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Alumna Wins Record $57.1 Million Verdict in Pelvic Mesh Case

Elia Robertson, '15

September 11, 2017

Elia Robertson, ’15, is one of three attorneys who won a record-shattering $57.1 million verdict in a transvaginal mesh case against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon.

Robertson, along with Kline & Specter colleagues Kila Baldwin and Tracie Palmer, represented a Pennsylvania woman was left chronically incontinent and in constant pain after receiving pelvic mesh implants.

The award included $7.1 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages – by far the largest verdict resulting from Philadelphia’s pelvic mesh program. Previously, the largest verdict awarded through the program was $20 million.

The verdict, covered in both The Legal Intelligencer and the Philadelphia Inquirer, followed a month-long trial. The trial was the fifth verdict against Ethicon, producer of pelvic mesh implants used for treating urogynecologic conditions.

In March, Robertson was co-counsel in a case that produced a $1.725 million settlement on behalf of an 8-year-old boy who was sexually assaulted by a teen at a residential facility in Montgomery County. She was previously an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia.

While in law school, Robertson was member of the Trial Team, becoming a regional champion of the Texas Young Lawyers Association National Trial Competition and a regional semi-finalist in the American Association of Justice Trial Competition. She was president of the Moot Court Board and, with a teammate, won the Best Brief award in the First Amendment Moot Court Competition. Upon graduation, she received an award for providing more than 101 hours of pro bono service.