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Update on Pelvic Mesh Trials Naming Defendant J&J

Judge Joseph Goodwin

Judge Joseph Goodwin

Mesh News Desk, April 4, 2016 ~ Pace of Trials Naming J&J Increasesethicon two

This week lawyers and representatives from mesh making companies are expected to gather in Charleston, WV for a status conference on pelvic mesh litigation, April 6 and 7th.  Judge Joseph Goodwin, who is overseeing 90,000 defective product cases filed in his court, will oversee the status updates.

Making an appearance are representative attorneys and corporate reps from Sofradim, Bard, Boston Scientific, Ethicon, AMS, Coloplast and Cook.

As he has before, Judge Goodwin is asking defendant client representatives with “full authority to make all decisions related to MDL 2327″
(Ethicon) be present along with in-house counsel for defendant and settlement counsel for the defendant and lead plaintiff counsel.

Judge Goodwin wants to be assured  the companies are hearing directly from the court and not receiving an inaccurate or rosy picture painted by defendant law firms who stand to benefit  from protracted litigation or may be in conflict with the concept of moving things through the court.

*Update on April 6, 7 – Judge Goodwin cancelled the meeting for April 7th after all business reportedly was completed on the 6th.  According to a source- some firms are taking care of their clients, others are getting their inventories settled, in other words, settling so they can move on. This is particularly relevant to Boston Scientific where some firms want to settle their case without exploring the Chinese counterfeit mesh controversy.  Reportedly Judge Goodwin wants to see injured women get paid and does not like firms that are selling leads and subjecting women to funding groups that are charging high interest the longer this drags on. We may soon see cases being worked up in the hundreds at a time to move these proceedings along. There is a great deal of rumbling about what’s called common benefit work, that comes from the 5% withheld on settlements.  Mesh News Desk will keep an eye on the accounting when it is released which should reveal which firms are abusing the system for their own gain.

Federal courthouse, Charleston, WV

Federal courthouse, Charleston, WV

 

Rabiola Trial – Rescheduled After Death of Plaintiff

The Josephine Marie Rabiola v. Ethicon, trial was to be heard in Austin, Texas in the 53rd Judicial District Court in Austin, Texas.  It was originally set for October, then February of 2016.  Ms. Rabiola has since passed away, reportedly from heart-related problems unrelated to mesh.  She was 63-years-old when she was implanted with two meshes- the Gynecare TVT Secur system to treat incontinence in May of 2010, and then the Prosima Pelvic Floor Repair System to treat pelvic organ prolapse in November 2011.

Her lawyer son, who is the executor of her estate, will continue with her product liability trial when it is rescheduled.

tvt secur russian siteThis was to be the first trial for the TVT-Secur, a mini-sling that mimics the TVT-Obturator placement, that is through the obturator space, the leg socket. The TVT-Secur was intended to be the third generation improvement over the TVT (transvaginal tape).

The Abbrevo, a similar product and also a mini-sling, was the mesh implanted in Plaintiff Coleen Perry. She was awarded $5.7 million by a California jury in March 2015.

 

 

Mullins et al – 37 Plaintiffs’ Case to be Heard en Masse

Stanley Zaslau, MD

Stanley Zaslau, MD

The Mullins case has not been rescheduled at this time.

In the Mullins et al v. Ethicon case, (2:12-cv-02952) was continued as of March 15.   See background story here  and here.

This is a trial of 37 plaintiffs which may be heard all at one time before Judge Goodwin in Charleston, WV.  All of the women in Mullins had been implanted with Johnson & Johnson’s TVT (transvaginal tape) and all are from West Virginia. Even though they had been implanted by different doctors, their injuries from defendant, Ethicon/ J&J pelvic mesh, offered enough similarities to consolidate them into one defective product case before Judge Goodwin in this multidistrict litigation.

This consolidated case will focus on design defect. Defective warning, breach of warranty and punitive damages may be added to plaintiffs’ claims.

Dr. Stanley Zaslau, M.D. from Morgantown, WV (here) is the doctor who implanted many of the plaintiffs. He has been noticed for videotaped deposition.  Defendants objected to some of the requests – documents were already produced, while requests for brochures, training materials, video and emails are overly broad and ”not proportional to the needs of the case.”

Plaintiffs seek any evidence of a financial relationship between J&J / Ethicon and the doctor including consulting agreements, contracts, and monetary benefits. Defendants say this is overly broad and not relevant to any party’s claim. Christy Jones and David Thomas write the objection.

The completion of pretrial in Mullins should be done by June 30, 2016 and trial can be set after that time, according to Judge Goodwin’s order of March 15.

PTO_#213  on the Status hearing, April 6 and 7 2016 all mesh makers

PTO # 214  lays out the parameters for the defense to conduct the medical examinations of the women in Mullins.prolift box

 

Ramirez v. Ethicon, April 25, 2016 San Antonio, Texas

The Jennifer Ramirez v. Ethicon case was supposed to start July 13 in San Antonio, Texas before Judge J. David Canales,  (No. #2012-ci-18690), 73rd Civil Division, TX. She was implanted with TVT-O and was originally supposed to go to trial November 2014.

Oral arguments are now set to begin  Wednesday, April 27 and 28, 2016.

* UPDATE**  Judge Arteaga’s office informs MND that the case is either continued awaiting a settlement or has settled, it’s unclear at this writing. Will work to follow up on this!*  Here is the list of documents in the case:  http://apps.bexar.org/Search/Details?r=7adea2cd-2348-44cf-9933-0ddbf1f79f96&st=l&l=ramirez&fn=jennifer&p=2_2012CI18690%20%20%20%20DC0000100420#history

J&J Shareholders meeting protest 2014

J&J Shareholders meeting protest 2014

j and j

 

Brenda Trotter v. Ethicon- Pretrial in Oklahoma City. April, 2016.

Ms. Trotter was implanted with a TVT-S and a Prolift pelvic floor repair mesh.  Interesting fact- she was implanted one month before the FDA finally discovered Prolift had been on the market without any FDA clearance.  J&J just began selling Prolift  in 2005 under the FDA clearance process and it wasn’t discovered until 2008 when J&J applied to the FDA to sell the next generation, the Prolift+M.   The pretrial proceedings in April will determine a court date to be held later in this year or next year.

 

Gay and Linda at J&J meeting

J&J Annual Shareholders meeting, New Brunswick, NJ, April 28, 2016.
Some women and family members injured by Johnson & Johnson’s pelvic mesh may plan to attend the annual shareholders meeting in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  Two years ago, a rally was held outside the hotel and J&J headquarters as shareholders filed in.

Two women implanted and injured by J&J’s pelvic mesh were allowed in to speak directly to J&J CEO Alex Gorsky.

See Investor FAQ here.

2016 Annual Meeting of Shareholders here. 
 

Figeroa v Boston Scientific, May 16, 2016, Dallas Texas DC-13-03145, before Judge Molberg. Reportedly this case will be resolved with others naming defendant company Boston Scientific. It will serve as a vehicle to settle other cases, according to sources.
 

Edwards, et al. v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., June 3, 2016, 2:12-cv-09972, Charleston, WV
The plaintiffs Tonya Edwards, a resident of Georgia, She was implanted with a TVT-O by Dr. Harold Wittcoff at Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta, GA. See background story here. 

Defense planned to raise the following defenses – Edwards was obese, had experienced hip and back pain prior to her mesh implant and had a small rectocele and cystocele as well as urethral hypermobility, all prior to her implant.  Treatments such as injections had not treated her SUI.  She had had about 60 occasions to consult with various medical providers and did not report pelvic pain until more than six years after her implant, says the defense. It was only after seeing a television ad for pelvic mesh litigation that she filed her case, according to lawyers for J&J.

Counts include Negligence, Strict Liability-Manufacturing Defect; Failure to Warn; Defective Product; Design defect; Fraud and fraudulent concealment, Negligence, Breach of express warranty, violation of consumer protection laws, gross negligence, unjust enrichment, loss of consortium and punitive damages.

Attorneys are Mark Mueller, John Fabry, Breanne Vandermeer. The case was filed December 31, 2012.  This trial is limited to six days writes Judge Goodwin in a June 12, 2015 order. 

There will be a pretrial conference Thursday, May 26 to determine if jury selection alone will take place on the 3rd or whether opening arguments will commence on that date, a Friday,  or on the following Monday, June 6.

 

J&J  TRIALS STILL AHEAD 

Vanderveer v. Ethicon, Philadelphia, Kline & Specter, Prolift and TVT, February 8, 2016, Trial date certain October 24, 2016. Unassigned judge

Hansen, Bernice et al v Ethicon October 11, 2016, Trial date certain. Rep. by Kline and Specter, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas

Beltz, Sharon v. Ethicon, Dec 5, 2016, Philadelphia, Kline & Specter

Prochazka, Traci v. Ethicon Jan 23, 2017, Kline & specter, Philadelphia Court of Common pleas

Dempsey, Theresa v Ethicon Feb 6, 2017, Philadelphia, Kline Specter

Following the Philadelphia Court here. 

 

 

 

34 Comments

  1. Tammy S Jackson says:

    Jane, Thank you for this update…do you know of any ladies going to NJ for the J&J Shareholders meeting ? If so, can you give them my phone number or email. I may have to go…..

  2. Barbara Melling says:

    Sick to my stomache

  3. Debi says:

    By reading this, I feel Judge Goodwin is working hard to get this settled before trial. Knowing the company’s rep will be at these talks is big. We all know the lawyers are money wh–es and they do not want the money well to dry up…… go Judge Goodwin.

    • K says:

      Don’t get you hopes up look at the history of these cases. He allows them all to be delayed! The case with 37 will be delayed again. It’s out justice system it will be 2-3 years before anything happens.

      • K says:

        He doesn’t allow the eviden many state courts have allowed for the plaintiffs. He has prolonged this suffering. I truly believe that. He uses scare tactics of many cases then allows them to be postponed. It does no good. He has no idea if the true suffering.

  4. Debi says:

    I have a idea, if we have anyone living in New Brunswick n.j, maybe the have children, grandchildren, friend’s with children or know someone with childern that can go to the colleges and universities to hang protest posters so they can help in the Apr 28th shareholders meeting at J and J. They get hundreds for the election and we are more important than that

    • Jane Akre says:

      Buy a share and go inside! Nothing stopped us from gathering outside the meeting two years ago this month with large signs and handing out flyers. Some people took notice and even spoke to the protesters….

  5. Karin says:

    I think the courts should be insuring that the medical costs for women everywhere – not just in the USA – are being covered upfront. They shouldn’t have to wait for these court cases to go through the system before they can receive treatment. I think by the time the courts are finished awarding these huge amounts to a small group of women there may not be enough money for the rest who have suffered just as greatly – if not more. Doctors should be removing the garbage they put into women’s bodies and then going after J&J for the costs.

    • Jane Akre says:

      The problems is doctors don’t know how to remove the mesh if there is a complication. It is NOT easy and you don’t want just anyone to do exploratory surgery…. I wish there were easier answers but there are not.

    • DeAnna says:

      Dr. Andrea Staacks removed mine she is in Loma Linda Medical Center in California and she is awesome.

  6. anon says:

    Jane.

    Thank you for the article and update.

    I am very sorry and sad to hear another mesh victim passed away.

    IMO and from experience- She was way too old and sick to have any mesh surgeries at all, and by having two, I can’t even begin to imagine the pain and suffering she went through as she lived her final years.

    Knowing this could have been prevented is so hard.

    Before mesh in 2007, I was very healthy. I struggled with weight off and on, but otherwise in good shape. Now in my 50’s, since the mesh, I have so many different medical problems it is crazy. So many surgeries. Most medical issues can not be explained. Mesh is so complicated. And so very dangerous.

    Why won’t anyone in government listen to us or believe us? Or take up the issue

    I mention all of this because, mesh does cause heart problems. It says (for her) heart problems not related to mesh, but it does add to the stress of the heart and the worry.

    And to the pain and suffering, which is just too much to bear for us women in our 40’s-90’s. We just can’t do it.

    It will be discovered years from now all of the terrible side effects mesh causes and caused to women and men. Heart problems will be on that list. My heart is not the same.

    Mesh victims, our legs give out. They just stop working. Many can not sit down. AT ALL.

    We feel bad. Just sick all of the time. The pain, the tears, the losing hope.

    And by now, most of us are so poor as we did not finish work to retirement or can”t work at all any more. Plus, impossible to keep up with the rising medical costs.

    In Georgia, the benefits to help older poor people have been cut so much, they are almost none at all. If you call United Way, they say to call this place who says to call this place, who says to call this place and it goes on and on and on and on…There is no medicaid. Every person is denied unless they are almost dead. I have asked a million times. who benefits from all of the money given to charity?

    Food Stamps being taken away unless you do work or volunteer 20 hours a week and they want random drug tests, at your own expense. All for some food.

    It is all so hard. Most mesh victims can’t even walk to the mailbox. Food Pantry in certain areas are G-d awful. Dirty, nasty, old food, old left overs. The Feed America is not working well in Georgia. Meals on Wheels has a huge, long waiting list. Unless, you pay $5 a meal, twice a day, which we can’t afford, you do without.

    I feel for her. Deepest sympathies to her son and other family members and friends.

    • Jane Akre says:

      She was only 69- years old I understand. That brings up- What are the contraindications for a mesh implant? If you have congestive heart failure? If you are a smoker? If you have a chronic disease which makes it impossible to undergo surgery with anesthesia?

      • Advocate says:

        Jane,
        That’s a great question and some of the issues that are automatic qualifiers would be, anything that would present risk at surgery.
        For instance, heart issues, inability to accept anesthesia, clotting issues or perhaps blood diseases.
        Obesity is another big one and that is indicated by the patients BMI.
        For other types of implants, there is always the consideration of longevity of the implant, against life expectancy of the patient. We typically would not see a knee implant, for instance, in a patient in their late 80’s who has a limited exercise regiment to begin with.
        All of these surgeries are difficult for the “elderly patient” in the first place. The idea of going to surgery two or more times for revisions, with those patients with health risks, are probably marginal to begin with.

        • Jane Akre says:

          Yet they DO NOT appear in the IFU to my knowledge,,,,, I hear stories of people who should NEVER have even been considered for an implant just in case there were complications,,,, such as congestive heart failure. Hello!!!! Let’s make the last few years of her life even more miserable! I’m sorry but where is common sense!

    • Jill Funk says:

      Thankyou you hit the nail on the HEAD! I would like to post more but I’m in such pain right now I can’t even do that. But thankyou for saying everything I have been feeling! !!!!

  7. Liz says:

    I would love to read in a few days that Judge Goodwin took a firm stand to get these suits resolved and out of his court system. I do believe he understands what women are up against. It is up to him to lay down the law!!!Dont let these women down Judge, please do your job according to the law and let these women move forward with their lives and get these cases settle!!!This has gone on way beyond anyone’s comprehension than it should have. Give them hope for their future and END this charade!!!!Only you can do it Judge Goodwins I guarantee all these women would agree and be forever grateful to get unstuck from this burden they carry each and everyday of their lives!!!

    • Linda DeHaan says:

      I don’t think Ethicon or their lawyers have any idea what us women have been through. I was told I had the gold standard. Well if thats the gold stand they need to burn it. Becuase it is not worth 2 cents.

  8. Anon says:

    Pretrial order #225 cancelled the status conference for April 7th. http://www.wvsd.uscourts.gov/MDL/ethicon/pdfs/PTO_225.pdf

    • Debi says:

      Anon, please explain what this is saying. Thank you

      • Still Standing says:

        It means that the all hands on deck meeting last week was cancelled. It doesnt appear that it has been rescheduled. For you who are new to this gig, this is not abnormal. They get scheduled and cancelled and rescheduled and cancelled…..do you notice a pattern? There can be many reasons so dont take anything positive or negative from this. It’s just part of the game unfortunately.

        • Jane Akre says:

          My understanding is they got the entire thing done in one day which makes sense….. will have an update as to what I found happened, if anything.

  9. Linda DeHaan says:

    Wby was everything cancelled?

    • Jane Akre says:

      All of the work was done in one day instead of two, revisit the story for an update on what happened…. thank you.

  10. I afraid big Corporation has paid off Judge Goodwin. Happens all the time….

    • Jane Akre says:

      I believe you are wrong Andrea.

      • Lesli Hill says:

        I agree with you Jane. I think it is irresponsible to accuse someone of such a horrible action without absolute proof. These are people’s reputations here. We cannot fall into the habit of throwing out accusations that are not true. We expect to be treated with dignity and honesty through this process and we should do the same toward those who are trying to help. judge Goodwin is trying to figure out an almost impossible situation. Be mad at the mesh manufacturers, but try to respect the work that Goodwin and most of our attorneys are doing on our behalf.

        • Debi says:

          Very nicely said. I totally agree about Judge Goodwin, he has to cover ever base in this trial to assure there is nothing left to appeal. I wish him all the grace of God, and know he will do everything within his power of the law for us.

  11. Babs says:

    Let’s get Hillary involved.

    • Debi says:

      Barb, I understand your thoughts on getting “Clinton ” involved BUT she has taken $336,416 from the Big Pharmaceutical companies, which is saying “no help for you, I love money”.

      • mary b says:

        Deb. i think you are wrong on clinton they was so many lies told on her that has been proven wrong i do think she could help us so much someone has to contact her i would but dont know where and how

  12. Jeanine says:

    HI… I hope you are all having a great day. I see so much about the J&J, Ethicon, etc… but not to much about Boston Scientific. I am, as so many of you are, so tired of them dragging their feet. Is there anything new from them? Is there any other websites that I can watch for updates? This has been going on so long, there has to be something we can do to get these companies off their duffs and get some resolution. Thanks for listening. Praying for all to get some good news on this.

  13. cynthia a says:

    They are in no hurry and i do believe a lot of the legal systems in place are waiting and hoping that some of us will die before settling. I personally have the mesh that was not fda approved and it has been 8 years that we have been fighting this. Mine is extreme and perforated my colon in 2006. Spent 11 days in a coma and six more weeks in the hospital where they explained that i was being checked in to die. Wow, now that makes you wanna fight, and i did. I finally weigh 72 pounds which is better than the 62 pounds that I was after the coma. Judge Goodwin just needs to be firm with j&j. No more reschedules, i wanna be alive to give the money to my kids. They suffer right along with me. My middle child could not even graduate because his senior year was spent keeping me alive. And he is gifted, they have ruined our lives, time to pay the children what they deserve. And it should be ruled that all the females associated with J&J should be implanted with the same mesh. Including wives and female children. they say its safe so order this too.

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