MND, September 8, 2015 ~ After a long spring and summer that was supposed to encourage settlement to pelvic mesh litigation, there were few pelvic mesh trials scheduled. This fall should see a surge in the number of pelvic mesh trials, especially against Ethicon/ Johnson & Johnson.
The healthcare giant indicates it wants to continue to take pelvic mesh product liability cases to trial rather than offer mass settlements as some other manufacturers have done.
In the meantime J&J is busy paying off other crimes against consumers. Between 2010 and 2013 J&J accrued $5.4 billion in fines and settlements for wrongdoing including pleading guilty to the criminal misbranding of the off-market promotion of the antipsychotic drug, Risperdal. The company’s policy appears to be – accept the fines and violations and move on – it’s the cost of doing business. But consider their credo that their ‘first responsibility is to the doctors, nurses and patients, to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products.”
*Note- The first Prolift cases will soon be hear as well as TVT (transvaginal tape).
There are presently 83,019 cases consolidated in Charleston, WV in multidistrict litigation. Johnson & Johnson/Ethicon has the largest number of cases (28,777 as of September 8). The following calendar updates several delayed cases.
Cavness v Ethicon, September 21, 2015, Case No. DC-14-04220, 95th Judicial District before Judge Ken Molberg, See the documents listed here:
According to her petition, Carol Cavness is suing her doctor Teresa Kowalczyk MD, Hunt Memorial Hospital in Texas, Hunt Regional Medical Center, Baylor Healthcare System, J&J and Ethicon in this product liability action. She was implanted with the Gynecare Prosima Pelvic Floor Repair System. The suit notes polypropylene material sparks an immune reaction; pathogens attach when the mesh is implanted vaginally (transvaginal); the mesh shrinks; the mesh causes friction with the underlying tissue causing the tissue to degrade; the mesh injures major nerve routes in the pelvic region and degrades over time taking with it the internal tissues; the welding of the mesh during production creates a toxic substance that contributes to the degradation of the mesh and host tissue; and the design of trocars potentially penetrates nerve-rich environments.
The complaint says J&J/ Ethicon withheld information about the propensity of these mesh products to fail and cause injury and complications and have misrepresented the efficacy and safety of the products intentionally misleading the public; the company failed to perform any tests to determine the risk and failed to design a safe, effective procedure for removal of the pelvic mesh. Additionally, Ethicon/J&J provided incomplete and misleading training to physicians, many who were not trained surgeons, to implant these medical devices. In many cases the training took place in a weekend cadaver clinic or with a sales rep in the operating room.
In the case of Ms. Cavness, her doctor knew or should have known the pelvic mesh products have a high rate of failure, injury and complications and failed to perform as intended, say attorneys for Ms. Cavness. Despite that, Dr. Kowalczyk implanted Ms. Cavness on April 24, 2012, nearly a year after the U.S Food and Drug Administration said that complications from a mesh implant are “not rare.” The doctor was negligent in the care and treatment to her patient and did not act as a reasonably prudent physician in caring for her patient, says the complaint.
The Cause of Action includes negligence; a failure to warn the Plaintiff prior to implantation; defective design of a product that was unreasonably dangerous; defective manufacture, breach of an implied and express warranty the products were safe for the purpose for which they were intended.
Cavness claims she is in physical and mental pain that will likely continue into her future, she is disfigured, that likely will not improve. She says she has lost the ability earn a living, lost wages and will have medical care and expenses now and in her future.
She is represented by William Blankenship III of Dallas and Tim Goss of Freese and Goss of Dallas.
Wicker v Ethicon September 28, 2015, in Bergen Co. New Jersey. Prolift pelvic mesh Case No. L-13702-14 to be heard before Judge Brian R. Martinotti. The case was reassigned from Atlantic Co to Bergen Co in October 2014.
This case may echo earlier ones presented by Adam Slater of Slater Mazie (Linda Gross, Joan Budke). In July, the Defendant requested photos from the Plaintiffs’ family weddings, an overseas trip, a vacation home. Defense is allowed to use three photos to show to the jury, not unlike the vacation shots presented to jurors in the Coleen Perry’s California trial last year. That motion was granted. But what was denied was information from her treating physician for additional treatments.
See the New Jersey court schedule here.
There are presently 8,341 cases filed against Gynecare in New Jersey.
Rabiola v. Ethicon, Austin, Texas. October 26, 2015 Case no. D-1-GN-13-002039
Josephine Marie Rabiola will appear in an Austin, Texas court October 26 in her product liability case against Ethicon. She too is suing her doctor, Tomas G. Antonini MD, Lone Star Urogynecology and Continence Center, Seton Healthcare, and Johnson & Johnson/ Ethicon. She was implanted with the Gynecare TVT Secur System and the Gynecare Prosima Pelvic Floor System.
On May 24, 2010, the Plaintiff was implanted with the TVT Secur System, made with Ethicon’s Prolene mesh in Austin to treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI). By November 2, 2011 Dr. Antonini recommended another mesh to treat her SUI and pelvic organ prolapse- the Prosima Pelvic Floor System.
Ms. Rabiola would not have consented to the surgeries had she been adequately informed, according to her complaint.
As is the case with Cavness, lawyers for Plaintiff Rabiola allege negligence; design defect, manufacturing defect; a failure to warn her; a breach of implied warranty and express warranty. She too is represented by Tim Goss of Freese and Goss of Dallas and David Matthews of Matthews and Associates of Houston.
Denise Kilgore v. AMS, in Kansas City District Court October, The case no. is 14CV01312. Johnson County, Kansas state court has an electronic docket.
Sherrer v Boston Scientific, November 30, 2015, Kansas City Mo. State Court (Bertram & Graf, David, Bethune & Jones, Wagstaff & Cartmell)
Mullins v. Ethicon, Charleston, WV, December 7, 2015. (Case No. 2:12-cv-02952.) This case consolidates 37 plaintiffs who have similar actions in one trial naming Ethicon/ Johnson & Johnson. They all have a TVT (transvaginal tape) implant and were implanted by different surgeons in West Virginia. Those are the common issues of law and fact that allow them to be consolidated into one trial. All of the mesh implants, used to treat incontinence, were made by Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson. See a Mesh News Desk story here.
Hammons v. Ethicon, December 7, 2015, Philadelphia, Kline & Specter, Prolift mesh
Edwards v. Ethicon, Charleston WV, January 11, 2016, Mueller Law
Delacruz v. Ethicon, Philadelphia, Kline & Specter, Prolift mesh, January 11, 2016
Carlino v. Ethicon, Philadelphia, Kline & Specter, TVT mesh, January 25, 2016
Way v. Ethicon, February 22, 2016, Volusia Co Florida, Daytona Beach, FL
Vanderveer v. Ethicon, Philadelphia, Kline & Specter, Prolift and TVT, February 8, 2016
McGee v. Ethicon, Philadelphia, Kline & Specter, TVT Secur, February 22, 2016
Hansen v. Ethicon, Philadelphia, Kline & Specter, Gynemesh PS, March 7, 2016
Navarro v. Ethicon, Philadelphia, Kline & Specter, TVT and Pelvitex PP mesh