A jury ordered Ethicon Inc., a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, to pay $5.7 million to settle transvaginal mesh claims. Plaintiff Coleen Perry, who suffered lifelong Ethicon mesh complications, won damages after the jury ruled the company’s actions held malice.
Plaintiffs Garner Fourth Ethicon Mesh Win
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the TVT Abbrevo Ethicon mesh device in 2010. The mesh eroded shortly after its insertion in 2011, causing Perry immediate pain. While doctors can remove device fragments through multiple surgeries, recovering all Ethicon mesh is unlikely. Perry’s doctor testified she would feel ongoing pain for years.
Bakersfield jurors reviewed the case over three days before delivering the verdict. Ultimately, they ruled Ethicon’s offense equaled malice for failing to properly conduct safety tests prior to entering the market. Further, the company failed to warn women like Perry about potential Ethicon mesh dangers. Perry won $700,000 in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. The money won’t prevent Perry from experiencing indefinite pelvic pain.
Transvaginal Mesh Complications Can Cause Pain for Life
Transvaginal mesh is primarily used in the treatment of organ prolapse and urinary incontinence, usually found in women who have given birth or older women. Though the device may hold up afflicted organs, it causes a multitude of debilitating, painful side effects:
- Multiple surgeries
- Lifelong pelvic pain and pain during intercourse
- Erosion through the vaginal wall
- Narrowing or shortening of the vagina due to device contraction
Several juries ruled that transvaginal mesh makers concealed risks from patients as well as doctors. With so many women reporting TVM injuries, the FDA ordered manufacturers to study device-related organ damage rates in 2012. Several devices have been pulled from the market since then, but countless women continue to file transvaginal mesh claims, and many judges are urging Johnson & Johnson to consider further settlements.
Ethicon Stands Behind Device Safety
Despite the court’s ruling, Ethicon insists it thoroughly developed and tested its TVT Abbrevo device. The company pulled four other transvaginal mesh devices off the market in 2012 due to other injury complaints. Just last year in Dallas, a jury said one of Johnson & Johnson’s slings was flawed and stated that the plaintiff deserved damages of $1.2 million.
Transvaginal mesh manufacturer Ethicon is just one of seven currently facing transvaginal mesh lawsuits in the wake of tens of thousands of injuries.
What Ethicon Mesh Victims Can Do
Plaintiffs have won four cases against Ethicon alone, and many other transvaginal mesh manufacturers are losing cases and making settlements as well. If you or someone you know has suffered from transvaginal mesh injuries, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. Before you make your claim, it’s a good idea to speak with an attorney who can review your case with you and help you be successful moving forward.
Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.