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Johnson & Johnson Vaginal Mesh Lawsuit

A West Virginia District Court judge granted Johnson & Johnson’s request to dismiss a woman’s product liability claim, which alleged the company’s vaginal mesh device was defective and caused her injuries. Carolyn Lewis’s claim was the first of Johnson & Johnson’s TVT Retropubic sling mesh claims to go to trial. U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin, who is overseeing the tens of thousands of consolidated federal vaginal mesh lawsuits against the various mesh manufacturers, made his ruling early in the scheduled week-long trial. In Lewis’s case, Goodwin concluded there was not enough evidence supporting her claim. His ruling does not impact any of the other ongoing mesh lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson.

Johnson & Johnson Mesh Claims

Johnson & Johnson stopped the sale of some of its mesh devices after the initial influx of lawsuits. But, Johnson & Johnson stands behind its claim that its devices are safe and effective. Documents Johnson & Johnson filed related to the consolidated mesh lawsuits claim more than a million Johnson & Johnson mesh devices have been implanted in the last 15 years. Of the more than one million implant recipients, more than 12,000 have brought federal lawsuits against the company and its subsidiary, Ethicon.

The mesh devices are intended to be a minimally invasive way to provide support to a patient’s internal organs after a hysterectomy and to treat conditions related to incontinence. However, plaintiffs’ list incontinence as one of the many complications related to the implanted device. Plaintiffs have also allegedly experienced organ perforation, chronic pelvic pain, and multiple corrective surgeries. Many of these complications provide fairly strong evidence to support the women’s liability claims. As a result, many mesh manufacturers have started settling the lawsuits and avoiding more costly losses in court.

An Early Loss

Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon have not won all of the vaginal mesh lawsuits. In 2013, Johnson & Johnson lost a jury trial in its first vaginal mesh implant trial. The jury awarded Linda Gross a total of $11.1 million in damages. Gross claimed the Prolift transvaginal mesh manufactured by Ethicon was defective and caused her medical complications requiring 22 separate surgeries and continuing pain. The jury did not find the device to be defective, but the jury did find the device and the company’s failure to provide proper risk warnings to be the cause of her injuries. As the Gross and Lewis cases illustrate, vaginal mesh liability lawsuits can have uncertain and varying outcomes. But, implant recipients have the right to safe, effective devices. 

If you or someone you know has an Ethicon implanted vaginal mesh device and believe you have suffered injuries related to the mesh device, you may be entitled to receive damages. Contact your doctor about your symptoms and then reach out to our attorneys to discuss your claim. Or complete our Free Vaginal Mesh Case Review form and our top-rated legal team will evaluate your claim. These lawsuits are time sensitive, so it is imperative you speak with us today to learn how you can receive compensation.  

Lawrence J. Buckfire
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