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Surgical Mesh Manufacturer to Appeal Revival of Mesh Lawsuit

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Philadelphia, PAA surgical mesh lawsuit plaintiff whose case fell to a defense verdict at trial, may nonetheless come away with something after the trial judge granted the plaintiff’s petition for damages. The manufacturer of the pelvic mesh involved, Ethicon Inc. (Ethicon), has appealed the judge’s ruling that the matter can progress to a damage hearing. In so doing, Kimberly Adkins’ case has been revived, at least for now.

The primary defendant in the surgical mesh side effects lawsuit is Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Ethicon is facing in excess of 100 lawsuits in the pelvic mesh mass tort currently housed in Philadelphia. In what was the fifth case in the mass tort to go to trial, the jury on June 9 delivered for Ethicon what was the defendant’s first defense win in the 5 cases.

Ten days later, according to The Legal Intelligencer (08/17/17), Adkins responded to the verdict with a post-trial motion asserting that the jury’s findings were inconsistent with regard to the issue of whether, or not a design defect alleged in the surgical mesh complications lawsuit – a defect acknowledged by the jury – caused the injuries to Adkins.

To that end, the jury had determined that the Ethicon TVT-Secur mesh implanted in Adkins had, indeed been designed with certain defects. However, failing to identify that the product may have caused Adkins’ injuries went against the weight of the evidence, according to the plaintiff.

Adkins’ post-trial petition found favor with the judge in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, who revived the surgical mesh lawsuit in July and directed that the case move to a damages hearing.

Ethicon promptly filed an appeal of the judge’s ruling with the Pennsylvania Superior Court. A spokesperson for Ethicon, identified as Kristen Wallace, said in a statement published in The Legal Intelligencer that the trial jury in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas had, indeed determined that the Ethicon surgical mesh had not been the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.

“We have filed an appeal to the Superior Court solely regarding the granting of a new hearing on damages, because we believe that it was not right to set aside what the jury decided,” Wallace said.

Adkins’ legal team announced it would be opposing the appeal, noting that any further delay fostered by legal proceedings would only delay the determination of damages for the harm, and suffering experienced by the plaintiff.

Court heard that Adkins suffered when the Ethicon TVT Secur implant eroded into the plaintiff’s vaginal canal, causing Adkins much pain. A portion of the surgical mesh was removed by way of a surgical procedure in September, 2012 – however the pain continued. Her attorneys note that even in the aftermath of the revision surgery, the plaintiff has been largely robbed of her capacity to enjoy normal sexual relations with her partner of 20 years.

Adkins filed her surgical mesh complications lawsuit in July, 2013. The case is Kimberly Adkins v. Ethicon Inc. et al., Case No. 130700919, in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.

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