PHILADELPHIA – After five years of litigation, a Philadelphia jury recently found in favor of Johnson & Johnson, one of its subsidiaries and partner companies, who were accused of manufacturing a pelvic mesh product that a plaintiff claimed caused her to suffer incontinence and other injuries.
Malgorzata Krolikowski of Media filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Jan. 28, 2014 versus Ethicon, Johnson & Johnson Secant Medical and Prodesco, Inc.
In 2008, Krolikowski said she was suffering from stress urinary incontinence and as a result, was implanted with an Ethicon-brand TVT-Secur pelvic mesh device. However, the plaintiff stated in her suit that rather than improve, her incontinence condition worsened and she further developed severe vaginal pain that prevented her from engaging in sexual intercourse.
While the plaintiff and her counsel argued the corporate defendants rushed a dangerous and defective product for market sale to the public, defense attorneys countered that the companies were not liable or responsible for the device not alleviating Krolikowski’s condition.
A verdict was handed down last Wednesday, April 17.
Though the jury did not conclude the product caused Krolikowski’s injuries, it did find the company was negligent in its design and marketing of the device. The TVT-Secur pelvic mesh implant at issue in the case has not been sold since 2012.
Colin Burke of Kline & Specter, a member of counsel for Krolikowski, expressed “disappointment” but “respect” for the jury’s decision and looked forward to continuing to litigate future cases against the defendants, while a representative for Ethicon indicated the company was satisfied with the verdict.
“We empathize with women suffering from stress urinary incontinence, which can be a serious and debilitating condition. There are various treatment choices for women with this condition seeking to improve their quality of life, including surgical treatment with implantable mesh, which is backed by years of clinical research and is considered by most doctors to be the gold standard treatment,” said Ethicon spokeswoman Mindy Tinsley.
“The jury’s decision reflects the facts in this case. The evidence showed Ethicon’s TVT-Secur device was properly designed and did not cause the plaintiff’s alleged injuries.”
Though the ninth case tried in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, it was only the second time a Philadelphia jury sided with Ethicon in a pelvic mesh trial – though the other defense victory in Adkins v. Ethicon, Inc. Et.Al was overturned and now stands on appeal in the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.
Previously, plaintiffs had been mostly successful in winning multimillion-dollar jury verdicts in pelvic mesh cases in Philadelphia, with six total victories in court totaling almost $150 million – including one verdict in January of $41 million.
Nearly 100 similar pelvic mesh cases, in which plaintiffs charge Ethicon with manufacturing and marketing defective products causing serious injuries, remain active in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas’s Complex Litigation Center. Federal courts nationwide also house in excess of 10,000 similar suits.
Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 140102704
From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at email@example.com