Product News and Recalls

Lawyer: No consideration given for vaginal mesh removal

The lawyer representing a woman in a trial over vaginal mesh implants said manufacturer Johnson & Johnson failed to consider a crucial question concerning the devices — how they could be removed if they cause complications.

As it turned out, the complications affected a number of women. The case being heard in New Jersey Superior Court is the first of about 1,800 lawsuits to go to trial, according to an article in the Asbury Park Press. Women who received the implants, which are supposed to treat urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, have reported problems including infection and organ perforation.

The plaintiff in the New Jersey trial, Linda Gross of South Dakota, needed 18 operations to repair damage from the mesh and had to quit her nursing job because of the chronic pain.

Gross’s lawyer, Adam Slater, said the polypropylene mesh hardens and contracts as tissue grows around it, which caused scarring and chronic inflammation. He compared the removal process to trying to get reinforcing rebar rods out of a concrete sidewalk.

Slater told the jury that internal e-mails show Johnson & Johnson knew for years of the devices’ risks, yet took no steps to develop safer materials. The device was approved under a regulatory loophole that allows medical devices to be sold without clinical testing, as long as companies demonstrate that they’re similar to devices already on the market.

In his opening statement, Slater said: “They knew every single catastrophe before it happened. They knew Linda Gross was going to happen.”

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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