A judge in New Jersey has ruled that a South Dakota woman’s trial against transvaginal mesh manufacturer Johnson & Johnson had overwhelming evidence and an appropriate jury, so the company’s plea to overturn the $11 million award was denied.
Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Carol Higbee was lobbied by Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Inc. for a new trial following the verdict Linda Gross received in February 2013. Gross was awarded $3.35 million in compensatory damages as well as $7.76 million in punitive damaged after she sustained injuries caused by the Gynecare Prolift transvaginal mesh device that was used to repair her pelvic organ prolapse (POP).
Have you had serious complications after receiving Pelvic Mesh?
Act Now. You may be entitled to financial compensation.
“Plaintiffs presented a lot of evidence that certainly could support a finding by the jury that this was a very risky product, that particularly when it came to the removal of the product, where it didn’t work properly, that a woman could be faced with very, very substantial risks to her well-being and to her quality of life and substantial pain, loss of sexual activity, all kinds of different problems in addition to numerous surgeries,” Judge Higbee said in a statement, adding that Gross also presented plenty of proof that Ethicon failed to divulge the dangers of Prolift. In particular, the company did not warn against the risks associated with removing Prolift.
Gross initially filed a transvaginal mesh lawsuit in November 2008, after claiming to have underdone 18 surgeries to correct the injuries she experienced because of the mesh device. The deliberation lasted for five days, and the jury voted 7-2 that Ethicon failed to warn Gross’s doctor about potential complications and side effects of the TVM. In addition, the jury determined that the company fraudulently misrepresented the product to Gross.
One reason Judge Higbee refused to overturn the verdict is because Ethicon did not get approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Prolift. Instead, the company assumed the TVM would be approved because it was made from the same material as other products that are approved for hernia surgeries. However, Gross’s lawyer argued that Prolift needed more approval because it has its own unique shape that makes it more challenging to remove once in place.
If you have needed surgery to remove vaginal mesh because of serious complications you suffered once the device was implanted, you may also be eligible for a monetary award. It’s in your best interest to contact an advocate or attorney who specializes in mass tort cases and can help you determine if you have enough for a transvaginal mesh lawsuit and what you’ll need to provide.
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.