A jury has begun deliberating in the case of a woman seeking $3.38 million for lost earnings and past and future medical expenses connected to injuries from a vaginal mesh implant.
Linda Gross of South Dakota, 47, claims she needed 18 surgeries and chronic pain obliged her to quit her nursing job after she had a Gynecare Prolift device, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon, implanted in 2006.
Her case, being heard in New Jersey, is the first of 1,800 such lawsuits to go to trial. Superior Court Judge Carol Higbee still has to rule on whether Gross can seek punitive damages if jurors award her compensatory damages.
Vaginal mesh is used to treat urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, a condition that occurs when weakened muscles can no longer adequately support the pelvic organs. Neither condition is dangerous or life-threatening, and other treatments are available for both.
Gross’ lawyer argued that the device caused pain and often became exposed through the vaginal skin. It also had a tendency to harden in women’s bodies, he said, making it difficult to remove.
Gross and the other plaintiffs in the upcoming cases claim that Ethicon knew about the chronic pain and other health problems before it began selling Prolift in March, 2005.
If you have a vaginal mesh implant, you should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns. If you have significant injuries, you should also consult with a mesh lawyer to discuss your legal rights.
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