The sixth pelvic mesh product liability trial against Ethicon, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, is underway in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiff was injured by Ethicon’s TVT Secur pelvic mesh product, requiring her to undergo multiple corrective surgeries and removal of mesh fragments from her urethra. The plaintiff alleges that the defective pelvic mesh product has caused perforations to her urethra, incontinence, and pain. The complaint alleges design defect and a failure to warn.

Citing the recent United States Supreme Court decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court of California (BMS), Ethicon, Inc. argued that the company’s lack of tangible links to Pennsylvania prevented the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas from hearing pelvic mesh cases. Ninety of the cases filed in the Philadelphia court that alleging injuries caused by defective pelvic mesh implants were filed by out-of-state residents.

Continue Reading Johnson & Johnson Argues that Pelvic Mesh Cases Belong in New Jersey

In case you missed it, Stark & Stark has garnered a significant amount of local, regional, and national press attention for our recent $20 million pelvic mesh verdict against Johnson & Johnson in Philadelphia, PA. In the case, plaintiff Peggy Edelman alleged that a Johnson & Johnson pelvic mesh device implanted to relieve stress urinary incontinence in 2007 failed due to defect. Subsequent attempts to surgically remove the mesh after Ms. Engleman began experiencing pain and discomfort were unsuccessful. Nationally, Johnson & Johnson is facing tens of thousands of additional pelvic mesh lawsuits, including nearly 200 more in Philadelphia.

Below are some of the local, regional, and national press mentions for Stark & Stark and this very important verdict: Continue Reading Stark & Stark Gaining Press Attention for $20 Million Pelvic Mesh Verdict

A Pennsylvania jury awarded a New Jersey woman $20 million for injuries she suffered after receiving a pelvic mesh implant made by Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

Following a three-week trial in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, Peggy Engleman of Cinnaminson, New Jersey, was awarded $2.5 million compensatory damages and $17.5 million in punitive damages.

Martin P. Schrama and Stefanie Colella-Walsh, both partners with Stark & Stark, filed the complaint on behalf of Ms. Engleman in 2013 and worked with a team of attorneys on the case.

The suit claimed that a TVT-Secur device manufactured by Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, was defective and the companies failed to warn users of the risks. Ms. Engleman had the device implanted in 2007 to relieve stress urinary incontinence, but said the device failed shortly thereafter. She began to experience pain and discomfort as the mesh started to erode inside her body and underwent multiple surgeries. Physicians were unable to remove all the shards of mesh in her abdomen.

Continue Reading Jury Awards $20 Million in Pelvic Mesh Implant Case Brought by Stark & Stark

Huge Victory in Hip Replacement Lawsuit

Despite multiple attempts by Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to delay and dismiss the third DePuy Pinnacle hip implant bellwether trial, the case moved forward with outstanding results. After 12 weeks of trial, which included 32 witnesses called and 1,346 total admitted exhibits, Jurors awarded the six plaintiffs more than $1 billion in punitive damages and an additional $32 million in compensatory damages.

This recent hip replacement lawsuit verdict was governed by California law, so it is not subject to the same punitive damages cap as was seen in the earlier trial which was governed by Texas law. The impressive verdict sends a clear message to J&J, which plaintiffs hope will finally encourage J&J to settle the remaining 8,500 claims.

Continue Reading Billion Dollar Verdict in DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement Lawsuit

A Multidistrict Litigation (“MDL”) against 3M and Arizant Healthcare, alleging the manufacturers’ Bair Hugger surgical warming blankets were the cause of deadly post-surgical infections, has progressed to the bellwether pretrial stage. The more than 800 cases were recently consolidated in Minnesota under the purview of the Honorable Joan N. Ericksen. Bellwether case selection will begin on December 23, 2016, with final case selection to be completed on or before March 8, 2017.

The Bair Hugger forced air blankets are used to keep patients warm during surgery. The Master Complaint adopted by the Plaintiffs in the pending MDL alleges that “scientific studies have shown that as the warmed air rises against the downward airflow in the operating room, it deposits bacteria from the non-sterile portions of the operating theater to the surgical site.” The Master Complaint further alleges that “scientific studies have also shown that the inadequate air filtration system of the Bair Hugger allows pathogenic-carrying cells, including but not limited to isolates of S aureus, coagulase-negative staphylococci (“CoNS”), and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (“MRSA”), to penetrate the intake filter of the device and colonize inside the device.” Accordingly, it is alleged that without an adequate filtration system at the distal hose outlet, the device releases contaminants into the operating theater and directly onto the surgical site itself. Plaintiffs contend that Defendants have known, for over two decades, that “the Bair Hugger emits significant levels of internally generated airborne contaminants into the operating theater and that the exhaust generated thereby creates convective airflow patterns that disrupt the unidirectional airflow of the operating theater, dramatically increasing the risk of infection for patients undergoing lengthy surgeries, especially hip and knee replacement surgeries.”

If you or someone you love has been affected by the use of a Bair Hugger warming blanket and/or has suffered from a serious infection after surgery, you should consult an attorney with experience in litigation involving mass tort injuries related to medical devices and associated products. The attorneys at Stark & Stark are currently accepting clients with cases against 3M and Arizant Healthcare and can provide you with a free consultation to help ascertain if you are eligible for assistance.

There has been a Class I recall of Alere INRatio and INRatio2 PT/INR monitoring devices manufactured by Alere Inc. These devices are used to monitor blood clotting time as measured by PT/INR values in people taking blood thinning medication, including warfarin (also known as Coumadin). A Class I recall, the most serious type of recall, is issued when the continued use of the recalled devices may cause serious injuries or death.

Essentially, the monitoring devices have been found to generate incorrect readings in certain circumstances. Such incorrect readings can result in improper anticoagulation dosing, which can lead to the risk of major or fatal bleeding.

Alere has been unable to develop an adequate modification to ensure the safety and effectiveness of their PT/INR monitoring devices, and the following Alere INRatio devices are subject to the recall:

  • INRatio2 PT/INR Professional Monitoring System (55128A)
  • INRatio2 PT/INR Home Monitoring System (0200432)
  • INRatio2 Replacement Monitor (Home) (0200457)
  • INRatio2 PT/INR Professional Testing System (0200431)
  • INRatio/INRatio2 PT/INR Test Strips (99007EU, 99007G1, 99007G3,99007G5, 99007G7, 99008EU, 99008G1, 99008G3, 99008G5,99008G7)
  • INRatio PT/INR System Professional (0100004)
  • INRatio Prothrombin Time (PT) Monitoring System (0100007)
  • INRatio Replacement Monitor (0100137)
  • INRatio PT/INR Test Strips (0100071, 0100139)

(The recalled devices and test strips were distributed from April 1, 2008 to the middle of this year.)

If you or a loved one has suffered a bleeding injury from the use of one of these recalled Aledevices, you can contact Stark & Stark and speak to one of the Mass Tort/Pharmaceutical Litigation attorneys, free of charge, who can help assess any claims that you might have.

The third DePuy Pinnacle bellwether trial got off to a roaring start this week as Hon. Ed Kinkeade, District Judge for the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas, took control of his courtroom to set the tone for the trial. According to reports, he flatly denied both a continuance and a motion for a mistrial delivered by defendant, Johnson & Johnson, in the first few minutes of the proceedings. After lunch, Judge Kinkeade penalized both sides for wasting time over a witness objection. Later, Judge Kinkeade called a break with a warning to Johnson & Johnson’s lawyer that if he did not stand while objecting, he would be chastised in front of the jury.

Continue Reading Sparks Fly in DePuy Pinnacle 3rd Bellwether Trial

The third bellwether trial in the DePuy Orthopedics Pinnacle Hip Implant Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) is set to commence in the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas. The last multiple plaintiff bellwether case resulted in $150 million dollar verdict, which was later reduced due to punitive damage caps in Texas. The DePuy Pinnacle lawsuits involve claims for toxic metal poisoning called metallosis, tissue inflammation, and bone damage, all alleged to be attributable to faulty prosthetic hip components. There are roughly eight thousand plaintiffs in the matter, seven of which are included in this pending bellwether trial. Remaining MDL plaintiffs are represented by approximately thirty law firms including Stark & Stark of Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

Additional information on the MDL case can be found at: In re: DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation.

If you or someone you know has suffered injuries from the Pinnacle prosthetic, or similar hip or knee replacement systems, you should contact an experienced Mass Tort/Pharmaceutical Litigation attorney involved in the MDL to help assess any claims for you. Most attorneys, including Stark & Stark, offer consultation services free of charge.

The 5th District court in Texas recently denied a petition by defendants, Johnson & Johnson and DePuy Orthopedics, Inc., to grant an expedited appeal and to halt the next round of bellwether trials in the Pinnacle multidistrict litigation (MDL), which are currently scheduled to begin in early September 2016. The defendants filed the petition after losing the last bellwether trial earlier this year and getting hit with a jury award of $498 million dollars for five plaintiffs, who were injured from their metal-on-metal Pinnacle implants. The award was later reduced to $150 million dollars to meet the punitive damage caps in Texas.

Continue Reading Petition Denied for DePuy MDL Appeal

IVC filter lawsuits are on the rise. On August 17, 2015, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“JPML”) consolidated the Bard IVC lawsuits, as part of a Multidistrict Litigation (“MDL”), in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. Case Management Plans and Case Management Orders for this MDL are described below.

On October 30, 2015, the MDL court issued Case Management Order #1, appointing leadership council, including Lead/Liaison and Steering Committee, and designating their duties and responsibilities for Case Management. According to the Order, the “Lead/Liaison will be (a) the only attorneys permitted to file in the Master Docket as to all actions, and (b) the only attorneys receiving Notices of Electronic Filing for pleadings and orders filed in the Master Docket for all actions.“

Continue Reading The BARD IVC Court’s Utilization of Case Management Plans and Case Management Orders to Guide and Control the Multidistrict Litigation