A Philadelphia-jury recently awarded a New Jersey woman $20 million over allegations drug and medical device manufacturer Johnson & Johnson sold defectively designed Ethicon vaginal mesh implants. With an additional 54,000 similar cases pending against J&J, the verdict is a significant victory for the plaintiff and defective medical device victims.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff suffered serious health issues including sharp, stabbing pain and bladder complications after the device eroded while inside of her and required additional surgeries to correct. Vaginal mesh implants are designed to treat incontinence and improve weak pelvic muscles but the devices produced by J&J and other companies appear to pose greater risks than benefits to patients.
According to reports, J&J faces an additional three-trials in Philadelphia over the coming months in what may finally result in a comprehensive settlement with tens of thousands of other women allegedly harmed by the product. New Brunswick, New Jersey-based Johnson and Johnson has already lost five other trials, resulting in a combined $35 million in judgements against the company.
Like other medical products liability lawsuits, the plaintiff in this latest case claimed J&J continued to market and produce defective vaginal mesh units despite knowing the products posed serious risks to women. The jury agreed with the plaintiff’s allegations, awarding her $17.5 million in punitive damages to punish the defendant for its egregious and wanton disregard for public safety.
Johnson & Johnson only pulled the device from the market after being compelled by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with 20 other manufacturers, to conduct additional safety studies. Unfortunately, the recall was too little, too late for tens of thousands of women across the country as J&J failed to warn patients about the risk of the mesh products before causing serious harm.
With so many substantial verdicts in favor of plaintiffs, Johnson & Johnson will hopefully come to its senses and compensate victims appropriately for the harm suffered because the company chose to put profits ahead of the people J&J claims to help. Juries have also handed down significant verdicts in talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits over allegations some of the company’s cosmetics products caused consumers to develop serious health problems.
Women believing they suffered serious harm from a defective vaginal mesh implanted inside them should strongly consider speaking to an experienced personal injury lawyer about their case. Under the law, defective medical device victims may be entitled to substantial compensation, depending on the circumstances of their case.
By filing a defective medical device lawsuit, victims can not only recover for their damages but also hold wrongdoers accountable for the harm caused to so many others. Because the law imposes strict time deadlines for filing claims, victims should reach out to an attorney as soon as possible to preserve their legal rights.