Mesh Awareness Movement Rally Gains Momentum

//Mesh Awareness Movement Rally Gains Momentum

Mesh Awareness Movement Rally Gains Momentum

MAM rally in Charleston, WV in 2015

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, February 27, 2017 ~ The MAM, Mesh Awareness Movement plans to take its pelvic mesh awareness message to the next mesh event. 

March 6, 2017, was supposed to be the beginning of the pelvic mesh trial of  Mullins et al v. Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

In an unusual move to consolidate cases, more than 20 women were planning to have their product liability trials heard in this federal court in Charleston, WV, where nearly 100,000 pelvic mesh product liability cases are filed.

Campaigner in WV, June 2015

In advance of the trial, there were dozens off women planning to rally, as they had on the same Byrd federal court steps in June 2015.

There were plans to drive, carpool and fly to Charleston, WV.  Handmade signs were made and press statements written. There were promises of national network news coverage.

Last Thursday, the court said the Mullins case had been continued, with no new trial date set. So the rally is also on hold.

One Mullins plaintiff tells MND she was told to expect her settlement packet from J&J, but there has been no official confirmation that the cases settled.

So what happens now?

Mesh Awareness Movement (MAM) organizer, Lisa Mason, says the women are angry and are not going away.

“A lot of women are getting agitated at the costs of cancelling these trials. Who pays for all of those airline ticket purchased by law firms? That will have to come out of what we eventually have to pay them. We carry the weight of attorney fees and costs,” she tells MND.

Mason says there are renewed calls among mesh-injured women to expand the circle of media contacts and renewed enthusiasm for showing up at the Johnson & Johnson annual shareholders meeting, April 27, 2017 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the headquarters of J&J. See the announcement here.

Three years ago, Corporate Action Network organized an event that included a light display on corporate headquarters, a protest outside J&J’s headquarters and a direct message to CEO of Johnson & Johnson, Alex Gorsky, by three mesh-injured women inside the annual shareholders meeting.

J&J Shareholders meeting protest 2014

As one woman said:

   “Today I call on this board and officers to conduct an investigation on whether it is worth keeping any mesh in your product line.  There is no reason any woman should ever have to suffer lifelong debilitating pain or have disfiguring surgeries to remove this product.  It is ironic to call a division Ethicon when it acts unethically and continues to injure so many women including your mothers, your wives, your sisters, your daughters, some of your employees, possibly yourself–not to mention myself.  Please protect your brand and also protect women.”

Alex Gorsky, CEO J&J

Inside that 2014 shareholder’s meeting, Gorsky told the crowd of about 1,650 that the corporation was healthy and its three business segments were all doing well. Shareholders gave Gorsky high marks for his then two-year tenure that’s seen stock prices soaring.

Huffington Post, Associated Press and Reuters all covered the 2014 event.

Johnson & Johnson has been the focus of protest because the company has more defective product cases filed then any of the six other manufacturers filed in multidistrict litigation in WV.

The Light Brigade, April 23, 2014, J&J headquarters



Can coverage April 27, 2014

Fitzgibbon Media Light Brigade Action outside 2014 Annual Shareholders Meeting, April 23, 2014. here

Associated Press with video Story here

Fitzgibbon Media Video of April 23, 2014 here

David Hall Photographer-Davideo Multimedia, LLC here

Huffington Post- 10 min in starting here

WTAE story- Pittsburgh here


By |2017-03-29T11:11:34+00:00February 27th, 2017|News|45 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. Linda February 27, 2017 at 6:55 pm - Reply


    • Anon February 28, 2017 at 2:51 pm - Reply

      I Absolutely agree…………Fishy

    • AngelAllemand March 8, 2017 at 11:12 am - Reply

      Or worse they offered me only 45000.00 that’s after 3 surgeries and I am not sure how much is left in there. On one surgery I had one inch removed then the next one 2 inches. All the symptoms that went away came flooding back. Plus the way the urogynocologist described it he was gonna have to put his hand up to his elbow in to get it out. But like one of my friends said, how did they get it in then? They sure didn’t tell me that. I just would like to know how much is left so I can at least learn how many more surgeries I might have to have in the future

      • Still standing March 11, 2017 at 8:24 pm - Reply

        Angel, please, to protect yourself, dont post here using your full name. Just revealing what you were offered could be cause for you to have your case dismissed entirely. Your attorney will not be happy, and the defendant definitely wont be happy. While you can talk in general about your experience, you cannot reveal what your were offered or other details of your settlement offer. You can post under under an assumed name, but we do leave digital footprints even under assumed names, so just be cautious when you talk about your case. If you have doubts, ask your attorney what is acceptable.

    • Karron March 9, 2017 at 1:07 pm - Reply

      Yes ‘mam! I can only speak for myself but this pain is the hardest and longest pain I have ever had in my life. I just want and need relief. I’ve had mine for ten years. Just had the first surgery last month. My doctor said I will need one or two more. My health is failing now so I do believe they are waiting for us to die off before they settle. It’s truly changed every faucet of my life.

  2. Still Standing February 27, 2017 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    When is the J&J meeting in April? That could be a powerful statement.

    Just to clarify a point. Individual case costs are not shared with other cases in the MDL, so we are not collectively paying for cancelled airline tickets. I imagine most litigation attorneys book travel through corporate travel or with corporate business cards at a level that allows trip cancellations without a fee. Each MDL plaintiff does pay into an MDL fund, but that is either taken out of individual settlement dollars when awarded or paid by the law firm who represents them. The common MDL fund pays for costs incurred from joint discovery and to reimburse the MDL attorney liaison costs. Each individual plaintiff pays her own case costs which will be taken out of her final settlement award. This is over and above the % that you agreed to pay your attorney in your contract for legal representation. These costs can be significant, especially if her case is trial ready. For example, if you are awarded 100,000, your attorney will get 40,000, you will have 60,000 but you will have to pay I think 6% ( $6000.00) into MDL common fund unless your law firm pays that for you. Mine paid 5% and I paid 1%. Then, there will be an accounting of the actual costs your lawyer paid for your case only. These will also be subtracted from your $60,000. This will be filing costs, deposition costs, travel, etc. for your case only. I cant imagine that a law firm would charge a client for a cancelled airline ticket, but I guess they could pass along this cost if they wanted to. This is different than class actions, where attorney costs are shared but plaintiffs receive very miniscule compensation. Just remember that all cases are filed as individual cases and that they incur individual costs that you as an indiviual plaintiff will be totally responsible for.

    • Trying to understand February 28, 2017 at 3:15 pm - Reply

      Still standing. I have not read all the comments on all the reporting but I do read yours when I see them. You seem so knowledgeable and reasonable about this mesh mess. It also seems you have settled. Who was your manufacturer and what made you settle? Mine is Boston scientific. It seems they are the last one that wants to settle. Do u have any info on them? Thanks for all your comments.

      • Still Standing March 1, 2017 at 12:16 pm - Reply

        Trying to understand, Im happy that things I say help you. I am probably not any more knowledgeable than anyone else, but I am curious and cautious. I have been involved in scientific research career wise and have respect for the facts. I dont think it is helpful to anyone to put out things that are just speculation. It can be upsetting and mesh women dont need any more of that. It can increase our suffering. So, that is why I post and why I try to research and understand beyond what appears to be on the surface. That is just how I need to learn.

        Yes, I have settled with Bard and Coloplast. I settled because I ended up in the highest tiers for those companies and just needed to move forward and let go of the anger. People tend to equate settling with healing and they are not the same. Both are important but you can begin to heal emotionally right now. It is hard to do that, but intentionally doing what we can every day to bring compassion to ourselves is important. Women dont do that well. We heap anger and judgment and regret on ourselves until we cant breathe. That is the worst part of it all. We cant undo this terrible mess that mesh has made, but I will not let it ruin my life. It won’t claim that from me. I fight it every single day but so far, Im still standing.

        • Trying to understand March 1, 2017 at 3:18 pm - Reply

          Still standing. I’m great full for every word that you write. I wish I could express myself like that. What you said about us women was absolutely spot on. I hope one day soon we can all put this mesh mess behind us. Thank you for taking time to research and pass that on to us. You are amazing.

          • Jane Akre March 2, 2017 at 7:15 am


        • Anon March 3, 2017 at 5:52 pm - Reply

          Still standing, I have read so much of what you post and have tried so many different things to increase the quality of my life. You have helped me to understand that no one will take better care of me than me. I have done so much research and have had a bit of luck reducing the amount of painkillers and feel like I am taking some control back which makes me feel better spiritually! Thank you and please keep providing the info, we may be too afraid to say it sometimes but you are having an impact. A question for you though have you tried or heard of anyone trying a TENS/EMS unit for nerve pain and rebuilding pelvic muscles? I am having some luck with a portable travel unit and am hopeful but I am worried about what I don’t know about this type of therapy. I cannot sit for any length of time and the pain gets unbearable when I have to travel so any insight or information would be greatly appreciated!

  3. faye f February 28, 2017 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Been four years in and out of hospital with infections now on medicine for rest of my life. My live has changed from this this will kill me.

  4. Marcie February 28, 2017 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    J and j and all injured women need to ban together and starting demanding accountability. We need to start calling them daily, sending them mail, go to their stock meetings and protest. As long as we are quiet they are comfortable with the status quo. We need to start doing the same to Judge Goodwin. He works for us. He is a public servant. We need to step this up ladies.

    • Jane Akre February 28, 2017 at 6:43 pm - Reply

      Very good point. Although it doesn’t seem like it, you all are in the driver’s seat.

    • Linda G March 1, 2017 at 7:31 pm - Reply

      Excellent point. If we don’t stand up & make some noise, we won’t b heard!!

    • Angie March 9, 2017 at 3:19 pm - Reply

      I wish I knew all I know now from when this all began. The law girl told me my case was gonna be handled separately and if I didn’t agree with the offer I could counter offer. That was a big lie. U cannot negotiate. They do all that. I wish I had just went to trial. I would tell anyone just starting out in this mess, to ask for an individual trial. I really wish I had.

      • Angie March 9, 2017 at 3:25 pm - Reply

        Also my law firm got with two other law firms and so I have 3 law firms representing me. U would think with all the money they going to get from their 40% that they would pay the other costs (I think 5%), however they need more money I guess cause that, their 40%, the 10K or so they gonna pay Medicaid back with, and the added 5%, I will be lucky to get out with 6000.00. I don’t even know if I need more surgery. How much more of that stuff is in me? UTI’s have just started back up. I had 2nd revision in August. I need a new doctor too. The other one is a long story! Lol! But not many urogynocologist around here. But yes if I could start over I would ask for an individual jury trial. So sorry I signed up for this thru the law firm I used:(.

        • Still Standing March 11, 2017 at 9:30 pm - Reply

          Angie, many law firms share their caseloads with other firms. That seems to be a common practice. But, yes, they will take and share the 40%. The extra 5% is payment into the common MDL fund…where expert testimony and other pretrial processes are shared with the other plaintiffs. Another cost that seems to surprise people is what you will be charged for your individual case costs. This is money your firm spent directly litigating your case such as filing fees, clerical work, phone calls, etc. this is in addition to the 40%.

          I would like to suggest something for your UTIs. I had almost continuous UTIs for years. Never ever had one before the mesh. They are the result of your urethra shortening due to mesh, scar tissue, etc. they can also be caused by insufficient estrogen. As we age, lack of estrogen causes vaginal dryness, which allows more bacteria to enter the urethra, it travels to the bladder, resulting in infection, so there can be a combination of things going on. Estrogen cream can also help keep the vagina from thinning as we age. This is really important for mesh women since vaginal thinning can lead to mesh erosion. I started taking the supplement d-Mannose. It is not very expensive. I take one a day and I have not had one UTI in more than a year. I had been having one a month for 8 years. D-Mannose prevents bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall. An integrative medicine MD recommended it and it has truly changed my life. Give it a try. I order online but you can get at GNC or Vitamin World, maybe Wal Mart. It is definitely worth the investment.

          Angie, your attorney needs to answer any questions you have about your settlement package. You are owed the opportunity to have all of your questions answered before you make your settlement decision. In order to get that, write down all the questions you have before you call them. Better yet, call the office, make an appointment for a phone call, tell them you have questions you need to have answered and insist on a call back from an Attorney, not a clerk.

      • Jane Akre March 9, 2017 at 7:30 pm - Reply

        You do not have to accept a $6,000 offer,… and you do not necessarily get a trial if you ask for one. Can you be put on a list of Wave cases heading for trial at least? Ask about that..

        • Angie March 10, 2017 at 7:29 am - Reply

          I’m not sure, but I am going to ask. I can’t thank you enough for responding. I didn’t have that information. The main law firm that I have spoken with told me I can’t counter offer and if I didn’t take that offer I would receive nothing. I did receive their packet, but I am concerned about accepting that. There is still so much I want to know. I would love to know how much mesh is left in me. I already have Lupus, I don’t want to continue with those UTI’s being that could hurt my kidneys. Not to mention the pain, misery, and “accidents” I suffer with during each infection. They are pushing to get the packet back in asap. I wish they never invented this! The FDA are more worried about pill addiction than making sure these products are safe. Thank you so much and if u think of anything I need to know please let me know. I need all the help I can get. Sincerely, Angie

          • Jane Akre March 10, 2017 at 1:48 pm

            Check to see if you qualify for the Extraordinary Injury fund,,,,, Did you have Lupus before your mesh implant? It is reported by others after being implanted as an autoimmune disorder, perhaps a reaction to the mesh.

          • Still Standing March 12, 2017 at 6:38 pm

            I may be mistaken, but I dont think you can apply for the extrordinary funds unless you agree first to the settlement. Once you do that, I think there is a process. However, getting additional funds is certainly not guarantted, so it would be a gamble. You might ask your attorney about how it works for your case. I think it is handled by the special master.

  5. MAMOHIO February 28, 2017 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    I say we need to be at the J & J headquarters for the stockholders mtg in April. Anyone able to make it?

    • Anon March 1, 2017 at 4:37 am - Reply

      Let’s get organized ladies and Nike on them (Just Do It).

    • Angie March 9, 2017 at 3:25 pm - Reply

      I would love to go if it will make a difference for anyone! Where is it being held at?

  6. josh March 2, 2017 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    So wait what exactly is going on with ethicon I thought judge Goodwin wanted to end this has ANY progress been made?!

    • Jane Akre March 3, 2017 at 10:05 am - Reply

      Behind the scenes depositions of doctors are being set:
      March 2 Plaintiffs notice to take deposition of Dr. Beri Ridgeway MD Santa Ana Calif, March 7 9am Dial in numbr and acces code in the case of Jeanette Roman 2:12-cv-05255. Signed Renee Baggett. Doc #3427.

      March 2, 2017, Plaintiff set depositin of Olga Ramm, MD Oakland California, in the case of Delia Galarza and Jennifer Moore, 2:120cv- 03998 and 05084. March 17th concerning general TVT qustions, Delia Galarza and Jennifer Moore at 1:30 and 4pm. Dial in and access code. Signed Renee Baggett.
      A conditional transfer order filed March 2, transfers 37 civil actions to the US District Court for the Southern District of WV before Judge Goodwin for pretrial proceedings. These are all ethicon cases filed under Dowling v. Johnson & Johnson et al 17-00248. From the middle district of Florida. (FLM/6:17-cv-00248)

      Filed March 2 a notice to take thedeposition of Stanley Zaslau, MD to take place in Morgantown, WV March 8 concerning Gynemesh PS and Prolift. Signed March 2 by Thomas Cartmell. Also filed March 2, Notice to take the deposition ofScott Serels, MD in Norwalk CT on March 10, 2017 concerning the TVT-O in regard to Wave 4 and subequent wave cases. Signed Thomas Cartmell.

      • josh March 5, 2017 at 9:53 am - Reply

        So will all this speed up settlements are they close to settling at all?

  7. Kitty March 3, 2017 at 4:06 pm - Reply

    Wow. Oh yeah!!

    • Kitty March 13, 2017 at 7:02 am - Reply

      Jane. Put “wow oh yes” in context. I never commented on Josh’s statement. I do not have a clue on settlement for Ethicon.
      Twisted Sister aka Kitty

  8. Lordhelpus March 4, 2017 at 11:11 am - Reply

    Jarndyce and Jarndyce. They’re probably waiting until the point where legal fees devour our settlements…It’s a disgrace!!

  9. Unbelievable mesh March 4, 2017 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    I am so sick of this whole process. Let’s see we as a country that is supposed to be the greatest nation in the world are allowing these criminals to rape us. Yes rape us of our health dignity sex life money hope enjoyment of life. If you look at what’s happening you see all these other countries doing something to help their citizens that are going through this mess mesh. But all I see is our FDA our judicial system and our government elected officials kissing these criminals asses. Sorry for the bluntness but it is what it is. Other countries have to step up and fight but ours won’t. Sickening really.

    • Anon March 5, 2017 at 7:14 pm - Reply


  10. Angela March 5, 2017 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    I am 37 years old and disabled after a tvto implant when I was 27. My mesh case has been on going since 2012 and was recently told by my attorneys that J&J aren’t settling cases unless the mesh has been removed, and for those who have they are offering between $6000-$30,000. It doesn’t matter that the Dr has said they cannot remove. Our lives have been ruined and it looks as though there will be no accountability. Of there is any help out there, I would love to know where to look.

    • Jane Akre March 5, 2017 at 8:40 pm - Reply

      Will your lawyer take you to trial? Yours is a special case, many women cannot undergo surgery for a variety of reasons, you should not be penalized because of that. You can write me privately

  11. VICKI S March 6, 2017 at 9:37 am - Reply

    I saw Sheryl Atkinson do a story on J&J for Talc injuries. Jane can you reach out to her maybe she can tell our story? So tired of attorneys and J&J dragging their collective feet. Praying for resolution yet this year.

    • Jane Akre March 6, 2017 at 9:48 am - Reply

      Like your editor, she no longer works in mainstream media…. can you reach out to her?

  12. anonymous March 8, 2017 at 5:37 am - Reply

    ladies and gentlemen for those of you who are out here. What about contacting Ivanka Trump or even the president himself. Even if you dont agree with everything about him he does seem to care about the people of the united states. There is something very very wrong with this court and I dare say Judge Goodwin. Try being a AMS victim. They have never had to go to court! And their cases are not settling and they are not moving forward with the most catastrophically hurt women. At least J&J is headed for court or so it seems. The amounts offered were a slap in the face to those of us who live each day in chronic pain. SOMETHING MUST BE DONE! SOMEONE HAS TO HEAR OUR STORY! But who, who will help us look at the court and the Judge and see what the heck is going on. It is true they will wait to settle until we will get nothing if something is not done. I know too this will kill me if something is not done soon.

  13. Me March 16, 2017 at 2:16 am - Reply

    So if the people are settling for $35,000.00 how much are they getting after fees???

    • Jane Akre March 16, 2017 at 10:49 am - Reply

      take out approximately 40% for the lawyers, perhaps another 5% for the common benefit fund ( this may be negotiable, have the law firm take it out of their chunk) and any additional expenses they find, liens, insurance wants to be reimbursed for surgeries etc. Does insurance refund your premiums? So figure roughly half?!!

      • Still Standing March 16, 2017 at 10:31 pm - Reply

        Half would be a generous estimation. 25% of the gross will be held back for lein payment. I would figure on at least half of that , maybe more go to retire leins. So, $8750 will be held. This can take a year to go through the steps of lein resulution. 40% belongs to attorney, so that is $14,000. 5% goes to MDL fund ( some attorneys are paying this so ask), so that is another$1750,. These costs are deducted out of the initial award. These costs total $24,000, which leaves a potential first check of $11,000, but case costs have not been figured yet and they will also be paid out of the gross award. They can be considerably high. A very low ball would be $2000.00, so now there is $9000 left that you would get in the first disbursement. Leins will be settled over a year, then you will be sent a check if there is anything left from the $8750 withheld for settling your leins.

  14. Kim March 25, 2017 at 2:26 pm - Reply

    I am very interested in protesting at the shareholders meeting in New Brunswick NJ! If there would be any media coverage, I would be a strong advocate for our cause. Until more media attention and information sharing gets out about the austracities of women’s cases with these meshes are brought to light, nothing will change! Are there anyone else who can make the trip to the Shareholder’s meeting in NJ on April 27th? Strength in Numbers!!!!

  15. Sad March 27, 2017 at 8:50 am - Reply

    info@ivankatrump. com.

    Worth a try to get Ivanka’s attention. I emailed her this morning.

    • Still standing March 27, 2017 at 6:38 pm - Reply

      Sad, sending letters is always good. They will have the greatest impact, however, if everyone writes with a central message and every letter asks for the same response. One of the reasons mesh is a hard topic to bring attention to is that there are many different calls to action. Decide on the most important issue to address first and send consistent messages.It is the same concept as marketing. Products are targed to specific markets with specific messages.

      So, is it the plight of the mesh victims in litigation (I believe that is the most important message for now)? Is it the lack of FDA oversight? Is it the FDA clearance process? Do you want all mesh products taken off the market? ( that is a tough sell because many men and women have mesh repairs that have not produced the kind of complications we have experienced) or Do you want criminal charges filed against corporate leaders? Pick one, hammer the facts of the message home, then expand the message focus. In that way, you build a complete story that captures an audience.

      It takes some discipline to get everyone to do this, but, emails from angry consumers flood the politically powerful people daily. Those that start to stand out are ones that build a groundswell of people writing about an important single issue. An interesting recent example of this is the CDC and FDA crackdown on prescribing opioids for pain. Opioid overdose deaths have been happening for years. However, it started hitting cities on the east coast populated by the wealthy and influential. They carried their opioid story out to the media and it worked. However, a crucial message was left out. It didnt tell how thousands and thousands of Americans with chronic pain would be negatively impacted. Congress passed a bill that Obama signed that almost criminalizes doctors and chronic pain patients who need opioid pain medication.

      The FDA ordered manufacturers of pain medication that they had to reduce their production by 33% this year. How did this happen? The people who lost children to opioid overdose had one united and clear message. It was valid. It was compelling. It was consistent. Jane does an absolutely amazing and tireless job for us. She writes targeted articles about single topics that we relate to. Mesh women need to start focusing in that way if we want people to not just hear our story but to understand the message.

  16. Kitty April 4, 2017 at 4:37 am - Reply

    The central message is: we were not given the warnings before implant. We were not told of the possible side effects. We are not marching in mass. We want our Day in Court. That’s all. Having complications with transvaginal mesh cannot compare with the opiod epidemic. This does not compare with young people becoming hooked on Heroine due to the underground pushers. Everyone should write a letter. You know how letters get reponse’? Send the cc to the right person. But now…we wait and wait for our day in court…just like you.

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