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Mesh Trials on the Horizon

Adam Slater, Mazie, Slater

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, November 1, 2017 ~ Despite what appears to be a lull in litigation concerning pelvic and hernia mesh, a number of cases are set to go before a jury in the coming months. New Jersey, Philadelphia, Charleston, WV and Los Angeles all have transvaginal mesh defective product cases consolidated and waiting for trial.

You all realize these trials are public and it is acceptable to sit and learn from both sides. Trials are very enlightening, especially since many of you are already familiar with the issues.  

Mesh News Desk will attempt to keep up-to-date on the dockets. Your updates are very welcome as well!

 

NEW JERSEY

Prolift, MedTech Marketing

The New Jersey law firm of Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman, will bring the defective product trial of Elizabeth Alice and Tadeusz Hrymoc v Ethicon, Monday, November 27.

Ms. Hrymoc was implanted with two meshes made by Ethicon, the medical device division of Johnson & Johnson (J&J).

The two polypropylene meshes are Prolift, used to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP), and TVT (tension-free vaginal tape), used to treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI).  Both have been found defectively designed in previous jury actions.

Opening statements will be heard in Bergen County (Bergen Co Docket No BER-L-13696-14 MCL), before Judge Rachelle Harz. Jury selection will begin before that date.  The case was filed September 24, 2009.   See Pre-Trial scheduling here.

New Jersey cases only allow you to receive the  docket here. You must request by mail to receive documents if you are not an attorney.

 

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas

PHILADELPHIA

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia Co.~ November 6, 2017 / Patricia Blockus et al vs Ethicon Women’s Health and Urology.  * Late Breaking ** This trial has been moved to January 8, 2018, with jury selection set for January 4. 

Blockus is from Hunlock Creek, Pennsylvania, where she lives with her husband, Eugene.  The defendant corporations are Ethicon, American Medical Systems, Boston Scientific and CR Bard Inc. as well as Sofradim Production SAS, Tissue Science Laboratories Limited, Secant Medical and Prodesco, Inc.   The trial was moved from June 19, 2017 and the Case No. is 1307-00707  before Judge Arnold New.

See the case list here. 

She was implanted with a Prolift pelvic organ prolapse (POP) mesh and a PelviSoft Acellular Collagen BioMesh made by Bard. See Bard brochure here.

Ms. Blockus was implanted with Prolift March 19, 2007, and the PelviSoft July 28, 2008, both at Gesinger Medical Center in Danville, PA to treat pelvic organ prolapse. The implant surgeon is Barbara Plucknett, MD.  Ms. Blockus underwent one explant surgery, July 28, 2008 by Dr. Mitesh Parekh, MD.

Bard claims its PelviSoft is highly effective for posterior vaginal wall defects and is “ideal for use in repairing rectocele and cystocele prolapse.” It was developed after Pelvicol, another biomesh, made by C.R. Bard in Covington, Georgia.  The promotional material does not say where the “natural” mesh is derived but further research finds it is made from porcine (pig) dermis or skin.

*Note* – See this Porcine dermis study, randomized control trial, with 12 month followup.  Using a cure definition as anatomic with no pelvic organ prolapse at Stage 2 or greater.  57 patients. Published in Obstetrics and Gynecology January 2013 by Patrick Culligan MD, Division of Urogynecology Atlantic Health System, Morristown, NJ.  See Clinical Trials here.

The complaint states negligence, manufacturing defect, failure to warn, defective product, design defect and common law fraud, the first among 16 claims. The Blockus family asks for punitive damages.

 

Peggy Pence, PdD and team at Symbion Research Intl.

BLOCKUS MOTIONS FILED

On May 5, 2017, Johnson & Johnson/ Ethicon filed motions to preclude the testimony of expert Peggy Pence, Ph.D., Uwe Klinge, M.D., Ph.D and Daniel Elliott, M.D..

This was done under Pennsylvania Rule of Evidence 702, known as the Frye Motion.  (Frye v. United States, 293).  Ethicon had filed almost identical Frye motions to preclude testimony in the Hammons case against Ethicon.

With Peggy Pence, for example, Pence is a regulatory expert with more than 40 years experience in the regulation of medical devices. Dr. Pence has testified that the Prolift was misbranded when brought to market because the manufacturer made false and misleading statements.

Dr. Uwe Klinge, mesh expert for Plaintiff

Prolift actually was marketed by Ethicon beginning in March 2005, prior to having any FDA clearance at all. It was only when Prolift M+ was submitted for FDA clearance did the FDA even know the existence of Prolift. Then, and only then, did the FDA issue it clearance to market, three years after it was already being sold!

Dr. Uwe Klinge is a biomaterials scientist who collects explanted hernia mesh and examines its properties. Ethicon wants to prevent him from testifying about Ethicon’s purported knowledge and state of mind, about degradation of mesh and particle loss.

Ethicon wants to exclude the testimony of Dr. Daniel Elliott, who will say that Prolift is defective and that Ethicon had a duty as a medical device manufacturer to make a safe and effective product.

Dr. Rosenzweig, from his promotional materials

The Ethicon motion aims to exclude Bruce Rozenszweig, MD  as an expert witness. There is a defense motion in limine to eliminate the Chevron MSDS and any discussion of Johnson & Johnson shredding of documents pertaining to its transvaginal mesh production.  See MND story here.

There is a defense motion to eliminate discussions heard in the Ethicon/Budke  wrongful death trial and the Linda Gross Prolift trial in New Jersey from 2013.

A Motion for Summary judgment filed by Ethicon October 6, cites that Ms. Blockus allegedly filed outside of her statute of limitation.  Ms. Blockus should have been aware of her mesh injury July 2008 and October 2010 and/or should have been aware of the 2008 and 2011 FDA Public Health Notices.

See Blockus Def Ethicon Motion for Summary Judgement, Oct, 2017

Ms. Blockus said she was not aware her injuries might be linked to mesh until she saw television commercials after which she filed her lawsuit.

The defendant says “a plaintiff cannot just sit back and wait to see a lawyer television advertisement before filing suit when there is similar, if not more detailed, information from a government source regarding a potential causal connection between a product and certain symptoms that has been accessible and available to the public for 5 years.”

Between March 2007 and November 2011 she says she experienced ongoing pain and urinary symptoms, four mesh erosions and underwent four surgical procedures to correct the erosions. She also had an additional prolapse device implanted.

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas

ALSO IN PHILADELPHIA

Also listed for trial in the Philadelphia court is Hespe v Boston Scientific, Trial date certain – January 22, 2018. Case No. 130700947

Deimler vs. Ethicon Women’s Health and Urology,  Trial date certain – May 14, 2018, Case No. 13070136

There are 131 records found waiting for trial in this pelvic mesh mass tort in Philadelphia. ###

25 Comments

  1. Bejah Blue says:

    Thanks Lady Jane…Bless your soul, you just keep rolling out the news. Bejah

    (I expect to be offline for a few weeks due to impoverishment of sorts…I shall return as soon as I can). For now I have lots of books to read and lots of pens and paper to keep my occupied! Happy Thanksgiving all, remember to focus on gratitude for what we have rather than lamenting what we have lost. Love, Bejah

    • Hillyc says:

      Bless you. I hope and pray your financial situation improves soon. I definitely understand what it is like to have to go without modern conveniences and sometimes even the necessities because of lack of financial means. I’m happy that you still feel thankful this Thanksgiving in spite of what we have lost.

  2. Erma says:

    PLEASE can someone explain how mesh manufacturers can hide info that has proven facts learned and found in other trials and research?

    Taking mesh off the market without explanation…. using mesh without FDA approval (Prolift). The Netherland talk show from earlier this year. (Search on this website”meshmedicaldevicenewsdesk” for those who do not know about this talk show.)

    GOVERNMENT AND PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES HOLDING HANDS.

    Where is the justice for us innocent mesh victims? Our government, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, lawyers have failed us……and we are expected to not talk about our mesh mess!? I lost my trust! JUST DON’T GET IT?
    __________________
    “Ethicon motions aim to exclude Bruce Rozenszweig as an expert witness. There is a Motion in limine to eliminate the Chevron MSDS and any discussion of Johnson & Johnson shredding of documents pertaining to its transvaginal mesh production. ”

    How can JnJ get away with the “shredding” of mesh documents after told not to destroy? And than asks courts to not mention this info. Plus other info like the Linda Gross trial?
    The info from the Netherlands talk show, Lucente’s false success documentation, etc.????

    I am so ANGRY…but legally I should hide this fact and my pain?

    Mesh ruined my life and thousands of others too.
    We need to be heard LOUD and CLEAR.

  3. Erma says:

    Deimler vs. Ethicon Women’s Health and Urology, Trial date certain – May 14, 2018, Case No. 13070136
    ____________________
    131 records awaiting this trial….very interesting what JnJ/ Ethicon have up their sleeve in dealing with this trial? Probably will settle out of court and records will never be seen by public??

    Thanks JnJ for over the 10 years of pain…little sleep…loss of a great job…no intercourse with my husband of 30 plus years…oh yes foolish me… I forgot what a mesh defense lawyer said about other ways to satisfy our husbands ….our hands and other body openings.
    What a scum bucket lawyer! What about our sexual desires? GONE!

    Love how Attorney Slater confronted your suggestions and how husband’s reacted to your comments.
    Why should we expect anything more from defense lawyers? It is all about the money and not one ounce of caring for the mesh victims and their families. We lost so much…no amount of $$$$$ money can buy what we lost!

    • Jane Akre says:

      Hi Erma- Not sure what you are referring to regarding Slater…..as you know he is a plaintiffs’ lawyer….

    • Disgusted says:

      Erma,
      I think we have all been treated worse than rape victims. The implication that sex is a non-important entity to us as women. What is our issue anyway? (SARCASM) I was asked why I didn’t get counseling for loss of sex. Like this intimacy we have with our husbands is expendable. Makes me sick. I got counseling for PTSD. They just want to say, “you have a normal life” no big deal. Everybody’s happy. LIES. We know who is the father of lies.

      • Disgusted says:

        P.S. It is funny (weird) that they sell this under the guise that we’ll be more sexually attractive. How sexy are huge pads? Ironic don’t ya think?

  4. Bejah Blue says:

    Dear Erma, I think you are so upset we are not certain exactly what you are saying some times…it happens to us all. I think that generally we think of Mr. Slater as a good guy, don’t we? Thus Jane’s comment. Can you take a deep breath and try again dear? To comment about “satisfying your husband” in such a way is gross and base and not even worth revisiting. Who ever spoke in this way about such a sensitive subject should not have, had no right to and he is to put it simply about as highly evolved as…well “pond scum”. A sexual relationship between two people who love eachother is not about pleasing him and HE wants to please you so clearly men who approach the subject in any other way know nothing about love or a meaningful relationship. Do not waste your time even thinking about this. We know there are individuals out there who view the world and women in a deeply troubling way. They are sick. Focus on what is good, what is hopeful, especially in this season. You must try. You and your man will figure it out in your own way and it is no one else’s business. So sorry you are hurting in so many ways. Love, Bejah

    • Kitty says:

      Yes..the female Dr who I mentioned several blogs ago gave me the same advice. She brought it up. Recall the Dr. The neurologist ..the psychiatrist and the female PT who gave me breathing exercises and stated she cured some scar tissue in my teeny tiny VJJ. LOL

      • Bejah Blue says:

        My mom was very beautiful, much prettier than me…off topic I know. She once tried a new OB/GYN. That female doctor remarked that mom had “a cute little vagina”. What the heck is that supposed to mean? Mom learned later that the doctor was not, ahhemmm, a hetersexual person. Yikes. Mom never went back. She just did not feel comfortable. Life can be so strange. Bejah

  5. Anon says:

    Adam Slater is one of the most compassionate attorneys that I have had the pleasure of doing business with. He really care about his clients, individually. Please….do some research about Adam Slater and his law firm, Mazie, Slater, Katz, Freeman, including others not named in the heading, they are a special group of attorneys.

    • Erma says:

      So very sorry I came across “COMPLETELY WRONG” about Attorney Adam Slater.

      He is the VERY BEST of the best in defense for mesh victims. I admire him and wish he was my attorney.

      I remember reading how Attorney Slater was very unhappy about a pharmaceutical defense telling the plaintiff that there were other ways for a women to meet their husband’s needs besides intercourse. I think Slater’s response was also mentioned on the Netherlands show about mesh.
      I’ve been fighting a UTI for weeks and I get little sleep. My body is getting immune to the antibotics and right now I am on a very strong antibotic that is killing my belly. I am sick, weak, and angry which is not good combo

      You all were right about your assumptions of me and my comments.
      In the heat of anger, I did not clearly write my thoughts in an understanding way.

      God Bless all of you and Jane too. Love you!

  6. Lordhelpus says:

    JnJ is so powerful, untouchable and so above the law that no one dares touch them. I mean, they’re so well respected, revered and adored by so many that the mere thought of undermining their great existence and/or abilities is something you just don’t do… (At least that’s what I’m picking up from this whole thing)

  7. Lisa says:

    Jane you always amaze and engage me! Thank you. I’m very curious on how the Judge ruled on all these motions. I’m gonna dive in and find out! Thanks again for all you do OH and also, you are so right, Opening statements of a jury trial are very interesting and emotional. Especially if you have an interest in the trial subject. Anyone who has the opportunity should definitely go. You’ll be very glad you did!

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