Transvaginal mesh has been used in countless surgeries to repair pelvic organ prolapse (POP), but in many cases it has led to further damage, serious complications and the need for even more surgeries. In some cases, it has even caused women to become infertile. Because of these considerable issues, a plethora of women have filed lawsuits against mesh manufacturers such as Johnson & Johnson.
The J&J annual shareholder meeting took place in New Jersey during the week of April 28, and several women who were injured by the company’s mesh devices spoke at the meeting. The women addressed shareholders and demanded an investigation be conducted into the allegation that the company destroyed thousands of internal documents related to the devices. The women are also asking the U.S. Senate to investigate J&J’s conduct in regard to transvaginal mesh.
Not long before the shareholder meeting, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced proposals to reclassify mesh products as high-risk devices. Additionally, before the meeting, American Medical Systems, another mesh manufacturer, settled 20,000 suits for $830 million.
There’s currently an ongoing Johnson & Johnson Hurts Women Campaign, and the Corporate Action Network (CAN) joined mesh survivors in delivering a message to U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Children and Families. Drug Watch said the letter called for a “U.S. Senate investigation by [the] subcommittee into actions by Johnson & Johnson and its top executives for their pattern of reckless conduct that has seriously injured women across the United States who have been implanted with the corporation’s pelvic mesh products.”
Additionally, the letter noted that J&J currently faces approximately 30,000 lawsuits for product liability in the United States.
In regard to the FDA proposals, some, such as the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, believe it’s “too little, too late.”
“As a result of the FDA’s reckless delays and inadequate action regarding surgical mesh for transvaginal POP repair, thousands of women will continue to be unnecessarily exposed to a wide array of serious risks, many of which can permanently alter women’s quality of life,” Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, said in a statement.
Women who have suffered serious complications because of transvaginal mesh and want to file a lawsuit should speak with a lawyer who specializes in these types of cases.
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.