A Philadelphia product liability jury returned its verdict on April 28, 2017 in the amount of $20 million in favor of the 56-year-old New Jersey plaintiff after a three-week trial of her pelvic mesh lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Ethicon. The jury’s verdict included $2.5 million in compensatory damages and $17.5 million in punitive damages.
The plaintiff’s pelvic mesh lawsuit claimed that Johnson & Johnson’s transvaginal mesh product was defective and that Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon concealed the risks of its mesh even while they marketed the mesh as safe and effective to physicians and patients.
The plaintiff in the Philadelphia case was suffering from stress urinary incontinence when she had the pelvic mesh implanted in her in 2007. The plaintiff alleged that the mesh failed within one month of her surgery, and her urinary incontinence returned. The plaintiff also had pain and discomfort associated with the pelvic mesh when it began eroding. Despite enduring three more surgeries to attempt to remove the mesh, her surgeons were unable to remove all of the pieces of the mesh from her abdomen. The plaintiff claimed that she now has chronic vagina pain and she developed permanent urinary dysfunction as a result of the mesh implanted in her.
After the Philadelphia mesh verdict was announced, a spokesperson for Ethicon vowed an appeal and stated, “We believe the evidence showed Ethicon’s TVT-Secur device was properly designed, Ethicon acted appropriately and responsibly in the research, development and marketing of the product, and TVT-Secur was not the cause of the plaintiff’s continuing medical problems.”
The plaintiff had a different perspective after she won her mesh case: “I am happy I could be a voice for other women. It’s been a nightmare, and I feel justice was truly served today.”
Johnson & Johnson reportedly has lost at least five mesh lawsuits as a result of jury verdicts since 2014 that total in excess of $35 million, including two prior Philadelphia mesh jury verdicts in the amounts of $12.5 million in 2015 and $13.5 million in 2016.
On January 4, 2016, the FDA issued two final orders to manufacturers and the public to strengthen the data requirements for surgical mesh to repair pelvic organ prolapse (POP) transvaginally. The FDA issued one order to reclassify these medical devices from class II, which generally includes moderate-risk devices, to class III, which generally includes high-risk devices, and a second order that requires manufacturers to submit a premarket approval (PMA) application to support the safety and effectiveness of surgical mesh for the transvaginal repair of POP. The orders require manufacturers to address safety concerns, including severe pelvic pain and organ perforation, through a rigorous PMA pathway to demonstrate safety and effectiveness.
If you or a family member were implanted with transvaginal mesh or other surgical mesh and suffered complications, injuries, or chronic pain afterwards, you should find a mesh claim lawyer in your U.S. state who may investigate your surgical mesh claim for you and represent you in a claim against the manufacturer, distributor, and/or supplier of the surgical mesh, if appropriate.
Visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find surgical mesh claim attorneys who may assist you.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.