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J&J Pays $5 Million Vaginal Mesh Lawsuit Settlement

J&J Pays $5 Million Vaginal Mesh Lawsuit Settlement

April 29, 2016 — Johnson & Johnson has reached a $5 million settlement with a woman who was injured by vaginal mesh, which some say could increase the cost of resolving the litigation.

Bloomberg reports that the settlement was reached last September with plaintiff Pamela Wicker, a woman who was injured by the Ethicon Prolift implant.

Terms of the confidential settlement were disclosed publicly when lawyers asked a judge to approve $1.65 million in legal fees, according to court filings in Hackensack. In an e-mail to Bloomberg, Johnson & Johnson said the case “presented unique circumstances.”

Wicker’s case would have been the second so-called “bellwether” trial in New Jersey, where another 8,700 lawsuits are pending. The company may have been trying to avoid a repeat of the first “bellwether” trial in New Jersey, which ended in an $11.1 million verdict.

The plaintiff, Linda Gross, is a nurse from South Dakota who experienced chronic pain and 18 revision surgeries after the Prolift eroded into her body. Wicker also claimed the Prolift eroded into her body and caused severe pain, forcing her to undergo multiple surgeries.

In January, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $120 million to resolve 2,000 to 3,000 lawsuits. The amount of each individual settlement was not disclosed, but the average payment is approximately $50,000. Another 31,000 vaginal mesh lawsuits remain pending in the U.S. District Court for West Virginia in a centralized federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2327).

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