Mesh News Desk, January 15, 2015 ~ Following a two week trial the wrongful death, pelvic mesh case of Joan Budke settled just before it was to go to the jury.
Without knowing any specifics, our court watcher reports the Budke v. Ethicon case settled Wednesday afternoon January 21, after a two week trial. She approached the area where one is scanned into the courtroom and saw J&J attorney Christy Jones talking with jurors. That is not allowed if court is in session and atrial is underway.
The court watcher asked what happened? Jones didn’t say anything but Johnson & Johnson attorney Dan Ball said “We settled.”
The litigation team was lighthearted and chatty with the jurors she observed.
Prolift Case Ends
A settlement means no details about the case will be made available to the public and generally there is no admission of liability. There were no punitive damages allowed in this case.
The preponderance of the evidence was what the jurors needed to consider to come to their verdict – was the Prolift mesh defective in its design, its manufacturers and its instructions to doctors? Was it responsible for the death of Joan Budke?
Our court watcher spoke to two jurors who felt that the infection in Ms. Budke came from the mesh and they were inclined to believe the plaintiffs’ presentation to the 15 person jury. Other jurors lingered to speak to the plaintiffs’ lawyers after the trial.
A settlement means the family does not have to wait for the appeals process to linger in the courts like the February 2013 Prolift mesh trial of Linda Gross who was awarded $11.1 million. That case is still under appeal. The family has seen no monies.
Prolift System Pelvic Mesh Repair Kit is no longer on the market. It and three other meshes made by J&J were quietly voluntarily removed from the market allegedly for business reasons in 2012 but were still sold overseas. The mesh is used to treat incontinence and prolapse and is made from refashioned hernia mesh, the Gynemesh PS.
There has never been a defective product finding for the Prolift. That could have happened had the Budke case gone to the jury. By settling, the company avoids that label. However, the Ethicon mesh sling, the TVT-O, has twice been determined in product liability litigation (Huskey and Batiste) to have been defective in its design.
Editor’s Note* ~ No amount of money will ever replace a lost life.