Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit suffered a significant loss at the hands of a Philadelphia jury as a 65-year old Indiana woman won a multi-million dollar verdict against the pharmaceutical giant.
Claiming that the mesh implant caused her various medical problems and took away her ability to have sex, Patricia Hammons’ trial took two and a half weeks to complete. It also resulted in quite a few new watershed moments in the difficult and sordid history of the mesh implant.
Scott Ciarrocca, a product engineer from Ethicon, told the court that the development of the company’s product included no alternative plans for the contingency of a mesh failure. For a device with an incredibly complicated removal procedure, this was a reprehensible oversight. In fact, an expert brought in for the plaintiff testified that mesh removal procedures generally amounted to surgical “train wrecks.”
For its part, Johnson & Johnson acknowledged that mistakes had been made while developing the mesh device but the mistakes were honest. The company added that there was never any actual intent to cause harm. The corporation’s lawyer, Tarek Ismael, reiterated the company’s commitment to improving the health of its customers.
One would logically have to wonder where that commitment was while they unleashed a surgical implant onto the public that came with no possibility of an easy removal.
The jury seemed to have the same question and, as a result, delivered a significant verdict. Hammons was awarded $5.5 million in compensatory damages. An additional $7 million was awarded punitively; a punishment, if you will, for Johnson & Johnson’s failure to act and for marketing an unsafe product to an unwitting public. A company spokesman promised that the corporation would appeal.
Transvaginal mesh lawsuits, like those filed in this case against Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon, have been ongoing for years with verdicts for both sides. In February of 2013, for example, a woman who endured 18 revision surgeries to try to correct issues with her mesh device was awarded over $11 million.
More information about transvaginal mesh lawsuits can be found here on our website or by contacting one of our vaginal mesh attorneys. Lopez McHugh has been closely monitoring the case against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit, as well as other manufacturers, and can work with you to determine if you might qualify for a transvaginal mesh lawsuit.