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Huskey v Ethicon Day 4- Huskey Takes the Stand

Huskey and Christy Jones

Huskey and Christy Jones

This coverage is provided in conjunction with We Are Mesh Survivors, a coalition of synthetic vaginal mesh implant survivors united to demand justice for those who have suffered and to demand that existing products be pulled from the market until their safety can be demonstrated.

Jo Huskey, 54 took the stand in this, Day 4 of her trial against healthcare giant, Johnson & Johnson.  Huskey, an Illinois woman, is tall and looked somewhat stronger than she had previously in this case.

She pleasantly recounted her days hiking, power walking, kayaking with her dog, Izzie on the boat helm.  When she wasn’t speed walking five or six miles she would bike ten miles daily.

Ed Wallace (Wexler Wallace) showed her wedding picture with husband, Allen. It was the only weekend in May it didn’t rain, she said with a smile. The wedding cake was beautiful and tasted good too.

Ed Wallace, attorney for Jo Huskey

Ed Wallace, attorney for Jo Huskey

Huskey made fitness the focus of her life since an early unhappy marriage and extra weight. The physical therapy assistant had clients she attended and all was good. She and her husband had been in a car accident where she suffered back and neck injuries. She had had a hysterectomy and back and shoulder surgery, but none of those events keep her from her dedicated physical activities.

Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) was not a viable part of a fitness regimen. Leakage would occur at inopportune times. During a meeting with Dr. Gretchen Byrkit, Huskey was shown a SUI treatment brochure that featured the story of US speed skater, Bonnie Blair from a nearby town in Illinois. Huskey said she did not consider herself an athlete to that extent but seeing  that endorsement spoke directly to her.

“I read her story because that impressed me so much. She was an athlete and was dealing with the same thing and had this done and it was successful.” Huskey said she relied on this endorsement.

Under questioning by Wallace, Huskey was asked if she was told if there was a problem, the device could be easily removed.  “It was easily treated if there was a problem,” Huskey said she was told.

“Did you ever expect the TVT device to cause pelvic pain? No.

Did you ever expect the TVT device to cause levator spasms?  No.

Did you ever expect it would be subject to degradation?  No.

That it would rope or curl? No.

Are you in pain as you sit here?  Extremely.

Huskey had the TVT-O mesh implanted in February 2011 as a treatment for her incontinence but by July she had ongoing pelvic pain. Remedies such as estrogen cream didn’t work and eventually she sought a partial removal. When that was unsuccessful, she was referred to a urogynecologist, who did another partial removal.

That doctor said he couldn’t remove all of the mesh because of how it was placed on her left side.

Huskey was asked to describe the ride home after that surgery. She started crying. Wallace approached the witness and said he was sorry.

“Does the pain ever go away? 

Never its always there.

Do you hold out hope for the future? 

I’m trying to because I know somebody out there will be able to help me” she said fighting back tears.”

 

Judge Joseph R. Goodwin, Charleston, WV

Judge Joseph R. Goodwin, Charleston, WV

Judge Goodwin interrupted a line of questioning about what Huskey had been told by her doctor. Under Illinois law, the learned intermediary is the doctor the manufacturer only has a duty to warn the doctor. A failure to do so is one of the elements of  a defective product case.

 

Christy Jones, Linda Gross trial, Atlantic City NJ, Feb 2013

Christy Jones, Linda Gross trial, Atlantic City NJ, Feb 2013

CROSS EXAM

Christy Jones was responsible for cross examining Mrs. Huskey.

Jones has been known to be aggressive in her pursuit of answers from a plaintiff but today she was rather matter-of-fact with Mrs. Huskey.   Had she had problem with stress urinary incontinence as far back as 2008?  Did she have a car accident in late 2009?  In the fall of 2010 she hadn’t she been treated for pelvic pain?

You’ve seen a number of doctors for a number of years for a number of conditions, said Jones, wrapping it into a question.

REDIRECT

The plaintiff lawyers are allowed one last set of question. Wallace asked Huskey if she had received reassurances from her doctor’s office that the type of mesh she had was not the “bad” mesh?

Yes, said Huskey.  #

 

 

36 Comments

  1. Robert says:

    I just cringe when I see that beast Christy Jones and that finger in the air. I would just love to snap it off! Maybe she will give me a opportunity to!

  2. charles says:

    What is he referring to as the bad mesh?

    • Jane Akre says:

      Hi Charles- That’s such a good question. Sorry I didn’t explain it. it’s a little inside baseball, so to speak. Many women are told not to worry… the mesh being proposed to them is not that”bad mesh” that has been recalled or taken off the market. That is not a true statement. A few meshes have been quietly taken from the market. there are only a handful of recalls, Kugel, ProteGen, the best known. If it is polypropylene mesh, which seems to be the common denominator to mesh injuries, among other things, the question to ask if you hear “This isn’t the bad mesh” – is it polypropylene? ~ ja

  3. Jane says:

    Great coverage Jane Akre

  4. Dean says:

    A trick question asking if it was a bad Mesh as fare as I know they where all supposed to be safe but they WHERE NOT SAFE seriously if it was a few women this happened to BUT it ISNT it’s THOUSANDS of women across the Globe I really hope the jury can read through what’s really going on and Mrs Huskey win this case.

  5. OMG Robert you made me laugh out loud! while sitting (pain) …. that finger !! apparently Christy Jones has tamed her aggressive style ..it made her look like an ass last time ….. hoping the jury can read behind the defense red herrings …..

  6. Laura says:

    Is there any known doctors that were warned by any manufacturer? If so, why did they not pass this crucial information onto their patients? I have never heard one single injured woman in 14 years ever say they were warned. Clearly it is defective! We the injured know these devices were recommended to us as being the next best thing since sliced bread! They have been glorified and still to this day are glorified, or in the manufacturers words, “gold standard.”

    What a stupid law Illinois! We all have had our share of being lied to in this hell mesh by doctors. Whose to say they are going to be truthful now! Where is the law for the patient? I am so sick of the symantecs!

    Thanks Jane for your updates.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Something not mentioned in the trial is how many other cases are pending! And that the FDA never approved the mesh for safety and efficacy!

  7. Aaron Leigh says:

    Thank you Jane. As usual, EXCELLENT coverage. I could try to draw… not sure I could write after the first case.

  8. Terri says:

    Charles, here’s a good example.. If you watch from about 17:00 to about 21:00 i believe, you will see this Dr. claim the mesh used now is not the mesh the FDA warned about.. it’s the same exact mesh, just that some are “cutting their own” rather than using kits and it’s more money in their pockets. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRRq5SzGhYk

  9. Linda Gaul says:

    Similar situation happened to me..close to dying with infected mesh..I inquired extensively with Dr about the brand of mesh was told it was safe….God bless the survivors of this horrific product!!

  10. Tara says:

    Jane, I do so appreciate all your time and patience in being there. Representing thousands of injured women and men. As you say the question to ask is ” Is it polypropylene?” As so many in so many groups keep repeating, mesh is mesh…hope that gets through to the juries. Again much appreciation to you.~Tara

  11. kristine says:

    I totally believe that the mesh polypropylene is killing me slowly now at this point. I spent ten days in the hospital this month. The first stay I had trouble breathing and bad pelvic and rectal pain with high fever. The breathing problem is getting worse. I’m terrified. The second stay . I felt myself dying. I could not breath and went into shock . My fever was high and the pain in my vagina and rectal area hurt terribly. I can feel the mesh infection its no joke. I’m fighting now to get into surgery before it kills me. Who knows what’s going to happen. I was active. I’m 43 and I’m sick as heck. This sucks . I’m so scared.

  12. Suzette Donleavy says:

    How about the patients who were never told they were to be implanted only to wake up to learn this after surgery and then the surgeon never acknowledging (for 9 months!) that the pain could me related to the BAD MESH??!! (Surgeon moved out of the state after 9 months and wouldn’t take my calls once I figured out it was the bad mesh in me making me sick and the source of my pain!).

    What upsets me so much is this continues to be done and the surgeons are not held accountable to the devastation they have reeked on lives and families…

    Thanks Jane for your tireless coverage and support.

    • Mary Pat says:

      Some patients were lied to for years! Even though I was having what we now know to be classic mesh erosion and FBR symptoms, my doctors lied to me for years, telling me that there was either nothing wrong or I needed more estrogen to thicken the vaginal wall. I didn’t even know I had mesh until I sought a second opinion years later when the mesh finally eroded so badly through the vaginal wall that it sliced my husbands penis open! Even when that happened, my implanting doctor did not tell me it was from mesh erosion. At that point, she told me my “surgery needed to be redone”. I left the implanting doctor after a doctor from that practice pulled and cut at the eroded mesh on the exam table – (with no numbing agent whatsoever). I found a new urologist who diagnosed mesh erosion. I didn’t even know I had mesh in me until years after the implant! I wonder how many injured women are experiencing mesh erosion and FBR and they don’t even know it!

  13. Beth from Maine says:

    Can you tell what the jury was doing during Jo’s testimony with both lawyers? Also, what happened to her marriage did it end from mesh? Thanks for sharing all the details. I am always interested in jury behavior and if they were paying close attention and seemed sympathetic from their faces. Thanks for sharing your observations!

    • Jane Akre says:

      Beth- I’m interested too….. unfortunately sitting closest to the witness puts me basically alongside the jurors so I can only see the faces of those on the end. They can take notes, they don’t appear to be taking many, there are 7 women and I’d say about three or four appear to be paying attention as are the two men. They are all white. They are all in their 30’s to 60s. I recall one woman has some sort of medical background, which can go either way. One juror had a family emergency on Friday, so they left early. Judge Goodwin is being very kind to the jurors and considerate of them. He walks them through the process and thanks them regularly for their service. He appears to be in good mood as appeared to the Lewis case where he was clearly annoyed. That case ended in a directed verdict for J&J. Wish you all could sit here and see it… you would not be disappointed. Beside me, there are no reporters and no mesh injured women, just lawyers in dark suits and one guy who could be a corporate rep. I asked him if he was a lawyer in the elevator, he said he was with a law firm that had a different manufacturer. I asked him if it was Boston Sci or AMS… he said “I’d rather not say” and walked away. I asked, “is it a secret?” Couldn’t help myself…

  14. All Meshed Up says:

    As Jane stated, the common denominator in this case as in most of them is the material these mesh ‘products’ are made of, Polypropylene. That, to me, is the dirty secret about all mesh. Polypropylene does not do well in the body whether Hernia mesh, Gynecological mesh or mesh used for reconstruction. I know a man here in Colorado that had to have shoulder reconstruction and a sheet of Prolene mesh (Ethicon) was used. He ended up having to remove that mesh and last I saw of him he could not use his right arm. The mesh twisted, shrank, tore through the stitches and caused infections. The scarring he has is horrible and the fact that he can no longer use his arm is unconscionable.

    The FDA is going to have to face “the music” one day when all of the evidence is revealed. Extensive studies have NOT been done. A few months of an animal implant does not reveal what PP does in the human body after 1 year much less 5 or 10. The 501(K) process is nothing more than a revolving door for the manufacturers who try to come up with easier to implant meshes. The thought about why there are so many complaints much less all of the Lawsuits seems not to change the manufacturers motus operandi at all.

    What scares me is, that as the knowledge of mesh problem becomes more apparent here and other ‘developed’ countries, the manufacturers are now looking for victims in the less developed countries around the world.

    I have already heard from Nigeria, Botswana and South Africa. No matter where in the world they sell this crap, the symptoms are always the same. Confusion, pain, anger and then comes the realization that you have been lied to by the Doctor who said the mesh was “safe”. In History we were known to bring small pox and other diseases to the newly discovered world. Now we bring them Mesh.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Meshed up- you are right… we are exporting our misery. I’ve heard from So Africa and places where they have no options….hernia mesh injured David Schmidt calls it, a crime against humanity, a human rights abuse.

  15. msm says:

    Photo comparison of “competing” mesh tapes from BARD. Before and after official photo advertisement. Is this evidence or what?

    “Four leading mid-urethral sling meshes were subjected to a 5 lb. tensile stress using an Instron®

    machine. The resulting images depict mesh, fresh out of the box, lying next to each brand’s test sample – relaxed, following the test.”

    http://www.bardmedical.com/media/2962/Align%C2%AE%20Mesh%20Comparison%20Sheet.pdf

    • Jane Akre says:

      not particularly evidence of w hat it does in the body in my non legal opinion….. we’ve heard the mesh can stretch up to 50% when in the pelvis….

  16. charles says:

    I am in agreement withball meshed up. What i cant understand is whybthe attorneys dont focus on the testimony from the biomolecular expersts and demonstrate how many different toxins lech out from pp mesh duri g degredation and heat melting and then EXPLAIN that to the jury in terms they can understand. And show pictures of the boils that arise from the particles working their way out of the body and EXPLAIN IT. I may be wrong but i just dont see the objective evidence being explained well and in terms the jury can comprehend. I hope i am wrong

    • PLC says:

      Charles, can you tell me where I can locate the information and /or pictures of the particles working their way through the body which can cause boils etc. I have have this happening to me and would like to have some more information on it.

      Thank you

      • charles says:

        Ms plc i took the pictures on my wifes pubic and sacral area and sent them to our attorneys. She has boils consistentyly if she quits taking her abx. The boils obviously have a internal origin and not external source . The first time they came up was right after a revision removal surgery and it baffeled me . I am a ŖN . After they kept coming up and would follow a track just like a train track i finally figured it out . Those particles were stirred upby the removals and the body tries to push them out however it could. But trying to get MD to listen to that is difficult. Some will listen and even agree but want nothing to do with it. To be fair i think they know it is a hige problem but there is not really much that can be done to correct it and they know it so jus stick their head i the sand. But to answer your question i dont know where to get pictures other than take them yourself and try to get someone to look at them

        • Jane Akre says:

          Charles- a thought… maybe a page here of skin lesions that appeared after mesh. unscientific but…

          • charles says:

            Jane no matter what the circumstance is there has to be proof. I know what i see. If boils are coming up and they are caused by pp particles , the particles will be present in a microscopic exam. Has any clinical evidence trials been done in this line of thought? And if not why not? I still dont see these trials and attorneys presenring much objective evidence the jury needs much more visual evidence and less he said she said ans speculation

          • Jane Akre says:

            In this case, I don’t believe skin lesions and boils are an issue. We are talking about chronic, unrelenting pain and few options in the future. Agreed about the systemic issues but even though that appears in some complaints, the science is not there yet to connect the dots. Sort of like other environmental hazards such as cigarettes, eventually we learned it was the chemical additives, not necessarily the tobacco itself, that encouraged addiction then caused cancer… Not to say polypropylene itself is not a player…..additives, its mechanical action on the body, anchors, implant and explant- All problems.!

      • Jane Akre says:

        Go to links on mesh on facebook and find on google. a woman in British Columbia runs it and she is an excellent researcher…

    • Jane Akre says:

      I dont think they have the cause and effect down yet. its theory. no one has connected the dots scientifically, it’s all anecdotal…. when that happens it will be awesome.. All it takes is money to invest in the science…millions$$$

      • PLC says:

        Thank you Jane for all your hard work and most of all knowledge. This site helps to provide me with the strength and support I need and just knowing I am not alone in this fight helps me to get through each day.

        “MESH” – the new four letter word, or at least that is how the Doctors have made me feel over the past 10 years.

  17. Maria Garcia says:

    I forgot to mention that I have had five ex-plants since my Ethicon Prolift I & II and TVT-O were installed in 2007 along with many exams, nerve tests and in office procedures. God has answered my prayers and brought me to Dr. Peter M Lotze which specializes in Urogynecology & Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery, Pelvic Health / Urinary Continence and Routine Gynecology. His address is 7900 Fannin, Suite 4000 Houston Texas 77054. The phone number is 713-512-7814 http://www.texaspelvichealth.com

    Dr. Lotze is a Christian man by example not just in words and has a compassionate heart that really listens to his patients. He works with one of six nerve specialists in the United States Dr. Charles A. Popeney, D.O., PA to assess the condition of the patient in order to create a plan of action. I was given a 3.5 part plan which I am on part 2 at this time. Dr. Lotze has plans to bring in a plastic surgeon if need be when we are closer to the last phase of the plan. I just had a pig skin graft installed as part of my reconstruction. I am recovering and I am in another major pain cycle of healing again.

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