A New Jersey jury has awarded a plaintiff injured by a Johnson & Johnson vaginal mesh implant $7.76 million in punitive damages, in addition to the $3.35 million she was awarded days earlier, Reuters reports.
Lawyers for the plaintiff alleged that Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon, manufacturer of the Gyncare Prolift vaginal mesh, were liable for defective design, manufacture, warnings and instructions, among other things.
It was the first trial for 1,800 lawsuits involving the Ethicon implant alone. Thousands of other cases are pending for similar mesh products.
The implants are supposed to treat urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, a condition that results when weakened muscles no longer provide adequate support for pelvic muscles.
Thousands of patients who received them complain that they tend to eventually poke holes in the pelvic organs, resulting in chronic pain and infection. They mesh also tends to harden, making surgical removal difficult.
Lawyers for the plaintiff in the New Jersey case alleged that the company knew about the health risks for years, yet continued to sell the implants despite the fact that safer treatments were available.
Since receiving one of the implants in 2008, the plaintiff in the New Jersey case needed 18 operations and more than 400 visits to doctors and physical therapists – all of which failed to eliminate her chronic pain.
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.
See the story here: