Mesh Medical Device News Desk, September 6, 2017 ~ A Philadelphia jury today delivered a $57 million verdict in the case of mesh-injured Ella Ebaugh, deciding that Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary, Ethicon, is liable for the Pennsylvania woman’s damaged urethra, the result of two pelvic mesh implants made by the healthcare giant.
The case no 130700866, began July 31 before a dozen jurors, all African-American, half men, half women and all middle aged.
In her closing Tuesday, Kline Specter attorney Kila Baldwin told the jurors to send a strong message to J&J by granting large punitive damages to plaintiff Ebaugh. This jury award includes $50 million in punitive damages and $7.1 million in compensatory damages.
The jurors were asked whether TVT or TVT-S were defective in design. They said “Yes.” Jurors also found the company’s conduct was negligent. A failure to warn was not included in this trial.
A J&J spokeswoman said the company will appeal the verdict.
The Inquirer reports a J&J statement:
“We believe the evidence showed Ethicon’s TVT and TVT-Secur devices were properly designed, Ethicon acted appropriately and responsibly in the research, development and marketing of the products, and the products were not the cause of the plaintiff’s continuing medical problems,” said Kristen Wallace.
Ebaugh, 51, claimed she suffered permanent, life-altering damage from two mesh implants made by Ethicon. Both the TVT (Tension-free tape) and TVT-SECUR mesh are used to treat incontinence. Her urethra was “mangled” from the TVT-SECUR, which eroded into her urethra and from subsequent attempts to remove the mesh.
This is the sixth trial against J&J and its pelvic mesh products to be held in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. All five previous product liability trials had found the pelvic meshes made by J&J/Ethicon were defective in their design. The TVT-SECUR has been found defectively design in two previous trials in this venue.
TVT-SECUR was removed from the market quietly by J&J in June 2012 while TVT remains on the market.
Kila Baldwin tells Mesh News Desk one juror told the law firm that the documents about the TVT-SECUR were indefensible.
Baldwin says “Their claims from the Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) that they wouldn’t support the product, J&J knew it was defective and they said to “jazz” and “spin the data.” KOL leader Vincent Lucente showed different rates of success that were inconsistent.”
“I am pleased the jury recognized the reckless conduct of Johnson & Johnson,” Baldwin said, “and I hope the company takes notice of this verdict and the other verdicts in Philadelphia and amends its practices accordingly so as not to hurt other women.”
All but one of the previous trials in this court delivered compensatory and punitive damages. So far in this Philadelphia court all seven meshes on trial have been found defective in design.
J&J and Ethicon has been ordered to pay mesh-injured women in this court a total of $105 million.
There are more than 100 other product liability trials waiting to be heard in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Additionally there are 104,000 product liability trials naming seven mesh makers waiting for trial consolidated in federal court in West Virginia, and several thousand cases waiting to be heard in Bergen Co., New Jersey as well as various defective product cases filed around the country.
According to the recent J&J SEC report, the mesh manufacturer has 55,000 pending defective product cases filed against it, more than any other maker. ##
Past Pelvic Mesh Cases in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas
$2.16 million – Sharon Beltz, Prolift mesh, no punitive damages
$12.5 million – Patricia Hammons including $7 million in punitive damages over Prolift mesh. Defective design,https://www.meshmedicaldevicenewsdesk.com/philadelphia-prolift-mesh-case-yields-12-5-million-verdict-for-plaintiff/
$13.5 million – Sharon Carlino including $10 million in punitive damages, TVT mesh
$20 million – Peggy Engleman, includes $17.5 million in punitive damages. TVT-SECUR
$0 – Kimberly Adkins, TVT-SECUR, defective design but did not cause her complications
$57-million – Ella Ebaugh, includes $50 million in punitive damages and defective design TVT and TVT-SECUR and negligent conduct
Mesh News Desk, August 23, 2017 ~ “Show Me The Money”
Mesh News Desk, August 29, 2017, Defense Opens Case – Just because she had a bad outcome doesn’t mean the mesh is defective
Mesh News Desk, September 1, 2017 ~ Tricks to the TVT-SECUR
Mesh Medical Device News Desk, September 5, 2017 ~ Medical Expert- No Problem with TVT-S
U.S. Food and Drug Administration 510(k) clearance of TVT-SECUR for market, Nov. 2005 here.