Woman wins $3.35 M in pelvic mesh lawsuit

February 25, 2013 3:04:08 PM PST
A North Dakota woman has won $3.35 million from a Superior Court jury in Atlantic City, in her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson over the dangers of a vaginal mesh implant

The 47-year-old woman said Johnson & Johnson failed to warn her doctor about the potential dangers of the Gyncare Prolift mesh, which was used to treat incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.

She says she has had 18 operations for damage allegedly caused by the mesh, but is still in constant pain and cannot work.

An estimated 300,000 women have reportedly had the devices surgically implanted.

Sheri Woodruff, Vice President of Communications for ETHICON Surgical Care, told Action News, "We will present evidence to the jury tomorrow in the punitive phase of the trial."

Woodruff added, "While we are always concerned when a patient experiences medical conditions like those suffered by the plaintiff, all surgeries for pelvic organ prolapse present risks of complications."

The Gynemesh device was first sold in 2002. Johnson and Johnson received FDA approval for the devices in 2008, after an FDA request for data on them.

J&J's Ethicon division stopped marketing the devices last summer, two years after the FDA noted a large increase in deaths and injuries associated with them.

In addition to the lawsuits filed in New Jersey against the company, there are 11,000 other claims against other mesh manufacturers, consolidated into 5 cases which will be heard in West Virginia federal court. Those makers include Ethicon, Bard, Boston Scientific, Coloplast, and Endo Health Solutions.

J&J has been under scrutiny for other devices from the Ethicon system, including hip implants which have failed.