On April 27, 2017 A Pennsylvania jury returned a $20 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson as compensation to a New Jersey woman who suffered injuries after receiving a vaginal mesh implant. The jury found that Peggy Engleman was entitled to $2.5 million in compensatory damages after a three-week trial. The jury also found that the plaintiff was entitled to $17.5 million in punitive damages.
Ms. Engleman’s mesh was implanted in 2007 to treat urinary incontinence, but claims the device stopped working within a month. The mesh began causing internal problems for Ms. Engleman but doctors were not certain that they were able to remove it entirely. Ms. Engleman ultimately had to have three additional surgeries which she claimed were related to the malfunctioning mesh.
Two previous trials in Philadelphia have also resulted in Plaintiff verdicts totaling approximately $26 million – the first a 2015 case returning a $12.5 million verdict and the second a 2016 case returning a $13.5 million verdict. There are an additional 183 cases pending in the mass tort program.
The product implanted in Ms. Engleman was a Trans-vaginal tape manufactured by Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson which hit the market in 2006. The device was implanted at Frankford Hospital in Philadelphia. Ms. Engleman alleged that the product failed to warn about the possible risks and that there were multiple reports of high failure rates from the Ethicon TVT-Secur product. Ethicon stopped selling four of its mesh products in 2012 after more than 600 women filed lawsuits against the manufacturer. The discontinued products included the TVT-Secur.
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