Legal News- Ethicon Objects to Expert Who Will Testify Pelvic Mesh Degrades in the Body

//Legal News- Ethicon Objects to Expert Who Will Testify Pelvic Mesh Degrades in the Body

Legal News- Ethicon Objects to Expert Who Will Testify Pelvic Mesh Degrades in the Body

russell dunn professor at vanderbilt for plaintiffsMesh News Desk, August 3, 201 ~ This story is from Law360.  

Law360, New York (July 21, 2016, 1:39 PM ET) — Johnson & Johnson unit Ethicon on Wednesday urged the West Virginia federal judge overseeing multidistrict litigation regarding its pelvic mesh products to nix an expert who was prepared to testify on the products’ allegedly poor quality and degradation, saying he is unqualified and unreliable.

Ethicon is seeking to exclude the testimony of the Dr. Russell Dunn, a professor in the department of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Vanderbilt University (here) , who the company claims is prepared to testify on behalf of the patients that the Prolene mesh used in a number of Ethicon’s pelvic mesh products undergoes hazardous oxidative degradation in the body, and that Ethicon’s quality system for these devices failed to comply with industry standards.

The problem, Ethicon argued, is that Dr. Dunn has zero experience with medical devices and admits that he is not an expert in biomaterials. What’s more, Dr. Dunn has never been involved in the design, quality control or any aspect of risk management of any medical device, has no experience with the medical industry standards that his opinions focus on and in fact “has a serious misunderstanding of those standards,” Ethicon wrote.

Read the rest of the story on Law 360 here. 

**Editors note– For some reason many news outlets misreport the actual number of pelvic mesh product liability lawsuits facing Ethicon/ Johnson and Johnson.  This story says there are 23,000 lawsuits against Ethicon in the MDL in Charleston, WV.  A quick search of the So District of WV shows readers there are actually 33,874 as of today.

Go to the Ethicon MDL here and here. 

Here is the Court’s website. All of the manufacturers are listed there.  Additionally pelvic mesh cases are filed in state courts. New Jersey has an active state MDL. See it here.

There are in excess of 100,000 pelvic mesh product liability lawsuits filed in the US alone and more filed globally.  #


By | 2016-08-03T09:25:45+00:00 August 3rd, 2016|Media Reports|28 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. Jimmy August 3, 2016 at 9:32 am - Reply

    This is absolutely ridiculous. There are no experts because they never did the testing to find out that it was unsafe. Hopefully judge goodwin doesn’t allow this and lets him testify. Do the right thing here judge. Quit with the stall tactics and lets get the show on the road. They must be scared of what he has to say. Hopefully we can find out

  2. ManAgainstMesh August 3, 2016 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Amen to that…seems everyone is ok with taking their sweet time while all these ladies continue to suffer.

  3. Hope Pagano August 3, 2016 at 11:23 am - Reply

    You don’t have a rocket scientist to see the failed QS as well as broke many other laws. Why doesn’t J&J produce the biocompatibility test results showing this product is safe. Oh silly me I forgot they lost all of those docs.

  4. Suzanne August 3, 2016 at 11:28 am - Reply
  5. cynthia a August 3, 2016 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    Was not FDA approved so where would any experts exist, bout the only place there would be is with in their company and their own makers said it was not ready for market.

    • Suzanne August 4, 2016 at 11:30 am - Reply

      Yes, scientists have been studying how this mesh break down in the body, so there are most definitely non JNJ experts.

  6. Toni August 3, 2016 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    In other words this expert is not on JNJ payroll and may help the women and men who have been permanently harmed by their propelene mesh. They have paid off most of the people who could if they had a conscience help us with this hell but won’t cause they have been bought off. When will this nightmare come to light. Is Jane the only person in a sea of reporters that still has the guts to go up against this kind of corporate brutality ? Wake up america? We are all next on their roll call of abuses. All for one hell no all for profits.

  7. Linda M August 4, 2016 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    I have filed a case in March 2013. I was planted in 5/2004, TVT and removed in 10/2005 and then received a prolift,
    Had many complications, both have been removed from market for defected devices but never was I informed before surgeries. Why is it taking so long to settle these cases. I am still having infections and complications from both surgeries.

    • Jane Akre August 4, 2016 at 11:53 pm - Reply

      I’m sorry your doctor gave you a Prolift which is one of the worse meshes in terms of complications, largely because it is so large. Why is this taking so long??? because J&J is holding out. Come December when there is a succession of trial in Philadelphia, we may see some changes to this standoff, just my opinion.

      • Linda M August 5, 2016 at 5:02 am - Reply

        Why don’t the judge tell J&J that it is time to settle cases. They have all kinds of law suits coming out with others. It seems they will be spreading their lawyers all around. I have filed my claim over 3 years. Do you know what month and what year that Judge Goodwin has in first 3 groups that they are sending to trial? I know he has wave of trials going back to district courts to go for the oldest filed. I am just wondering were they are at with this?

        • Jane Akre August 5, 2016 at 10:10 am - Reply

          Judge Goodwin has essentially said all SHOULD SETTLE…. but what can you do? He does not have the authority to force a settlement other than to say that it will unpleasant for both sides if they do not… He has said that and that’s where we are. The upcoming trials in Philadelphia may shed some light on this standoff.

  8. Sea August 6, 2016 at 3:49 am - Reply

    In this sinking mess mesh with everyone here. Seems we need WOMEN to testify in court with this expert by our side…..What is the difference in implanting poison ivy in our vaginas to this plastic toxic system ? One is made by mother nature and we all know poison ivy is a problem, thus, no need for an expert to answer this poison ivy scenario. However, when man makes a poison product to but in our bodies …..who else could be an expert but a person who understand the formula and what is supposed to be in our natural body and what is NOT supposed to be in our bodies? Maybe a little off the wall comparison, but if one thinks of this ….there is no difference in comparison …..Still struggling along with my sister vaginal mess mesh…..PS…Just got a voice mail about the only choice is now Botox or a pacemaker ….will choose neither ….and plan to have a LONG talk face to face with my surgeon at Vanderbilt …WHAT A MESS ……Sea

  9. Sea August 6, 2016 at 3:54 am - Reply

    QUESTION ? So who constitutes to be an expert in this situation ???? And, another question is : What is the difference in formula and design from one mesh company to another ??? Will continue to search for answers while the court system drags their feet ….Bummed out …but hanging in there….Sea

    • Jane Akre August 6, 2016 at 10:17 am - Reply

      That is so called proprietary information that slightly differs from one company to another…. BUT the main ingredient is still polypropylene. For J&J they say much of their original documentation was lost in a fire…. maybe!

  10. Jimmy August 8, 2016 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Isnt there case’s that are going to trial this month

    • Jane Akre August 8, 2016 at 10:02 am - Reply

      No – Edwards v ethicon was settled

  11. JD August 13, 2016 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    The inside story is that J&J do not
    have any way to defend themselves.
    J&J insiders say that they are at fault, Its “crystal clear” they are at fault.
    They are trying to cause “smoke screens”. The longer that these cases take, the more J&J will owe, boy are they

    • Hope Pagano August 14, 2016 at 5:47 pm - Reply

      I pray to God what JD is saying is true and that her prediction comes to pass.

  12. AP August 15, 2016 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    One way or the other, Ethicon will be paying their dues. I worked with polypropylene similar yo what they are implanting in women. Unbeknownst to the ladies, there are numerous harmful chemicals injected into the material . I worked as a physical tester and would track the progress of the disentagration. Slow or much faster the polypropylene breaks up and nearly dissolves. Too bad we were not made aware prior to implantation!!

    • Jane Akre August 16, 2016 at 6:49 am - Reply

      Please tell us more. Chemicals that would be the same whether it is polypropylene (PP) for fishing line or a medical device? I know the FDA reports that pelvic mesh is sterilized with ETO ( see a letter to Atrium here Eto is NOT something you want in your body permanently. Thank you for anything else you can add here. More on EtO sterilization here:

      • AP August 16, 2016 at 3:19 pm - Reply

        Jane, I sent your reply to your personal email. It may be on the mesh desk news?

      • AP August 18, 2016 at 11:06 am - Reply

        I have been in the hospital since JAne requested more information regarding “chemicals” in the mesh. I will attempt to have the information in the mesh news soon. I am in recovery at the present. Thank you for patience. AP

    • AP August 21, 2016 at 8:47 pm - Reply

      I agree with Jimmy; and why won’t the judge allow the testimony of Dr Dunn to be told? The answer is simple; he does not want to let the truth be known. It appears the legal system for Ethicon is attempting to come up with every assanine reason they can think of in their objections to allow “the people that know the truth” to testify. Further, they are the ones not being honest regarding the polypropylene issue that so many women are suffering from; I am one of the women who rarely has a day without pain due to the degrading Ethicon mesh. I have endured 7 mesh related surgeries because of it. It was implanted in 2008 and an attempted removal of ALL of it in 2015; the surgeons were unable to retrieve all the mesh and I continue to pass bits and pieces quite often. Further I’ve endured frequent UTI’s. I will be seen by a ENT specialist this week due to a complicated infection that has “traveled”, resulting in possibly more surgery. This is a clear case of us women having to go through h— because of the fact that Ethicon is doing everything possible to keep Dr Dunn from telling the truth. I have to ask JnJ “are any of your wives suffering from an Ethicon mesh implant??” Please end this madness and do what is right for all the women you have scarred and made to suffer for the rest of their lives. Thank you! AP

  13. Jimmy August 16, 2016 at 9:39 am - Reply

    When will we know if he will be allowed to testify or not?

  14. Anna D August 17, 2016 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    I cannot believe what I read, I am the victim of the horror of tvt-mesh implant, with the slow decomposition of
    bladder and pelvic nightmare, remainder of toxic mesh my surgeon couldn’t remove due to hemorrhage high risk…
    Our administration should step in to give back up support for the defective mesh device manufacturer to be guilty and held liable for the masses of women who have been disfigured pelvicly, many for life

    These are my sorrows and sentiments

    • AP September 3, 2016 at 7:50 pm - Reply

      The government is never going to “step in”, I am one who has been more than disfigured for life pelvicly. One has to stop and remember that we have a liberal government because it is too big of an issue for them to undertake. They have left us to fend for ourselves. As far as our lawyers , legal matters take time, it’s a very complicated litigation. As juries reward big money for our cases, the companies will come to the table and pay big amounts as evidenced with big payouts to the women who are severely injured and scarred like myself. In the meantime, what we can do is pray and wait.

  15. AP August 18, 2016 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    I know first hand that medical items are made from polypropylene as it can tolerate high heat. It enables the material to be used as a manufacturing material for consumer-grade kettles. Once the material has cooled it is mixed with a less heat resistant material such as LDPE (polystyrene) rendering it brittle.
    I was the quality supervisor for Sarstedt, a medical manufacturer and I directed things first hand. Polypropylene
    Is used as an alternative to polyvinyl chloride in and around medical components. The availability of polypropylene provides an opportunity for it to be used by designers. Expanded polypropylene (Epp) is a foam form of polypropylene.EPP has very good impact characteristics because of its low stiffness;this allows EPP for its ability to absorb impacts and a demand for use in medical supplies and hobbyists.

  16. DIVA64 November 23, 2017 at 2:45 am - Reply

    Ap, thank you for taking time to write in and provide so much information while you are also sick going through surgery and recovery. In addition to your scientific information, I think it is interesting that Judge Goodwin threatened both sides to settle or your going to be very unhappy going into court. Courts are suppose to be there to protect us , allowing the jury to hear the story presented to them and make a decesion. I don’t wish to be cohersed by anyone into accepting some discounted figure, I won’t do it and hope that the others won’t be scared into thinking they must .Were not Was mart a discount store , we are human beings who have lost a great deal of our lives and most of our enjoyment of life to a plastic they called Mesh, that I had no warning about nor even knew I was,being implanted with any such device that has,thinned my life left me in bed and in pain most of the time. I look forward to reading more from you .

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