JURY ORDERS TO PAY$3.35 MILLION IN FIRST VAGINAL MESH CASE
Written By: Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold, Ruffo & Giuffra LLP
By Thamanna Hussain
J&J, the world's largest supplier of health-care products, was ordered by a New Jersey jury to pay $3.35 million for failing to warn a South Dakota woman's surgeon effectively of the potential dangers of a vaginal mesh implant made by the company's Ethicon subsidiary, and for misrepresenting the product in brochures. The jury will now weigh punitive damages that may total as much as $16.75 million. The jury also ruled that the Gynecare Prolift vaginal mesh was not safe and that J.& J. and Ethicon were liable, among other things, for "their defective design, manufacture, warnings and instructions."
This was the first trial against J&J, among 2,100 lawsuits over its vaginal mesh implants. More will soon file in federal court. This could affect a number of lawsuits against other manufacturers of similar products as well, such as AMS, Bard, and Boston Scientific. The mesh tears into these organs causing erosion, scarring and infections, and the mesh also adheres to internal organs which can never be fully removed.
Although Johnson & Johnson claims the Prolift is safe, and that it warned of the risks, the jury ruled that Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon failed to tell physicians and women the truth about the severe complications that can result from the Prolift. The verdict followed a six-week trial before Judge Carol Higbee. After the verdict was delivered, Judge Higbee ruled that she would allow arguments on punitive damages, which can pay victims for losses and injuries.
Our firm is presently litigating these cases before the Honorable Carol Higbee, suing Johnson & Johnson and other defendants, as well as prosecuting other medical device and drug cases in New Jersey. Our firm is working to advance large waves of suits against the defendants in a combined effort to bring more trial success for plaintiffs. If you have been harmed by a Johnson & Johnson's Gynecare Prolift Mesh, contact us and we will provide the personal attention that you need to evaluate your case.