Product News and Recalls

Mesh verdict the first of 4,000 cases

According to a story in the Philadelphia Inquirer, a woman awarded $3.35 million in a case against Johnson & Johnson over the company’s vaginal mesh implant represents the first trial of 1,200 similar lawsuits in New Jersey – where Johnson & Johnson is based.

But the total number of lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson over vaginal mesh implants made by the company’s Ethicon subsidiary is closer to 4,000.

Vaginal mesh implants are supposed to treat urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, which is a condition that results when weakened muscles provide inadequate support for pelvic organs. Neither condition is life-threatening, and alternative treatments are available for both.

In an entry on the verdict that an Atlantic City jury awarded this week, blogger David Sell notes that the plaintiff underwent 18 unsuccessful repair surgeries to try to alleviate the chronic pain she suffered as a result of receiving the implant.

“Read that again,” Sell writes. “18 unsuccessful repair surgeries.”

Thousands of women have reported complications from the mesh implants, including a tendency to eventually perforate the pelvic organ tissue, and to harden and thus make surgical removal logistically difficult. The plaintiff’s lawyers cited evidence that the company knew of those problems, yet continued to market the implants.

The plaintiff, who had to quit her nursing job because of the chronic pain, described her ordeal as a “living hell.” But she considers the verdict “a resounding victory” for her and other women who suffered problems from the device.

You should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns from a Johnson & Johnson product. If you have significant injuries, you should also consult with a DePuy hip or transvaginal mesh lawyer to discuss your legal rights.

See the blog entry here: