Jo and Allen Huskey

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, February 1, 2017 ~ Huskey Case Affirmed by Appeals Court becoming the third transvaginal mesh case to survive the appeals process. 

The transvaginal mesh award of $3.27 million in the case of Jo Huskey v. Ethicon has survive an appeal by the healthcare giant.

Huskey v. Ethicon, Inc. (2:12-cv-05201)  went to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which affirmed the jury award Thursday January 26th, denying Johnson & Johnson’s appeal asking for a judgment in their favor or a new trial.

Here is the opinion.

Huskey v. Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, was the first J&J bellwether case to go to trial in Charleston, West Virginia, in multidistrict litigation (MDL) that now has more than 100,000 lawsuits filed.

Huskey and Christy Jones

The plaintiffs, Jo and Allen Huskey, alleged her TVT-O was defective and caused her permanent and severe complications including chronic pelvic pain, sexual dysfunction and loss of consortium.

After a nine-day trial on September 5, 2014, Husky and her husband were awarded $3.27 million and an affirmation of all five claims including failure to warn and design defect. Here is the MND story.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys had argued the use of a heavyweight polypropylene mesh constituted a design defect. The appeals court stated the jury could reasonably infer from expert testimony that using a lightweight mesh would have reduced the foreign body reaction within the body without a loss of effectiveness.

Ed Wallace, attorney for Jo Huskey

Huskey was represented by Ed Wallace and Mark Miller of Wexler Wallace, Fidelma Fitzpatrick of Motley Rice and Jeffery Kuntz of Wagstaff Cartmell. (Your editor was in the courtroom. See Wallace’s closing argument here.)

Ethicon appealed after the unanimous jury verdict. See a Mesh News Desk background story here.

In its 23-page opinion and order on January 26, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed that the District Court committed no reversible errors and the Plaintiffs offered sufficient evidence to sustain the jury verdict.

This is the third jury verdict in favor of a plaintiff to be upheld following a manufacturer appeal.

Jurors, art by Akre

In the July 2012 trial of Christine Scott v. C.R. Bard, the Bard appeal was exhausted last year and she was finally paid $3.6 million, the portion attributed to Bard. See the background story here.  See more here. 

The case of Linda Gross v. Ethicon survived an appeal by J&J and the New Jersey Supreme Court denied hearing the case, (see story here) exhausting the appeals process for J&J which now must pay the compensatory and punitive award of $11.1 million.

See more on Gross v. Ethicon here  and use the Search Bar on Mesh News Desk to pull up coverage of Huskey, Scott and Gross trials. ###