A Pennsylvania state court judge last week overturned part of a jury verdict that gave Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary Ethicon its first win in five pelvic mesh trials in Philadelphia.
Last month a jury in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas cleared Ethicon in the fourth pelvic mesh bellwether to go to trial there, despite finding that the company’s TVT-Secur product was defectively designed and that Ethicon failed to warn of its risks.
Kimberly Adkins had sued in 2013, alleging that the TVT-Secur mesh she was implanted with in July 2010 to treat urinary incontinence caused her injuries. After a 12-day trial, the jury agreed with Adkins’ defective-design and failure-to-warn claims but decided that her injuries were not caused by the device.
But a July 19 decision by Judge Michael Erdos reversed the win, ordering Ethicon to face damages on the defective design claim. Erdos also denied Adkins’ arguments over one of the jurors and the defective design claim, according to court documents.
The win had been the first in the Philly court for J&J, which was hit in April with a $20 million blow in the 3rd bellwether to go to trial there. Another Philadelphia jury also found for the plaintiff, awarding $13.5 million in February 2016; a Pennsylvania state judge in January upheld that verdict. And in December 2015, a jury added $7 million in punitive damages to the $5.5 million in compensatory damages it leveled against Ethicon in the 1st of the mass tort cases.
Ethicon has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review another pelvic mesh loss, after losing an appeal of the $3.3 million verdict over its TVT-O pelvic mesh. A jury in the U.S. District Court for Southern West Virginia found for Jo Huskey in September 2014s. A federal judge later shot down Ethicon’s bid to overturn the verdict and denied the company’s move for a new trial; Ethicon then appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, which denied the appeal. Ethicon’s petition for certiorari to the Supremes, filed May 23, alleges that the appellate court improperly excluded product review evidence after misreading the relevant precedent.