A Pennsylvania jury awarded $2.1 Million to a woman who suffered complications after a transvaginal mesh deteriorated in her body. Johnson & Johnson defended its fourth trial involving its transvaginal mesh implants manufactured by Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.
The Plaintiff was a 45- year old woman implanted with Ethicon’s Gynecare Prolift mesh to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. The mesh was implanted in 2006 and Plaintiff experienced chronic abdominal pain and discomfort after the surgery. Plaintiff’s attorneys argued in opening statements that Plaintiff had not been full apprised of the risks associated with Prolift Mesh pointing out that it had only been tested on 175 women prior to its use in 2005.
There are approximately 54,000 personal injury lawsuits involving Ethicon’s transvaginal mesh devices in court nationwide. The litigation evolved after the U.S. FDA published in 2008 that transvaginal mesh products had been reported in thousands of serious injuries since their introduction in 2005. Ethicon announced in 2012 that it would no longer sell four of its transvaginal mesh products: Gynecar TVT Secur system, the Gynecare Prosima, the Gynecare Prolift, and the Gynecare Prolift+M but claims that the withdrawal was unrelated to safety concerns.
Unfortunately, these lawsuits will not be the end to Ethicon’s mesh nightmares. In June 2016, Ethicon recalled its Physiomesh flexible composite hernia mesh. The company sent a letter to healthcare providers informing them that the product was subject to a voluntary recall but emphasizing that the recall does not affect any other Ethicon meshes including Physiomesh Open Flexible composite mesh. The recall was made after two registries showed a higher-than-expected number of problems after laparoscopic surgeries and patients reporting severe complications.
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