A decision by the New Jersey Appeals Court earlier this month upheld a 2014 lawsuit filed by a woman against Johnson & Johnson for injuries sustained from using their vaginal mesh product. The decision is regarded as a bellweather verdict and could potentially allow thousands of other victims to proceed with lawsuits that have been filed against the company and its subsidiary, Ethicon Inc., as well as several other companies. These lawsuits allege women received an insufficient warning before using the products which led to devastating consequences.
The plaintiffs in the original lawsuit were Linda Gross and her husband, Jeffrey Gross. They claimed that the use of Ethicon Inc.’s product had caused serious internal damage to Linda Gross’s body and she was required to undergo 20 operations as a result of the injuries in an attempt to reverse the damage. The jury awarded a total of 11.1 million dollars, made up of 3.35 million dollars in compensation and 7.76 million dollars in punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded when a jury believes the conduct of a company had an evil motive or reckless indifference to the rights of others.
In her original statement, Gross said that if she and her doctor had known in advance of the potential dangers of using the Gynecare pelvic mesh implant, she would not have gone through surgery to have it implanted. The judges agreed with her, based on the evidence available, that the company had not given sufficient warning and upheld the lawsuit, dismissing the appeal against it. In their summation, the judges said there was sufficient evidence to suggest that Ethicon knew of the potential dangers of the product they had manufactured and distributed but did nothing to warn women or their doctors of these dangers.
How Transvaginal Mesh Came to Jeopardize Women’s Health
Vaginal mesh and similar related products were designed and manufactured to help support internal organs that have become prolapsed, as well as prevent or alleviate urinary incontinence. Johnson & Johnson’s product is one of several available and is not the only product to have been proven to have lead to serious internal health problems. Court records indicate that by mid 2014, when Gross’s lawsuit was filed, that a further 67,500 lawsuits against companies including Johnson & Johnson had been filed. The total number of lawsuits is currently close to 100,000.
Vaginal Mesh Health Problems
The use of vaginal mesh products has been known to have caused some or all of the following adverse problems:
- perforation of the vaginal wall and of the uterus, bladder and colon;
- severe pain, especially lower back pain;
- internal bleeding;
- infection caused by injuries sustained;
- tissue erosion;
- worsening of the preexisting prolapsed and urinary incontinence;
- further surgery to correct.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received over four thousand complaints about the effects of the vaginal mesh and related products in the period between 2005 and 2010, indicating that the problems were well known very early on before the onslaught of lawsuits began.
Johnson & Johnson is Seeing the Most Lawsuits
Johnson & Johnson is not the only company which is facing lawsuits for use of their products, but is the recipient of more than any other company. Similar lawsuits have been made against C.R. Bard, which manufactures and sells a product called the AvaultaPlusBioSynthetic Support System. American Medical Systems, Boston Scientific, Coloplast and Cook, as well as others, have also been named in the lawsuits which have focused on the use of synthetic vaginal mesh products, pelvic tape, transvaginal tape and bladder slings.
The lawsuits have been centralized by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). The decision by the three judges at the New Jersey Appeals Court could now have very significant bearing on the outcomes of these other lawsuits.
If you are suffering from vaginal mesh injuries, contact our mesh lawyers for a determination of whether you are entitled to compensation for your loss. For a FREE consultation, call 855-55-BAD-DRUG
Latest posts by Christopher Dixon (see all)
- Third Jury Awards More Than $70 Million in Talcum Powder Case - October 28, 2016
- Johnson & Johnson’s Link To Ovarian Cancer - June 24, 2016
- Stryker Hip Implant Lawsuits Are Not Over Yet - June 3, 2016