Jensesta Cutter had Ethicon’s Prolift pelvic mesh implanted in 2006 and complained to her doctor that year of pelvic pain, soreness and burning, constipation and urine leakage, according to the complaint. In 2008, the device’s right arm came loose and Cutter underwent the first of three revision surgeries. The second occurred in 2010, after Cutter complained of pelvic pain, stomach cramping, bloating, dyspareunia, and back pain and her physician said that a different portion of the Prolift mesh had rolled up. After advising her doctor that her husband, Larry, had felt a “sharp scrape during intercourse,” Cutter underwent the third and final revision surgery in 2012 to remove the remaining mesh, the couple’s lawsuit says.
Ethicon claimed that six of the lawsuit’s 10 claims, which cover personal injury, product liability, loss of consortium, breach of warranty and punitive damages, should be dismissed for exceeding the statutes of limitations. Judge Danny Reeves agreed, dismissing those claims as well as one alleging “failure to warn” the Cutters of the potential risks of having Prolift implanted. Reeves reasoned that Jenesta Cutter’s initial doctor was aware of the risks and relied on his own experience of patients having positive outcomes when he advised Cutter to have Prolift implanted.
Reeves tossed the couple’s claims of fraud and negligent misrepresentation because Jenesta Cutter did not receive any information about Prolift directly from Ethicon, but relied entirely upon her doctor’s advice.
Ethicon must still face the couple’s claims of violations of consumer protection laws, unjust enrichment, fraudulent concealment and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Larry Cutter died in 2011.
In August 2019, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld a $2.43 million verdict against Ethicon in a pelvic mesh injury case brought by Sharon Beltz and her husband, Walter Beltz Jr. of Pen Argyl, Penn. That couple won the verdict in 2017 based on their complaint that Sharon Beltz had suffered injuries due to mesh erosion and contraction, including infection, inflammation, scar tissue, organ perforation, dyspareunia, blood loss, pelvic floor damage and pelvic pain. Beltz had Prolift pelvic mesh implanted in 2006 and had corrective surgery in 2011, according to that complaint.