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J&J Lost or Destroyed Critical Vaginal Mesh Files

December 16, 2013 — Hundreds of thousands of documents that could contain critical evidence in over 12,600 vaginal mesh lawsuits have been lost or destroyed, according to a report from Bloomberg.

The documents include hard drives of computers that were used by Renee Selman, the former president of Ethicon, an embattled unit of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) that manufactured several types of vaginal mesh. Executives at Ethicon were instructed to preserve those documents, but attorneys at J&J claimed:

“Many employees did not understand that they were supposed to preserve documents … We have never intentionally destroyed, withheld or failed to produce relevant documents.”

The missing documents concerned development of the TVT and TVT-O transvaginal mesh implants, including videos produced by the original manufacturer of the TVT and an expert witness. Ethicon also lost or destroyed documents associated with the Gynecare Prolift, including documents from regulatory experts who reviewed complaints and contacted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Attorneys for women who were injured have proposed a number of penalties against J&J, such as permitting lawsuits that were filed after legal deadlines, or prohibiting J&J from making certain defenses. However, even if penalties are enforced against J&J, plaintiffs’ attorneys lacking critical evidence may have significant problems proving negligence, defective design, failure to warn, and other claims.

Ethicon is one of several companies facing nearly 40,000 vaginal mesh lawsuits in federal court in West Virginia. Earlier this year, a state court in New Jersey ordered Ethicon to pay a woman more than $11 million for injuries caused by their Gynecare Prolift, which has since been taken off the market. Ethicon still defends the safety and effectiveness of the Prolift and says they gave women adequate warnings about the risks.

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The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting vaginal mesh induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by vaginal mesh, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Medical Device Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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