Today is a good day for pelvic mesh victims everywhere.
Pelvic mesh has seen success today. Patricia Hammons gets to keep her $13 million from her bad medical device award despite Johnson & Johnson’s appeal and their attorneys’ sneaky attempt to stretch 2017’s Supreme Court decision on Bristol-Myers Squibb v. California and apply it to her Prolift mesh case.
But even more important than that was the decision to determine the statute of limitations was from the date Hammons knew her medical problems were due to the transvaginal mesh implant, and not from the date of the surgical implant in 2009.
That’s what a Pennsylvania judge did when he ruled against Ethicon, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary with a wholly inappropriate name, whose attorneys argued that Bristol-Myers applied because Hammons — who waited too long, anyway — lived in Indiana.
I guess Ethicon just conveniently forgot that the Prolift mesh that was implanted in Hammons – which they knew was defective – had been manufactured in, guess where? Philadelphia! Which is in, guess where? Pennsylvania! Which establishes guess what? Jurisdiction!
The ethics-less attorneys at Ethicon could not get one over on Judge Victor Sabile.
Patricia’s case in 2013 was the first in the pelvic mesh mass tort litigation lawsuit in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. But there are at least 100 similar cases going through the pipeline now. Hammons sued after three corrective surgeries failed to fix the medical problems she had from the Prolift implant — which she had to hold her internal organs in place — including incontinence and extreme pain during sex.
The Prolift mesh, as medical experts testified in her case, is garbage. It is defective because it is super heavy and causes severe inflammation. Both Hammons and her doctor said they would not have implanted the transvaginal mesh if they had known about the risks, which were not disclosed by Ethicon.
In 2016, a jury awarded Hammons a $5.5 million medical claim and $7 million in damages to punish Ethicon for their ethical lapses. It’s not the only award against Prolift. An Indiana jury awarded $35 million in damages in one case and a New Jersey jury awarded $15 million in damages against the company last year.
And I have a feeling that this is not the last case that Ethicon loses, thanks to Judge Sabile who saw through the rubbish and let Patricia Hammons prevail.