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Just In: Carlino Pelvic Mesh Found Defective Awards $13.5 Million Against J&J

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas

Mesh News Desk, February 10, 2016, 11:30 am EST ~ Late this morning, a Philadelphia jury found Johnson & Johnson (J&J) made a defective pelvic mesh – the TVT- and awarded Sharon Carlino $13.5 million.  The jury found the warnings to her doctor were defective and he said he would never have implanted the transvaginal polypropylene tape he used to treat her incontinence if he had known of its risks.

The case is A.  Carlino v. Ethicon, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 1306-03470 before Judge Kenneth J. Powell Jr.Gavel 500

After listening to the evidence in the two-week trial, the jury awarded Ms. Carlino $3.25 million in compensatory damages for her pain and suffering, $250,000 to Mr. Carlino for loss of consortium and $10 million in punitive damages.

This was the first trial of the TVT, made by the J&J division of Ethicon to go to a jury. A previous trial of the TVT in 2013,  Lewis v. Ethicon, was dismissed by Judge Goodwin in a West Virginia federal court following a directed verdict motion by J&J.

According to The Legal Intelligencer,  Ethicon attorney Laura Hensley Smith, told jurors J&J was proud of its TVT- the first mesh “sling” to treat stress-related incontinence. It was “revolutionary” and “the gold standard,” terms most mesh manufacturers use to describe their polypropylene implants used to treat prolapse and incontinence. The TVT was approved for sale by the Food and Drug Administration in 1998 in the U.S.shanin specter kline specter

Shanin Specter of Kline & Specter representing Ms. Carlino told jurors the company blindly accepted data from the doctor who developed the TVT. “It was never properly analyzed and ­verified by anyone.”

Ms. Carlino has the TVT placed during a hysterectomy. She was implanted August 18, 2005, at Jersey Shore University Medical Center by Dr. Andrew Blechman. By 2007 she felt something “sharp” in her vagina where mesh had eroded. After a partial removal surgery, in 2010 she felt the mesh eroding again and had a second removal surgery. By 2012 she felt pain and experienced dyspareunia or painful sex. She had a third surgery, also by Dr. Blechman to revise and remove the mesh.

She has undergone permanent injury, corrective surgery and has experienced mental and physical pain and suffering, financial and economic loss including medical services and expenses, says her complaint.  At the same time defendants market their products as safe, effective reliable medical devices that are minimally invasive. Knowing the mesh had problems, J&J nonetheless sold it through “carefully planned, multifaceted marketing campaigns and strategies.”

TVT mesh breaks apart, Wisbech Standard, UK

TVT mesh breaks apart, Wisbech Standard, UK

Attorney Adam Slater who helped the team of Specter and Richard Freese tells Mesh News Desk this is a very important verdict.

Adam Slater, Mazie, Slater

Adam Slater, Mazie, Slater

“They (Ethicon) rolled out the defense they’ve been using in mid-urethral sling case, after mid-urethral sling cases and this verdict shows those defenses don’t hold any water. The idea that the TVT is the Gold Standard and the professional societies think its the best treatment for women, juries don’t care when they see the truth through the internal documents and deposition testimony. The truth comes out in the courtroom. The other thing this trial shows is that these damages are meaningful to jurors.  The defendant manufacturers have completely failed to convince any jury that the injuries caused by this mesh are mild and or acceptable.”

Slater adds that Specter and Freese put in a tremendous effort for their client.

j and j

 

SETTLEMENT OFFERED

Just last month, J&J made its first settlement offer to 2,000 to 3,000 pelvic mesh sufferers offering $120 million to end their product liability cases.  See the story here. 

After a disappoint fourth quarter 2015 report on its medical device division, the company said it planned to restructure by eliminating 3,000 jobs. Part of the problem is the enormous cost of litigation in fighting the 42,000 pelvic mesh cases filed against the company.

J&J says it has spent $141 million in total litigation costs in 2015, down from $1.2 billion in defense costs in 2014.

In December in the same Court of Common Please in Philadelphia, a jury there found for plaintiff Patricia Hammons, 65 and awarded her $12.5 million – $5.5 million in compensatory damages and $7 million in punitive damages. The jury found the Prolift mesh, used to treat prolapse, was defectively designed and the company failed to warn doctors about its inherent dangers that were well understood.  See the story here.

J&J is facing nearly 31,000 cases consolidated in federal court in Charleston, WV in multidistrict litigation, the largest number of any of the six other manufacturers. Thousands of other cases have been filed against the company in state courts and globally.

While J&J quietly removed four of its pelvic meshes from the market in mid 2012, the TVT and its cousin the TVT-O (obturator) remain on the market and are still called the “Gold Standard” by many doctors. However, many doctors who sit at the head of medical societies such as AUGS are preceptors or consultants for device manufacturers.

FDA REACTS

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been slow to react to the thousands of injury reports coming into the agency. After first notifying the public that mesh complications are “rare ” in 2008, the FDA reversed itself by mid 2011 saying mesh complications are “not rare” especially for the larger meshes used to treat a prolapsing uterus and to reinforce a pelvic floor. The agency ordered three year post-approval monitoring of the POP (pelvic organ prolapse) mesh. Just last month, the FDA finally adapted a recommendation of its expert panel in 2011, and reclassified POP mesh as “high risk” or class III which will require clinical trials before it is marketed.

Mesh makers have 30 months to prove the safety and efficacy of their product to the FDA or POP mesh cannot be sold.  The reclassification did not extend to mesh used to treat stress urinary incontinence or SUI mesh. It remains “moderate risk” or class II, despite the fact that it is more commonly used than POP mesh and may represent twice the number of cases filed in this product liability litigation.  #

74 Comments

  1. stopmeshimplants says:

    Thank goodness! These are the verdicts we need more of with these devastating mesh product trials. Thank you, Jane. I look forward to reading more about this case and the specifics. Very happy for Ms. Carlino and her the people representing her.

  2. Hal Lewis says:

    YAY!!!

    J&J finally starting to feel the pain.

    Now we just need a landslide of these.

    • Jane Akre says:

      $26 million in two months…..including 17 million in punitives…. will they get the message? I just edited to add the BREAKDOWN of the award!!!

    • Bobie says:

      I so wish the best for this lady.congrats.i wonder if it is true.that the US gets more then Canada.

      I hope i get what i deserve.i to had tvt. Need removal.not able to go back to work.list goes on with my pain and suffering.

      • Still Standing says:

        That depends on where you file your case. Canada caps damage awards at $300,000 canadian dollars, which is probably about $275,000 USD. Big difference. canada has much lower litigation expenses because of limited discovery and not many personal injury awards get a jury. Plus if you file a suit and lose, you have to pay part of the defendants court costs. So, many many big differences. The US allows exhorbitant awards, but as we have seen, juries are all over the place. Im not sure how it works out regarding medical costs. Since Canada has single payor socialized medicine, the governmental would probably want some compensation from it. I imagine since Canadian courts are more streamlined, the cases get through much faster.

        • Don't give up! says:

          Hi Still as far as I know in Canada pain and suffering caps out at three hundred and seventy five thousand and it’s called campasionate not compensatory they sue for on top of pain and suffering just worded different also loss of income etc but you are right in Canada the laws seem to be different over huge settlements.

          So we are hoping that this will be one of the first huge settlements in Canada as the products have hurt so many in such an devastated way also I think you get paid in American dollars when settled in talking to a lawyer.

          Let’s all hope that J&J and the others all come to there senses stop paying out millions upon millions to there lawyers and do the right thing and settle with fair settlements so we can all try to at least start to live again as normal as a life as we can without this hanging over us.As most won’t EVER be normal AGAIN but at least this awful lawsuit will be done with and some STRESS will be GONE.

  3. kitty says:

    Thank u Jane. Without u we know nothing

  4. Leslie Catherine Bradford says:

    Congratulations to Ms. Carlino, her family and team. I congratulate you on the patience it’s taken for this long, horrifically long wait for such outcomes, and I hope everyone else in line suffering catastrophic injuries known to the medical device manufacturers is also compensated! Congratulations for a phenomenal outcome in Pennsylvania!

  5. Tammy (KY) says:

    HALLELUJAH….. TRUTH Comes to LIGHT

  6. I hope this signals to J&J shareholders that they need to press their CEO to use their budget to settle mesh cases rather than fight them. Their legal costs would have helped so many women in dire straights because of mesh injury. I pray this verdict is a game changer, and will impress upon J&J, that when jurors here the whole truth about mesh complications being a direct result of their products’ designs and chemical compositions the jury will find for the plaintiffs.

  7. anna says:

    It’s sad that the FDA has still not reclassified TVT as a high risk product. As I said in the past, they have blindfolded themselves over corporate money, and the only ones suffering are us. So sad to know that no matter how much money we get, we will always endure pain. But it makes me glad, that while they are on this earth they will pay, with out knowing what will happen in their afterlife. With my daily sufferings, I feel more sorry for them, because they need to ask for our forgiveness, and Gods too.

    • Emmie says:

      No amount of money will give our BM (before mesh) life back to us.

      I cannot feel sorry nor forgive J&J for taking my life away from me.

      Anna, you are a much better person than I can be at this time.

      I know God wants us to forgive one another.

      Sometimes I wonder what I did to deserve this suffering and punishment?

      This is a lifetime punishment we do not deserve.

      • Emmie says:

        Congratulations to the Carlino family and their legal team for a win well deserved!

        Your win helps other mesh victims to not give up on hope for their cases.

        Thank you Jane for your dedication in keeping us updated on what is happening with mesh.

        My posting from yesterday failed to include my expression of happiness for this win to all involved!

      • Kathy says:

        A lifetime of pain and shame is what so many women are sentenced to. My sister had five repairs after painful sex alerted her to problems with the mesh. Another exploratory surgery found that she needed a NEW bladder. She was unsure as decided not to go forward. Sex soon became so painful that she no longer had sex. Without sex she didn’t know that the mesh had cut through her vaginal wall again. This time it cut such a large hole that she woke one morning to her actual bladder HANGING out of her vagina. That was her 6th surgery and they finally removed the mesh completely.
        Before the mesh was removed it became seriously infected. Her lymph nodes in her upper thighs kept abscesses so large that now there are so many scars that she won’t let anyone see her without clothes. She is now divorced and will not date anyone because sex is incredibly painful and the scars are numerous and large.
        The lymph nodes under her arms even got infected and she has many scars in her armpit areas as well which affects her clothing choices, including swimsuits now. She is so ashamed of her appearance. She it’s still young and cries herself to sleep at night because she knows she will spend the rest of her life alone. No man will be willing to live without sex and even if the scars weren’t Yvette, the pain is way too much for her to attempt sex.
        Her life is forever altered because of a mesh that was removed. I suppose the most ironic part is that she now is incontinent again, after all that.

  8. Toni says:

    Wow and to think I have endured being implanted with both the TVT and Prolift and suffered since 2005 . Took till 2012 before a doc found the TVT eroding through and several surgeries more to come that I ever filed on JNJ . 40 to 60K

    . Lol I think not. Now looking like I will have to be permanently implanted with a form of pacemaker to make my bladder empty properly. I am 51 I should be enjoying life as should all of us.

    • Still Standing says:

      Tomi…Please research the interstim implant (I’m assuming it is that). my doc suggested one because I could not empty bladder, but I did quite a bit of research on it and decided to try some other things before doing that. Thankfully, things got better with some other interventionsThe wires have to be placed just right…more easily identified on those without the mesh scars and neuropathic pain, then the battery pack has to be sewn under the skin and that will have to be redone when the battery quits working. Some people even experience erosion of this device. It may be a perfect solution for you, just know that is not without complications of its own and do lots of research so you can make a truly informed decision.

      • Toni says:

        Still standing what alternatives to the interstim worked for you. Want to know what I am getting into. Tired of being a ginea pig.

        • Still Standing says:

          I dont know that it was just one particular treatment. My treating Dr. Is a urogynecologist, so the Interstim was something he suggested after my ER trip that yielded over 1700 ( regular bladder holds about 400), but he has been very supportive of my desire to have the least invasive procedure as possible. I had to promise to self-cath three times a day for a month to get my bladder back to a more normal size.( i took a prophylactic antibiotc during this, once a day) Then for a couple of weeks, I had to self cath in the morning and at night after I urinated to see what my retention was. If it was more than 150 (I think or maybe 100) I had to keep track of my intake and output. I had to be tenacious about being constipated, something that I struggled with since mesh. I took fiber, miralax daily, also added magnesium, used stool softeners as needed, laxatives or enemas prn, too. Constipation can lead to urinary retention because bladder and bowel functions work together. When one is not working, the other is thrown off kilter. I now use Natural Calm +calcium, which is awesome. It is magnesium+ calcium+potassium, powder available on amazon.I also took muscle relaxers for bladder spasms ( zanaflex , could not handle the generic tizanadine. Still take those on occassion. Pelvic floor hypertension can also lead to urinary retention, so I am pretty consistent doing pelvic exercises. Next, and this seems counterintuitive, he told me to quit drinking so much water. Water volume doesnt harm a normal functioning bladder, but for us, constant drinking water causes the bladder to have to be actively working all the time processing the water. He told me he noticed that I always had a water bottle with me and asked why. I said I thought it was good for me. He said, well quit. drink when you are thirsty. We need to stay hydrated, but we dont need to overwork the bladder, either. I also worked on bladder retraining, setting every four hours to try to go. I also seemed to have quite a bit of pelvic trigger point injections during this time. ….so, to make a short story long…here it is. Also he encouraged me to use my estrace vaginal cream 3x week. He said that helps bladder function, too by keeping urethra well estrogenized. Sounds complicated, but really isnt too much. I have had a few recurring episodes of bladder retention, usually after a trip or high stress, when I am less present in the moment. Ive maybe had to self cath 5-6 times since my initial blow up in 2012, so I can live with that. Let me know if you have any questions. As I said at the beginning, it is probably related to just having better functioning pelvic floor overall rather than just one treatment.

    • Bejah Blue says:

      Dear Toni, You’ve got to make lemonade of it as they say…just think of yourself as a sort of bionic woman and make light of it as best you can…cry when you need to and laugh when you can. Praying for you, for us all. Happy for any good news.

      Bejah

  9. FAILED implanted medical devices are a definitive sign that FDA has not done its’ job of clearing only safe and effective devices. The high level conflicts of interest that make this criminal activity legal sit with Congress. The charter of the FDA/CDRH dates back to 1976. Verdicts are a very poor way of giving feedback to the industry: thousands of patient outcomes of PREVENTABLE, severe, permanent harm. A corporation that defends harm-for-profit is lead by executives that belong in a federal penitentiary. Financial punishment is just a cost-of-doing-business that is structured in. The job of government is to protect the citizen’s god-given rights, such as their lives, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. The U.S. Congress and the FDA are not doing their job. The public needs to know what these jurors know! Thank you Jane Akre for your excellent journalism and tenacity.

  10. Terri says:

    Adam Slater, You are so right!!! I am living proof (If you call it living), after a TVT implant ,along with so many other women & the damage caused by these devices leaves our lives devastated and changed forever. Removal surgery offers relief for some, worse for others. I don’t know of a single woman that has ever returned to normal, pain free or healthy even after removal because of the damage these products have caused to us physically, emotionally and the havoc it’s caused to our immune systems.

  11. anon says:

    Thank you Jane and to the plaintiff attorneys for all of the hard work. I am sorry she had to suffer so long. Mesh never stops hurting, in or out, it is real pain and suffering for the rest of our lives.

  12. buynowpaylater says:

    Yes…yes…yes…congratulations to Ms.Carlino…J & J be damned…Tip of the iceberg is finally showing…there’s a special place in Hell for these mesh monsters…thank you Jane…

  13. janet says:

    This is so wonderful , but it is a slap in the face by Johnson &Johnson

    Only offering such small settlements. .we have all suffered such big loses

    Our bodies and our health is know different from these women winning these cases..exciting for them they will get there life cared for but we get offered a pale of crap… just not right

  14. Linda h says:

    Thank you Jane for bringing light to our darkest days. Adam Slater is a hero who has led us to victory. Hats off to all the attorneys who did not give up or close the door on us.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Slater only helped, this was Kline Specter and Freese and Goss!

      • cybil says:

        I absolutely think that Slater had MORE to do with this than anyone thinks! He’s DEFINITELY a “MOVER and SHAKER” from the very beginning – you must remember “another red light”! All the OTHER Attorneys are envious of his creative ability to connect and separate the TRUTH from LIES and he relates that to the Jury every time! He’s got a gift and I think that I would say that ALL of the “other” Plaintiff attorneys are jealous of his ability and skill. I do believe that ADAM SLATER will stand out as the “CHAMPION OF MESH INJURED WOMEN”!

  15. kitty says:

    Was this trial considered a bellwhether? Or are only MDL bellwhether?

  16. anna says:

    I just wonder how much more will J&J pay for appeals, instead of putting their heads down and vowing for mercy.

  17. Don't give up! says:

    Well Well Well another victory ladies lets hope it continues and continues good start for 2016,with the J&J cases it’s going to be very interesting to see what happens with the 35 and 200 combined cases coming up in the next while,will they decide to settle before they go to court?

  18. Determined says:

    Great Work Everybody!!!!! Jane what date is the Austin, Tx. trial set for? I only live an hour away and would love to be there to support our mesh sister’s and brother’s.

  19. K says:

    It is inhumane to spend billions on defending these products while women are losing their lives. How can this be happening in the US? Where is our government? This is a tragedy and so heart-breaking. Why hasn’t there been criminal charges brought against them? in the Sherrer Vs BS case the defense was looking for marker to mark out sticker on sample box that says, “not for human use.” This is CRIMINAL and done right in the face of the judge and others in the courtroom! HOW CAN THIS BE????? THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO BLACK THAT OUT!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Patrick Doyle says:

    Why do M D Ls take so much more time than do the private trails, as a husband of a suffering wife we would like to know how much longer a wait is in store for us, our trial is in W Va. To this date 2/11/16 it has been three years,do all M D Ls drag out this long or longer? This is more out of frustration than anything else, but a little insight would nice. That is all.

  21. Mary says:

    Toni, please don’t get the interstim. I had it implanted and it worked for a very short time and it is also made by J and J product. Had it for over 3 years had to get it removed. Caused more nerve problems. I beg you don’t do it. Just going to create more problems.

    • Bejah Blue says:

      I have heard that at least one of the companies that makes these devices is taking it off the market due to problems. Please research and think carefully before having anything else implanted in your bodies. Personally I would rather be in pain or dead than have something like that implanted in me.

      Bejah

    • cybil says:

      And, Toni, don’t get BOTOX. Makes the rectal heaviness awful. And, it makes you totally numb – like bee sting feelings.

  22. Maria Garcia says:

    While we are all hurting because of the mesh, we don’t have to avoid pain relief out of fear it will hurt our cases if we are not constantly suffering. Pain management is not VooDoo and really does work. The trick is to find what works for you. I know that not all of the women have insurance to cover the costs of pain management or anything for that matter. I cannot say what is out there for people in that position. I have been blessed with great insurance through my husbands job. For me, pain management has been a double edge sword. I started out on level one of a five level process to eliminate or greatly reduce my pain through medication. That made we tired and dysfunctional because of the quantity I had to take to get relief. The second level was a nerve block and that didn’t work to relieve my pain at all compared to pain medication. The third treatment was Lidocaine infusion which immediately reduced my pain from an 8 to a 2 and I cried so hard with tears of joy when I felt the pain fading away. The joy was short lived because the only two side effects that anyone would rarely have are ringing in the ears and low blood pressure. I was given the gift of ringing in my ears and HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE. I only had one treatment and it took three months to get rid of the ringing and four months to get my normal blood pressure back. The forth level is a spinal cord stimulator which the doctor said will greatly reduce the pain. They hook you up for one week on a device that is outside your body. (Google stimulator implant) If the one week trial is successful, they implant the device and your able to get back to living a life. The down side is that the FDA has only approved it for use on patience that have failed back syndrome or failed back surgery. The doctors tell the patient to basically lie to get the device past insurance companies. The down side to a stimulator is if you have a trial, the defense will point out that your a liar by pointing out that you have failed back syndrome. When you proceed to tell them no it’s for nerve pain it won’t matter. The device is only approved for failed back syndrome so if you have it you must have a failed back surgery or your a liar. The fifth and final option is a pain pump which is what I am having put in soon. There is a outboard one week trial and if all goes well it will be implanted in your body. Every three months the pump will have to be refilled VIA a syringe through your body. This method will provide 80 percent relief. The amount of medication released into the epidural fluid is very small compared to oral medication. You are not feeling medicated or foggy in any way. Since none of the previous methods worked for me, I am left with the pain pump being the only option.

    • Maria Garcia says:

      I would like everyone to read my post and as you do, please replace with the word patience with the correct spelling patients. I am still heavily medicated so I hope that everyone will have “patience” will reading my post.

      • Still Standing says:

        Maria. I have worked in pain management for quite some time, including 20+ years in hospice. I have taught outpatient and community classes on managing pain as well as some inpatient pain work. I had posterior and anterior transvaginal mesh for POP, and I understand the relief you had with the lidocane and what a powerful experience it was to be pain free. I give this background because I would just like to encourage you to please do an abundance of research on the pain pump. There are some unpleasant side effects and complications that occur, and not infrequently, that I hope you you fully understand before taking this step. They can and do malfunction, which can send the pt into overdose or opiod withdrawal, kinks can develop, and people get infections at the pump site. Imdont want you to change your mind because of what I said, but I just want to make sure your doctor has fully informed you of the negatives. If not, do some digging around. Has your urgynocologist just passed you off or did you go through all the pelviv pain reflif options that he or she suggested? I will never have anything done without brutal uncovering of the facts…that started soon after my gyn said .” There is a great new product for prolapse. Lets just do posterior and anterior at the same tme because you are so healthy. She promised I would be back hiking in six weeks….800+weeks ago….still counting.

        • Disgusted says:

          I ditto her warnings. I personally saw my relative go through the pain pump experience. It did not relieve her pain and in her case it worked on the trial. We found out later they used a medicine that can be used in a hospital but not as an outpatient. They closed down this doctor and pain center. From the next pain center the doctor explained the majority of recipients only get 2 pts of pain removal – ie. if you’re a 9 you go to a 7. There are about 3-4% who get really good relief. 20% little to none. Just throwing in some two cents.

        • Kitty says:

          Its interesting SS how pain control has come 360. Back in the Day when Dr David Weissman was Geru of pain control and narcotics were flowing like water. There was no shame for someone to admit that they were hurting.and living life with quality—knowing that it may be shorter–but sweeter. I despise people who are with the present movement. Somhow the Drug Cartel=s highjacked this movement and drugs were smuggled in from Mexico. Too bad so sad

          • Still Standing says:

            Well, Dr. Weissman advocates strongly for adequate pain management for palliative care, for those at the end of life. I remember in the earlier years of hospice in the US, doctors were afraid of supplying enough pain meds to hospice patients to keep them comfortable. I worked with some of these docs in hospice and it was tragic to see how some of their patients died. One lady was so thin she was almost flat, yet her doctor would only do morophine injections every four hours. She had no skin to stick and he would not give her enough to be out of pain…I still cant stand that doctor today.

            So yes, the pendulem swings back and forth. The reason for this new thinking about opioids for chronic pain is that Dr. Portnoy, ( look him up on internet to see his recant story in Wall Street Journal or New York Times (cant remember which)who authored the research that led to the flow of opioids for chronic pain has recanted his research and said it was flawed. Current research supports this and when seen in the context of such high addiction to prescription medication has forced the CDC to review their policy.

            Personally, I think the doctor and patient should make an informed decision together and determine from the patient what he/she feels is an acceptable quality of life. Unfortunately, this doesnt seem to be what is happening and just this week, the AMA released a set of standardized measures to judge physicians. Physicians who are in the top tier will get paid more from government and private insurers. No doubt, pain management criteria will be considered and I fear that with the new pain guidelines, physicians will be incentivized to prescribe less opioids. There is no majic one size fits all pain management pill but that doesnt seem to have sunk in with the CDC. Probably 20 years from now, the pendulum will swing back. So sad that leaves so many people in such distress.

      • kitty says:

        Welcome back Maria Garcia

    • Bejah Blue says:

      I think that the “government” is trying to forbid narcotic pain medications because they want to force us to use these devices developed to address pain….more implants, more profit, more evil!

      Bejah

      • kitty says:

        Did u read Obsma”s take on narcotics. He likens folks who take narcotic pain meds to a young man who is a Heroin addict. It is shameful—- and u might have a point about the devices. The lobbyists are running the country.

      • Disgusted says:

        Bejah, Sorry to say, but I think you’re right. I read a government report a long while ago that addressed the issue with narcotics and reported shortened life span and high chance of abuse and addiction. They went on to say that the medical field needed to come up with other options. In addition my pain center said that narcotics may not be available as early as four years from now. The people writing these reports need to take quality of life into account. While I agree narcotics should be controlled, there is no reason to leave people suffering needlessly.

        • kitty says:

          Dear Disgusted– your pain center gave you an absurd statement that almost borders on Abuse.

          • Disgusted says:

            Kitty, I hope you’re right. But my pain center is supplying my pain meds. It was just their statement addressing the issue of pressure they’re receiving from the DEA. They may have exaggerated, I don’t know, just reporting what was told to me.

          • Still Standing says:

            Kitty, I think her pain clinic was giving her appropriate , compassionate and preemptive notice about the true state of narcotic pain medication in the US and how its use for chronic pain medication is most certainly going to change over the next few years. We have had on and off discussions on this site about this issue before, but it is true that the CDC is formulating a new guideline for opioid use, a plan that will limit when and how much physicians will be able to prescribe narcotics. It has been in development since 2011 and final public comments via the federal register were closed in January. I imagine the guidelines will be put in motion over the next year or two. It is going to cause distress throughout the chronic pain community, not just mesh women, but for thousands and thousands of Americans who live with chronic pain. By giving this much notice, Disgusted and her physicians can have enough time to develop a biopsychosocial ( wording in the CDC draft) pain plan. There are many research projects being funded to help determine what pain interventions and/or treatment combinations work best. Since Pain is such an individual and subjective process, it is a real challenge and many people will feel marginalized. I am not an advocate of how the plan was worded in its published draft, but, hopefully they listened to some of the comments from pain groups and individual citizens and will validate these concerns by making the restrictions more flexible so that physicians and their patients at least have a say in the matter. I will pass along the link to the final guidelines when they are made available to the public. Or , you can do a search for CDC Opioid guidelines in the federal register. i doubt that the draft is still up, but you might be able to google it and find something. If you can, try to stay open to new suggestions for pain management. Some may not work for you, but others may. It is frustrating to find the right balance.

      • Still Standing says:

        But Bejah, pain pumps DO deliver opioid pain medication, just in much more expensive way. They cost tens of thousands of dollars just to implant, not to mention the compounding the medicine and reloading the pump and dealing with issues that arise. I imagine that the government would probably rather Medicare and Medicaid patients do oral over pump for pain. Now physicians may like the revenue from implanting the pump. However, once you have one implanted it is hard to change physicians. New doctors don’t want to take on another doctor’s pump because medical device companies are actually suing physicians for improper placement when a lawsuit is filed against them by a patient. Bizarre. It’s a crazy world. But, really the government is looking at the high overdose and death rates coupled with high percentage of addicts using prescription pain meds. Also, compelling research is showing that opioid pain medication is not the most effective for treating chronic pain, so they do, of course have to set policy based on emerging evidence. They are doing to opioids what we wish they had done with mesh.

  23. Denae says:

    I had my TVT removed in Dec 2014 and was told that all the damage that was done my only best options for pain management was either Botox or the Interstim implant. I had went 7 years with eroded mesh and had went to several urologist and my gyno who had out my TVT in while doing my hysterectomy in and no one told me my pain was coming from my mesh!! They all told me I had Interstitial Cystitis and for the past 7 years had been on medication for IC and had been taught how to self cath to give myself bladder installations to help numb my bladder pain! Thankfully in Dec 2014 my new urologist on my first visit as soon as he checked me felt the mesh and I was in surgery 3 days later. But the reason I choose to have the implant was it is supposed to give me 7-10 years of relief compared to Botox only gives you 6-9 months. I must say I’ve had my Interstim since June 2015 and that was the best decision I’ve ever made. I do not have the constant bladder spasms and pain daily like I did before. I know everyone is different but for me it’s been a lifesaver.

  24. Clay says:

    J&J says it has spent $141 million in total litigation costs in 2015, down from $1.2 billion in defense costs in 2014. This Doesn’t Seem Right They Spent More On Defense Cost Than The People They Injured!!!!

  25. kitty says:

    Different strokes for different folks.

  26. Debi says:

    I am wondering how we go from our Lawyers office to MDL court? Does the courts make the decision or our Lawyer? When I talked to my Lawyer a year ago about Judge Goodwins cases and my cases, they stated they (the lawyer) is hoping that my cases is sent back to Texas. So I’m not sure how I got from Texas to MDL….. but it sounded like I need to hope I go back. Does anyone else have this problem, or is there a answer out there for me????? Thanks to anyone who can help me.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Because there are so many cases in the MDl many are going back to their state court to be heard. It may mean a further delay on your case but no court can handle 86,000 cases. It is impossible. This number of cases has never been seen in any MDL, ever. This is information you should be getting from your law firm. Or they could write up a press release to speak to many of you at one time and release it here as this is a news service. They would reach many, get their name out and help MND in the process.

  27. Lynn Jacobsson says:

    I listened to Jane Akre speak on the KPFA program, “Project Censored” on February 12, 2016, and although I was unable to hear all of the comments because the station (KFCF, Fresno, CA) does not have complete coverage up in the mountains where I was traveling, I think I got the main message: polypropylene mesh implants to deal with prolapses of the bladder and urethra are unsafe, will deteriorate over time, and will cause pain, infection, and auto-immune diseases over time. I became totally depressed by this news because I had just begun recovering from a complete hysterectomy on December 16, 2015. Discharge diagnosis: “Benign ovarian cyst; bladder cystocele; complete uterovaginal prolapse; urethrocele.” I had a presurgical exam on December 14th, 2015, at which time, the physician informed me of the bladder and urethra prolapses and said that she would “repair” them at the same time that I was undergoing the laparoscopic hysterectomy and that she would be implanting a “mesh the size of a band-aid on my urethra.” When I showed my alarm about the word, “mesh,” having seen numerous ads on TV regarding lawsuits against the manufacturers of pelvic mesh devices, this MD oncological gynecological surgeon (there was a 30% risk of the ovarian cyst being malignant because it was growing so rapidly and had reached 8.2 centimeters) assured me that “this mesh is not like the one that was being used in lawsuits.” Since the surgeon is renowned here in California, I trusted that this was accurate. I was not asked to sign a permission to repair the two cystoceles until the surgery 2 days later while I was on the operating table waiting for the anesthesiologist. I had been staying at a motel in the meantime, because the surgery was to be performed in northern CA, 4 hours from my home in Oakhurst, CA. So I did not have any time to do any research on this new kind of repair mesh and it was installed during the surgery on December 16th. On my return home, after the removal of the catheter, I had an episode of complete urinary incontinence which prompted the surgeon to order that I have a catheter re-installed with the idea that I was in danger of being unable to empty my bladder. Although this seemed counter-intuitive to me, after 7 days, the catheter was removed and I again had a flood of urine. I was also experiencing problems with getting my intestines to function properly again, and tried Milk of Magnesia for softening the stool. Every time that I had a bowel movement–even with soft stools–or urinated, I experienced pain at the end of the process. Although this pain has diminished vis a vis bowel movements, I still experience it upon urination. I also struggle every day to make sure that I do not become constipated, which was never a problem for me before the hysterectomy.

    I am now wondering if this pain is related to the mesh, or the mesh problems begin to show up only later? I am also wondering if I can have the mesh removed without totally damaging my urethra? I am 75 years old and in very good health. I walk 1 to 2 miles almost every day and would like to continue to live my life without the fear of this mesh deteriorating and causing the pain and suffering that I am reading about in the emails from women on this website. I would welcome any comments and suggestions.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Lynn-

      First of all, I’m so sorry the doctor told you that. Likely it is the very same mesh but please do check your medical records and know what they implanted in you. Secondly, I’m not a doctor or lawyer but it takes time to heal from this experience. I’m hoping you will be one of the folks who does NOT have a problem in your lifetime. please don’t bring it on with worry but DO know what type of mesh you have. If it is polypropylene, it is the same mesh that’s been used and is causing problems. Again, I’m sorry your doctor said that to you….Please get back. I would be delighted to find there is a “new ” mesh…. but have not heard of any.

      DO

    • kitty says:

      To Lynn J. I was just reading your post and hope u are doing better re: bowels’- that takes time after surgery. When we go uder anesthesia the GUT STOPS. It takes time to get it moving so costipation is normal. Take sena s and MOM. The pain and gushing incontinence is a different issue. Sounds like a sacral nerve may have been damaged

      Time will tell. Go see Dr Raz at UCLA

      Hashtag: STOP TRANSVAGINAL MESH

  28. cybil says:

    Ladies – Know this – anyone of us that has sustained major injuries and lives everyday forward coping with pain, bleeding, drugs, therapies WILL die BEfORE we see any compensation from any of these manufacturers. They are hoping with all they have, that we will just fade away in defeat OR, better yet for them – die with no one to hear our cries OR our stories. It is business as usual – just some hysterical women claiming false or over exaggerated injury! All I know is that my suffering is REAL. And, that these manufacturers are CRIMINALS! They knowingly experimented on women for their own GREED and PROFIT! In my mind, I’ve gone over and over WHY I was chosen to suffer such a terrible crime. I was a good daughter to my Mother; and, I am, good wife to my husband, a good Mother to my children; a good Grandmother to my grandchildren; a good and caring friend; a loving pet owner and a Spiritual Being. Sometimes I just feel that I must have done something terrible in a past life that I’m being punished for today. There is NO sense to be made of this suffering inflicted by these Manufacturers and their representatives. I am hoping that all the Defense Attorneys think of their Mothers, Daughters, Granddaughters, Female Friends WHEN they are standing in Court representing CRIMINALS for money. Perhaps they might change their minds about the wrongfulness of what they are doing when they ruminate over this quote from Buddha: “Each morning we are Born Again. What we do today is what matters most.”

  29. Debi says:

    Cybil, hang in there, our Lawyers are working for us and so is Judge Goodwin. I know your pain as does the other 100,000 women in pain, we all have to deal with it on a daily basis, but remember WE ARE WOMEN, we handle the pain, this is why God made us to bare children not man…… I am in no way making light of your life or pain, but please know we are all there with you, and we have no control over the courts, but we have each other to help and hear our stories. Please don’t give up!!!! We will see the end of this, hang in there ok.

    I think we should use this site and our own words to let each other know something in their life that makes them smile….and have a wonderful day. I will start, please fallow, we need smiles in 2016….

    I smile when I think about children and grandchildren, there is nothing that a big hug from a child won’t fix. I live 1,000 miles from them, so if I had to bad day I close my eyes and pray, and know how blessed I am for my family. And then I am smiling.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Debi and all- Please consider Your Turn your forum to publish, get the word out, share your thoughts, personal letters, tributes whatever… okay?

    • Don't give up! says:

      Well said Debi you have to try to stay positive it’s hard some days but when you think of the nice things that are in your life it does help we have our first grand child coming with our daughter for a visit who lives thousands of miles away this has just picked my wife’s mood right up with anticipation and excitement.

      Makes life worth living for …….. hang in there Cybil ok.

  30. Cindy says:

    I am a suffer I had to pay $40,000 for my first surgery. The mesh had invaded my bladder and I developed a large stone blocking my uretha I had to have emergency surgery…I hope they have to pay bigger money for ruining so many lives…

  31. Dorothy Carpenter says:

    What makes me happy is the birth of two new granddaughter’s to our two youngest sons on the same day, January 27. The boys are 40 and 42 so the older grandchildren are all grown up from the older 3 children. It’s as much a thrill as the older ones were as infants. I can forget all about the Mesh. God is good

  32. Dorothy Carpenter says:

    By the way all of a sudden there’s all kinds of Mesh article’s on Facebook.

  33. kitty says:

    There is a difference between addiction and dependence. Addiction—–u want to get high-‘-Dependence——u want to get out a pain.

    • Disgusted says:

      So true! I never even think about it until I feel the pain coming on. I have never felt a “high”. I was reading the letters written to the CDC, and was alarmed at how many people wrote to say that they wanted opioids off the market. Most of them talked about their own personal issues with addiction. I just can’t believe because some people have problems that all must be punished. Quality of life is very important. I will not have a life if they become unavailable. I can’t handle the alternatives that are offered – ie. neurontin, lyrica, amitriptylene, etc. I’ve tried them all. If they want to regulate it, as long as those who really need it can get it, I’m fine with that. But we all know how government regulations go. And of course those who aren’t supposed to have it now, will continue to get it, because they don’t mind do things illegally.

  34. […] next month, it was the case of Sharon Carlino, who was implanted with a TVT (tension-free tape). Jurors didn’t like what they heard there […]

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