the plaintiff.

Ms. Beltz had corrective surgery November 5, 2011 and then another revision surgery by Dr. Van Rattle.

Ms. Beltz alleges defective manufacture and design of the meshes,  Common law fraud, negligent misrepresentation, negligent infliction of emotional distress, breach of express warranty, Breach of implied warranty,  violation of consumer protection law,  gross negligence, loss of consortium,

Beltz is represented by Kline & Specter, the same firm that has overseen a series of plaintiff wins in the same Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

Ethicon is represented by Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP and Butler Snow, Thomas Combs & Spann and O’Melveny & Myers.

Punitive damages are allowed.


Mr. M . Tom Margolis MD

According to sources close to the case, the first witness is Dr. Daniel Elliott, urologist from the Mayo Clinic,  by video. He also appeared in the Hammons trial.

Later in the week, the plaintiffs’ causation expert will be M. Tom Margolis, MD. Dr. Margolis has been an expert medical witness in a number of pelvic mesh trials. He is one of the few doctors in the country specializing in pelvic mesh complications and revisions at his San Francisco area office. See it here.

The defense expert is Dr. Elizabeth Kavaler, MD from the Gross and Budke case.

J&J in this PA Court – A HISTORY OF LOSSES

The last three trials resulted in wins for the Plaintiff including – $12.5 million (Hammons),   $13.5 million (Carlino) and on April 28th $20 million for Ms. Engleman.

Read the MND story of the Engleman trial here.

MDN on Carlino here.

Read the MND story on Hammons case here.

Altogether, the three cases represent $34.5 million in punitive damages, intended to punish a company.  Juries decided on the punitive damages after listening to evidence from both sides.

Here is the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas website which has 182 pelvic mesh cases listed for trial, primarily naming Ethicon Women’s Health and Urology, Johnson & Johnson. A few cases name defendant Boston Scientific, Inc.

Monday, May 15th there is a Pelvic Mesh Meeting scheduled in the Complex Litigation Center. ###



By |2017-06-01T20:47:25+00:00May 11th, 2017|News|12 Comments

About the Author:

I’m National News Editor, Jane Akre and I began Mesh Medical Device News Desk aka Mesh News Desk (MND) in the summer of 2011 just after the Food and Drug Administration issued an explicit warning to the public that complications associated with surgical mesh used for prolapse repair (POP) and incontinence (SUI) are NOT rare! That was the starting point for the litigation you see today and thousands of lawsuits have been filed by women whose lives have been altered, some permanently, by the use of this petroleum-based product.


  1. Anon May 11, 2017 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    Have you looked at the scheduled program for the AUA annual conference that starts tomorrow? There is a crossfire section about radical meshectomy of which Dr. Razz is one of the presenters/panel members. Quite a few presentations listed for mesh but it doesn’t seem as slanted in favor of it as it has in the past.

  2. Sad May 13, 2017 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    Wishing Sharon and Walter Beltz the best and good luck.

    • Jane Akre May 14, 2017 at 9:10 am - Reply

      I have it on good authority that the case may end prematurely, before it goes to the defense side…. or the jury……. stand by

  3. Sad May 13, 2017 at 11:34 pm - Reply

    Fictitious Name for your mesh supplier??
    Ethicon/JNJ how could you do this to us??
    Beltz is suing Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon medical device division, along with Secant Medical that knits the Prolene polypropylene filaments, and Prodesco, Inc of Perkasie, Pennsylvania, which did business under the fictitious name of Secant Medical.

  4. Kitty May 14, 2017 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    Happy Mother’s Day to all u lovely ladies. Thank u Jane for hanging in with us Luv U

  5. Kitty May 14, 2017 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    DRS’ Margolis and Elliot are 2 of the best.

  6. Anon-lab-rats May 14, 2017 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    I am questioning why or if my law firm should have also filed against these fake same dummy companies. The more I read the more angry I become the more sad I become. How did these companies do such underhanded deceitful obvious unlawful acts and play Russian roulette with our health and still continue to defend the reprehensible acts in court and shove it under the rug, Chinese mesh dummy companies destroy evidence knew it was bad had studies within that knew what it would or could do. sorry about the rants but how do any of us suffering having the most private and intimate part of womanhood detroyed over hurrying these products to beat out competition to make huge profits ridiculous bonuses for CEO’s. The truth keeps coming and coming. Its really unbelievable. When is this going to hit the fan so the world really knows of the scope of the cover-up the lies the deceit the pure negligence. I am at a lose. Really need a movie done on this scandal. These pharma companies have raped every woman they have knowingly harmed. The FDA the government and the courts and media all need to stand up and stop this madness being perpetrated against its citizens. Look at how out of control these companies have become not just mesh but in many many many ways. I started asking about my Prolift implanted in jan 2006 before FDA approval plus TVT at the same time and wondering about these so called dummy companies. Never heard anything from my attorney regarding them. But I just keep thinking of more and more and more that they lied about covered up. Why are we sitting here waiting and waiting and them even aloud to offer so little for ruined health pain suffering loss of our womanhood when the facts are in and proven. You and all of us need to come together from every corner of this world donate or put a go fund me from every corner of this world and make a movie. The truth needs to be exposed on a grand scale. Yours and MAM are our only outlets and our only way it seems to gain the truth but until it truly explodes I see no end to their lies and cover ups. I thought when pharma companies studied drugs they paid people for them risking themselves to be guinea pigs but I guess they can use us all and make huge profits by using us all. Sorry for the ranting but I am sick of them getting away with this. I don’t know how I am going to survive anymore yet I would give my last dime to expose this scandal. They seem to think they are above the law and just the cost of them making profits . They should have to pay restitution personally for there decisions.

    • Sad May 16, 2017 at 10:42 pm - Reply

      I am so angry and agree 100% with your words.

      How could they use us as “Lab Rats” and destroy our lives ? I lost a great job but most important my good health. No amount of money can buy back the good health we lost.
      And than we need to be on gag order and not tell our horror stories to the public?
      JnJ knew the horrors some women would suffer before they implanted their mesh garbage in innocent women. Yes I fell for their new “gold standard” sales pitch. They cannot get away with their crimes.

  7. lordhelpus May 16, 2017 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    How could they, when they’re all making money on the stocks that they buy and trade on the same bills that they pass. Congress, drs, etc get first dibs on them whether the product is harmful or not as long as they’re flying off the shelves that’s all they care about. This is why they can’t come down so hard on each other, it would be like shooting themselves or each other on the foot. You know like, “one hand washes the other and both hands wash the face” type thing.

  8. Jimmy May 16, 2017 at 11:33 pm - Reply

    If you get a chance watch pharmaceutical thugs. Chris bell documentary. Its not about mesh but it does open up the dark world of big pharmacy companies.
    Any word om how this case is going

  9. SAD May 17, 2017 at 7:01 am - Reply

    “I cannot believe how significant evidence showing that J&J/Ethicon used a fictasious company like Secant Medical too manufacturing products not meant for implanting in women leading to shrinkage and erosion. Where the courts will not allow such evidence excluding medical advise and testing from some of the best respectable doctors in the country. It seems we are all going to suffer the consequences instead of them. Our OBGYN`s were not trained by reps to extract the materials and yet I feel is so unfair how they bypassed the system the FDA and sold billions of mesh products over the last 20 years. We were told it would improve our lives not harm us. We were told it would improve our quality of life yet my life was just fine before implanting the mesh. I was able to walk and run I was able to work a full time job I had relationships enjoyed going shopping, enjoyed fishing time with family or friends. It`s so sad they exclude evidence that is significant to seeking Justice and make them suffer in our higher courts. Just shows us how women are treated in our society as well as our courts. Women whose lives were torn shredded in the midst of companies only manufacturing products bypassing FDA warnings marketing as a get rich scheme. They never cared what it would do to our lives personally finacially or productively. What is really hard to swallow is there are many more implanted having problems same as us who are injured and yet have not come forward because their Doctors OBGYN`s wont admit it is the Mesh causing leg cramps, yeast infections that never go away, sickness, headaches, they just keep pushing more meds that isnt working instead of removing the mesh. I personally know two and tried explaining to them to tell their doctors remove the mesh as much as possible then you will see a difference. You still will have pain and infections will come and go but at least thats a start of getting the toxic out. The OBGYN will never admit it is the Mesh implanted as she is progammed to make these women feel like their syptoms are just all in their heads but push meds at the same time that isnt making them well. 2012 FDA put out warning and such products TVTO and M+ Prolift are highly toxic to a womans vaginal and organs surrounding. Scar tissue is what they claim from surgeries bull hockey its the mesh toxic thats slowly killing us. Sorry but I needed to voice my opinion as we are silenced by our attorneys advice not to go public and thats a shame we are mesh warriors who seek Justice as they harmed us through their selling to our phycians and their reps convinced them it will help us and lead us to living more productive lives. Hogwash it injured our relationships (Cant have sex it`s too painful) and cannot do normal activities without all the pain and I only take alleve or advil I do not beilieve in taking narcotics it never helped me and so addictive I got off all their meds they were pushing and I deal with pain daily. I try to exercise and rehabilitate myself as much as my body can stand the pain until I have to relax. Not an easy task and been doing it now for 4 years.We are not cry babies by no means some of us are very strong in so many ways but you know enough is enough when it comes to them not recognizing the injuries their products did to each of us with the same symptoms same problems of being able to live productively. I pray for Justice that the Judge and Jury will wake up to all of us plus the women who are or havnt been discovered or are afraid it will just be class action suits. Some want to seek justice but dont know where to start. I say do your research and start by asking the mesh be removed because months and months and still on medicines that isnt helping and making you more sicker. Removal of the toxic product is a start.

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