A Johnson and Johnson vaginal mesh lawsuit that resulted in an $11.1 million verdict was recently upheld in an appeals court. This was actually the first bellwether trial that alleged personal injury from Gynecare pelvic mesh implants made by J&J’s subsidiary Ethicon Inc.
The appellate court in New Jersey appellate court said that there was no reason to overturn the award that was given in the original trial. Compensatory damages were in the amount of $3.35 million and there were $7.76 million awarded in punitive damages. This was given to Linda Gross who was the plaintiff.
The Judges, Clarkson Fisher Jr., Marianna Espinosa and Garry Rothstadt made an unpublished opinion and they said “The jury was presented with sufficient evidence by which it could reasonably conclude that the lack of adequate warning was a proximate cause of plaintiff’s injuries”.
In the lawsuit the plaintiff stated that she had suffered from personal injuries that were serious. She said that they were related to the mesh implant that she had received. Because of these injuries she had 20 more surgeries in order to repair the damage that had been done by the vaginal mesh.
As she was going through the trial she had testified that she was not aware of any potential damages that may arise from the pelvic mesh. She said that if she had known about these dangers she would not have gone through with the implant. She also stated that Ethicon did know about the dangers that were related to the product. .
The judges had said that there was “substantial evidence” that showed Ethicon had known about the dangers but they did not take the necessary steps to inform patients about the product, or the dangers.
They said, “The evidence was sufficient to allow the jury to find an adequate warning would have prevented plaintiff’s injuries”.
By the middle of December in 2014 there had been more than 67,500 claims filed against numerous makers of transvaginal mesh and this included Ethicon. Lawsuits against Gynecare pelvic mesh say that the mesh can cause injury to the soft tissue as well as erosion, bleeding, infections and pain. The plaintiffs have also reported that conditions such as pelvic prolapse and urinary incontinence make things worse. Numerous individuals have had surgery to have the mesh removed.