ETHICON TVM TRIAL (MDL 2327) STARTS IN CHARLESTON Sutphin vs. Ethicon 2:14-cv-01379


Mass Tort News would like to welcome Jane Akre, as our senior contributor and writer on Women’s Health subjects as well as related litigation. Jane is primarily known as the Editor of Mesh Medical Device News Desk, where she has been providing outstanding real-time reporting on TVM and other dockets that have impacted women for several years.

This is Jane’s first article published in Mass Tort News and we hope you will engage and follow Jane both here and via her Mesh Medical Device News Desk platform.  Thank you Jane and welcome to Mass Tort News.

Ethicon TVM MDL 2327 USDC SD West Virginia, Judge Goodwin,

September 16, 2020 ~ Jane Akre

After more than one year, a pelvic mesh trial will commence in Charleston, West Virginia, which once consolidated more than 107,000 defective product cases against seven manufacturers of polypropylene (PP) mesh implants.

Judge Joseph Goodwin

After a 15-month delay, lawyers representing a mesh-injured woman will be back in court to try her defective product case.  The plaintiff is Annette Sutphin of West Virginia, in front of before Judge Joseph Goodwin in Charleston, West Virginia.

Because of COVID-19, West Virginia courts were closed in mid-March and began re-opening gradually in June.



The Sutphin case (2:14-cv-01379), was filed in the Southern District of West Virginia in 2014. She is represented by Kila Baldwin of Kline & Specter of Philadelphia.

Sutphin was implanted with an Ethicon TVT-O (obturator) to treat stress urinary incontinence in February 2009.  The implanting surgeon was David Afram, MD, from Logan Regional Hospital in Logan, WV.

At one time, women were routinely implanted with PP mesh as a first-line treatment for incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Ms. Sutphin was implanted with Johnson & Johnson’s TVT-O, which is still on the market. 

TVT-O has been the focus of six previous trials with all won by the plaintiff with the exception of Carolyn Lewis in February 2014.  The Susan McFarland trial in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas resulted in a record $120 million jury award.

Kline Specter has represented at least a dozen mesh-injured woman at trial with an average jury award of $35 million.

At one time, the multi-district pelvic mesh litigation (MDL) filed in Charleston had in excess of 107,000 cases against seven manufacturers. It ended up being the second-largest MDL (multi-district litigation) in history, just behind asbestos, and has yielded about $7B in settlements and verdicts.

Judge Goodwin closed the MDL to new cases and new injury cases must be filed in the plaintiff’s home state or the state where the manufacturer is based.

Kline Specter is taking the case of Jennifer Gardner (Case No. 2:13-cv-3724) against Ethicon in Florence, South Carolina September 20th.  She was implanted with a Prolift and a TVT-Secur. Lawyers Alia Robertson, Phil Pasquarello, and Eleanor Aldous represent the plaintiff in district court there.


Emmet Trial, December 2018, Mesh News Desk

About the Author: Jane Akre

I’m National News Editor, Jane Akre and I began Mesh Medical Device News Desk aka Mesh News Desk (MND) in the summer of 2011 just after the Food and Drug Administration issued an explicit warning to the public that complications associated with surgical mesh used for prolapse repair (POP) and incontinence (SUI) are NOT rare! That was the starting point for the litigation you see today and thousands of lawsuits have been filed by women whose lives have been altered, some permanently, by the use of this petroleum-based product.


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