Hernia Mesh Litigation Ethicon

Mesh Trial Gets Underway in Miami Federal Court

The jury heard opening remarks from both sides on Monday, January 6, in the suit against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon subsidiary claims alleging the Artisyn Mesh product caused severe injuries to Miami resident, Charlotte Salinero.

The plaintiff’s attorney James Ferraro told jurors that his client had the mesh removed in 2017 due to complications including fistulas, fecal incontinence, and severe chronic pain. Ferraro stated, “when she leaves the house, she has to wear adult diapers. She hasn’t had sex in years. She lives in constant pain.” Salinero claims the plastic polypropylene used to manufacture the defective mesh is known to degrade inside the body causing infections and related complications. 

Ethicon is no stranger to litigation involving its line of polypropylene mesh products. Multi-District Litigation (MDL) has been formed in the Northern District of Georgia against Ethicon, claiming its Physiomesh product does not properly adhere and frequently migrates causing perforation, internal bleeding, and infection. In May 2016, Ethicon issued a broad recall of Physiomesh in Europe and Australia, while issuing a market withdrawal in the United States.

Defense attorney Shayna Cook countered in typical style with arguments suggesting alternative causation for Ms. Salinero’s injuries and complications. Cook said several of the plaintiff’s health problems can be attributed to other things, namely the medication she takes for migraines, or scar tissue related to a past abdominal surgery for small bowel obstruction. In the defense’s favor, the pathology report mentions nothing about the degradation of the polypropylene in the Artisyn Mesh that was removed from the plaintiff in 2017. 

The trial is expected to continue for two to three more weeks in the Miami courtroom presided over by Judge Ursula Ungaro.