Day 8 Huskey v. Ethicon Defense Wraps Closing Arguments This PM
Reviewing the documents, the medical expert for Johnson & Johnson, Christina Pramudji MD, agreed all of the documents she was provided with to form her expert opinion were given to her by the parent company of Ethicon, Johnson & Johnson. It was what was NOT provided to her which would be the basis of the plaintiff’s re-cross.
Fidelma Fitzpatrick, an attorney for Jo Huskey, 54, shows the emerging documents that say chronic pain, though rare, is recognized and that the traditional transitory treatment, expressed in the IFU does not address that. Prior to her implant, the inventor of the TVT-O Dr. Jean de Leval says the foreign body reaction plays a role in the development of pain… that is January 2009, one month before the implant of TVT-O into Mrs. Huskey, yet the products Instructions for Use (IFU) that go to the surgeon do not include that information.
Fitzpatrick is aggressive, firm and unrelenting. The judge warns her to slow down a bit so the court reporter can keep up.
The jury is only seeing this one woman Jo Husky, they presumably have no idea that she represents just one of more than 66-thousand similar cases filed in this case and 10-thousand mesh injuries worldwide with the numbers growing and the breadth of doctors who deny their pain is real.
A series of documents followed.
Information about younger, sports minded and active women does not appear in the IFU, the instructions for use asked Fitzpatrick, the lawyer for Mrs. Huskey. Dr. Pramudji agreed.
Transient pain is in the IFU but chronic pain syndrome is not warned about is it? Dr. Pramudji agreed.
Dr. Pramudji countered yesterday’s testimony that Ethicon decide to influence doctors by spending hundreds of millions of dollars influencing doctors through their various professional organizations.
That “M” meant thousands not millions, said the doctor. That would mean instead of Ethicon spending $200 million on influencing doctors it would be $200-thousand. “That makes more sense,” said Dr. Pramudji.
THINNER VERSUS HEAVIER WOMEN AND MESH INJURIES
The final point in the trial was a back and forth that might have been a bit confusing to the jurors. While Fitzpatrick had shown documentation that thinner, more active women have more complications with aTtVT-O, Jones had presented evidence that a lower body mass index (BMI) makes no difference. Dr. Pramudji concurred, this article didn’t make a distinction in heavier vs thinner women and the degree of injury from a mesh implant.
Jury instruction must be written with Illinois law in mind since Mrs. Huskey is from Illinois. Court watchers should look up – Illinois Patterned jury instructions to find out more here.
After lunch there will be closing arguments and jury instructions. Judge Goodwin said he had some trouble with what to tell the jury in this case. Judge Goodwin told the court with the jury gone that strict liability was easier when you were discussing dynamite.
Were the causes of injury to Mrs. Huskey specific or more generic due to the defect of the entire device? In other words, a specific or nonspecific cause of injury?
During this discussion, Mrs. Huskey began crying and is accompanied out of the courtroom with a female lawyer and paralegal. The jury is not present.
Judge – Is it your theory of the case that a specific defect caused the injuries or is it your theory that nonspecific defects caused the injury?
Ed Wallace (attorney for Huskey) – Your honor I believe there are specific defects. I believe I can say both. I would submit for purpose of jury instructions it is a nonspecific defect that causes these injuries.
Dave Thomas (attorney for J&J) – I don’t believe non specific defect survives, I think it has to be a specific defect. The defendant did not have a duty to warn consumers such as Mrs. Huskey.
Judge- I don’t believe Illinois law to be as clear as you are making it.
As this story was being written, sitting outside of the Judge’s chambers during the lunch break, Mr. Thomas emerged from the back door of the Judge’s chambers with two other lawyers. #