Jurors Begin Deliberating Philadelphia Prolift Pelvic Mesh Case

//Jurors Begin Deliberating Philadelphia Prolift Pelvic Mesh Case

Jurors Begin Deliberating Philadelphia Prolift Pelvic Mesh Case

Prolift on eBay July 2013

Prolift on eBay July 2013

The two-week trial of Hammons  v. Ethicon case went to the jury Friday in the first pelvic mesh tried in Pennsylvania. The Indiana woman, Patricia Hammons, filed a product liability case against Ethicon, a subdivision of Johnson & Johnson over a Prolift pelvic mesh she received to treat incontinence in 2009.  (Case No. 130503913). The case is being heard in the Court of Common Pleas, believed to be favorable to plaintiffs.

She contends her pelvic injuries are permanent and she has undergone numerous removal surgeries. The mesh has reportedly adhered to her bladder and cannot be removed. She has pain, infection and urinary and sexual dysfunction.

The jury in the fist Prolift case to go to trial in 2013, delivered a $11.1 million verdict to plaintiff Linda Gross. That case is still under appeal. Attorney Adam Slater who represented Ms. Gross also represents Ms. Hammons along with Shanin Specter of Kline & Specter.

The Legal Intelligencer (here) reports Judge Mark Bernstein adjourned court for the day by mid-afternoon Wednesday due to a fire alarm disruption and a protest by cabs and Uber drivers outside of City Hall.  Closing arguments continued and wrapped-up Thursday.

shanin specter kline specter“If there was a hall of fame for bad products, this would be in the lobby,” Specter told jurors.

The Prolift is one of the largest meshes ever made by J&J and its division Ethicon. It is delivered to doctors in a box with implanting devices called trocars.  In mid-2012, the Prolift was removed from the market by J&J, allegedly for financial reasons. That relieved the company of having to conduct FDA-imposed three-year post-approval monitoring of the effects the mesh on implanted women.

The Hammons trial is the first among among Ethicon pelvic mesh cases to tell jurors about the issue of document destruction.  Ethicon destroyed documents that were under a hold for litigation purposes.

Specter showed the box and its contents to the jurors.  With a hook-shaped installation tools, they resemble a hooked arm.  The company had no clue how to remove the device if it failed, jurors were told.  While Ethicon says the mesh system works. Specter argued it turns a woman’s posterior organs inside out, shrinks and deforms the vagina in the process.

Still ahead in early 2016 are a series of defective pelvic mesh cases to be heard in this venue beginning January 11, 2016 with De la Cruz, v. Ethicon, January 26, 23016, Carlino v. Ethicon, February  22, McGee v. Ethicon and Navarro v. Ethicon to be heard March 21, 2006.    See background story on Hammons trial here. #

By | 2015-12-16T21:22:11+00:00 December 16th, 2015|News|11 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. Liz December 17, 2015 at 8:49 am - Reply

    Pray for a guilty verdict for Ms Hammons!!!!!!Let justice prevail!!we were told the mesh becomes part of your anatomy and you never have to worry about it again!!!They weren’t kidding, literally. It can be found everywhere in women’s bodies. Wake up manufactures! You did this with your defective product and then LIED!!!!!

  2. Jane Akre December 17, 2015 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Ethicon had tried to move 200 cases out of this Philadelphia court, said to be Plaintiff-friendly. See link


  3. mary December 17, 2015 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    I pray for a guilty verdict for her after 5 surgery’s i know how it is i have been suffering sense 03 it sure is not fun i suffer every day the pain is so bad you have to plan every thing and plan when you go some where ,.i feel for her hope she gets what she deserve mary

  4. Don't give up December 18, 2015 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    Nothing on the verdict yet thought it would have gone to the jury by now I hope they make the right decision and find them guilty I just want all of this to be over BUT if they want to keep fighting so be it we are not giving up.Jane any news on you getting back onto the link so you can continue you great journalism on mesh and the court cases and everything else you write about concerning people hurt by mesh.

    • Jane Akre December 18, 2015 at 7:36 pm - Reply

      Philadelphia case went home Friday and will continue deliberations Monday. The Kansas City case adjourned today and will reconvene after the holidays. So there is some opportunity to return..I’m working on it….. thank you.

  5. karen December 18, 2015 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    J n j can’t seem to stay out of the courts . This corporations has gone Mad . No one is safe .


  6. Bejah Blue December 19, 2015 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    Jane, thank you for sharing this.

    Excuse me…the venue was “inconvenient” for Ethicon and they wanted to move to a court where they could more easliy dismiss the 200 cases ????? Since when is “inconvenient” location a justification for demanding such a thing. Again, it is evidence of the persistent and undeniable evil of this organization. So Ethicon wanted a move to a court that was not friendly to plaintiffs so that they could exercize their will to dismiss those 200 cases. Since they have not evidently complained about other courts what does this suggest.

    Also, I do not believe an appeal stating the location was inconvenient would even be allowed if an individual citizen asked for such a change. I see over and over that the courts favor businesses, not citizens, not the people.

    From the article:

    A Philadelphia county judge has rejected Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon’s argument that the court is an inconvenient place to try an upcoming load of cases against it over allegedly defective pelvic mesh products, leaving the first case to go to trial in early December. Judge Arnold New denied Ethicon Inc.’s motion to dismiss the more than 200 cases pending in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.


    In any event, “inconvenience” is a rather limp wristed complaint IMHO. How many plaintiffs have registered such complaints with the courts. I expect NONE! Thank Heaven this judge rejected the Ethicon complaint.


  7. janet December 20, 2015 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    There is know other way these trials should be going

    These companies settled lawsuits in 2003 for mesh

    And then they placed back out to injury more women

    They should be paying us for the rest of our lifes and for what we have lost including pain and suffering

    Please God make this right by us

    These manufacturers are guilty

  8. Toni December 21, 2015 at 10:46 am - Reply

    I am praying for all of these trials to find for all of us what we as victims already know. This product has ruined our health and our lives in so many ways. We need closure to this nightmare. I am barely hanging on. About to lose my career do to 4 surgeries. My house of 20 yrs. I am severely depressed and I am just 50. Wow 10 yrs of this hell. I suffer continued pain while being single with my mom and 2 sons. Depending on me for a roof over their heads. I am giving up hope.

  9. Maggielu December 21, 2015 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    I had Johnson and Johnson Mess Implant in 2011 and had to have a piece removed in 2013. My life has changed for the worse in so many ways. I can’t travel and visit or enjoy the things we did in the past. Pills for pain and bladder drainage and bowel problems are something I never expected. One would think the judge would have some consideration for anyone with this implant within their bodies. We not only live with the pain and the medication and the messes but with the thoughts of what could be coming along in the future. Why isn’t someone doing something to this company who covered up and kept selling and encouraging hospitols to use this product when they knew there were problems and serious one.

  10. jfa December 21, 2015 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    J&J Found Liable In 1st Philly Pelvic Mesh Case

    By Dan Packel

    Law360, Philadelphia (December 21, 2015, 2:20 PM ET) — A Philadelphia jury returned a $5.5 million verdict against a Johnson & Johnson unit on Monday after agreeing that the negligence of scientists regarding pelvic mesh implant Prolift was the root cause of an Indiana woman’s inability to have sex after having the product implanted.

    The jury took almost two days to find that Ethicon Inc. was responsible for Patricia Hammons’ contracting the condition known as dyspareunia, in the first of 180 cases in the mass tort program to go to trial.

    The jury also granted…

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