Mesh Medical Device News Desk, November 27, 2017~ The case of Elizabeth and Tad Hrymock got underway in a Bergen Co. New Jersey courtroom today. She has filed a defective product lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and its Ethicon division, alleging the TVT-O and Prolift were defectively designed.
This is the first of many cases to be heard in Hackensack, New Jersey.
Welcome to Hackensack New Jersey, Bergen Co., the new location for thousands of product liability lawsuits that promise to be heard against defendant Johnson & Johnson over its family of polypropylene pelvic meshes.
J&J is one of seven mesh makers who developed a polypropylene polymer to spin into a mesh to be permanently implanted in women as a treatment for pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. The same mesh is used for hernia repair.
This latest trial will educate jurors on how the products made it to market. Prolift had a questionable path to FDA clearance as past trials have shown to jurors.
Bergen County is one of the locations for thousands of transvaginal mesh trials. Philadelphia has more than 100 lined up for trial and Charleston, West Virginia is where more than 104,000 are consolidated in something called multidistrict litigation waiting for either settlement or to go before a jury.
The case is Elizabeth Hrymoc v Ethicon, Case No. L-13696-14, heard in New Jersey Superior Court, Bergen Co., NJ.
North Jersey dot com, reports on the trial that began Monday, November 27th pitting Elizabeth Hrymock and her husband, Tad, against J&J and its subsidiary Ethicon.
Hrymoc (RYE-mock) had two pelvic mesh devices, the TVT-O (obturator) and Prolift, made by J&J implanted in 2008 to control incontinence and prolapse.
She has undergone three attempted removals and today suffers from chronic pain, which she claims she began suffering immediately after implantation. She says she had no informed consent.
While TVT-O is still on the market, implanted to treat incontinence, Prolift was removed in June 2012, along with three other of its problematic meshes.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now reclassified pelvic organ prolapse meshes like Prolift as “High Risk” and wants manufacturers to prove its safety and efficacy before its marketed, something that is not required of class II or moderate risk devices such as incontinence mesh, such as the TVT and TVT-O.
Adam Slater, the plaintiff attorney with Mazie Slater, tells NorthJersey.com the couple is grateful their trial is finally underway. “They have waited nine years for the chance to tell their story to a jury and hold Johnson & Johnson accountable, not just for themselves, but for the thousands of other women who still await their day in court.”
J&J told NorthJersey.com through a spokeswoman in an email, “We empathize with Ms. Hrymoc’s medical situation, along with those of all women suffering from stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.” She added, “Pelvic mesh has helped improve the quality of life for many women with serious, debilitating conditions.”
J&J is facing more than 55,000 similar cases worldwide including a class action case of 700 women currently underway in Sydney Australia.
Expect the Hrymock trial to last at least four weeks before Judge Rachelle Harz. If past trials are any indication, juries tend to award plaintiffs millions including huge punitive damages to punish a company for bad corporate behavior.
Take for example the case of Plaintiff Linda Gross heard in 2013 in Atlantic City New Jersey. She was awarded $11.1 million in damages. J&J appealed the case which took years to finally be resolved. Other plaintiff damages from Philadelphia have amounted to $12 million, $20 million, $12.5 million and $13.5 million.
The last pelvic mesh trial in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas yielded a $57 million award to Ella Ebaugh, the highest jury award in that court.
See MND coverage here.
COURTROOM VIEW NETWORK
Mesh Medical Device News Desk (MND) attempted to share coverage camera with Courtroom View Network as it has done in the past, but the defense objected. CVN almost lost its camera in the courtroom in Kansas City (read MND coverage here) when one reader of MND, “Maria Garcia” commented and the defense counsel objected.
At that point CVN almost lost its camera rights and MND was excluded. Maria Garcia is excluded from commenting on MND after failing multiple requests to identify herself. ###