An Atlantic City jury ordered Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon Division to pay $3.35 Million to a South Dakota women who was injured as a result of Johnson & Johnson's failure to adequately warn about the dangers associated with its Gynecare Prolift vaginal mesh implant and for misrepresenting the product in brochures. Vaginal mesh is made of a porous synthetic or biological material and is used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when your bladder or other pelvic organ drops from its normal location into the lower belly and pushes against the vaginal walls. Pelvic organ prolapse usually occurs when your pelvic muscles weaken or stretch from surgery or childbirth. Johnson & Johnson took its Gynecare Prolift product off the market last year.
The plaintiff filed her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson after having surgery in 2006 to implant the transvaginal mesh for pelvic prolapse. After her surgery, the plaintiff suffered from a variety of problems including severe pain and suffering, mesh erosion, scar tissue, inflammation, and neurological compromise to structures and tissue. She had to have eighteen (18) revision surgeries to attempt to repair the damage caused by the mesh. The trial lasted six weeks and the jury deliberated for five days before reaching its verdict. The second phase of the trial begins today and the jury will decide whether to assess punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson.
Monday's verdict comes on the heels of a $5.5 Million verdict against C.R. Bard for injuries caused to a women and her husband by its failure to warn about the dangers associated with its Avulta Plus vaginal implant. The verdict against C.R. Bard was entered on July 20, 2012 in the Superior Court for Kern County, California (Bakersfield).
These two verdicts will have a significant impact upon the thousands of transvaginal mesh lawsuits currently pending against Johnson & Johnson, C.R. Bard, American Medical Systems, and Boston Scientific. Many of these vaginal mesh lawsuits are pending in West Virginia after having been consolidated in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia before the Honorable Joseph R. Goodwin by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. The verdicts demonstrate that our society respects and values a woman's right to live her life pain free and to make informed decisions about her healthcare. The verdicts also demonstrate that corporate greed and the desire to place above patient and consumer safety will not be tolerated.
To learn more about transvaginal mesh lawsuits in West Virginia, contact our office or click here.