July 28, 2014 — A federal judge has upheld an $11.1 million jury verdict against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit, ruling in favor of a woman who was permanently injured by vaginal mesh.
The woman, Linda Gross, was a nurse from South Dakota who was implanted with the Ethicon Prolift vaginal mesh. The implant eroded into her body, causing severe complications that required 18 corrective surgeries. She still suffers from chronic pain and cannot have sexual intercourse or sit normally.
Ms. Gross and her husband filed a lawsuit in 2008. In February 2013, after a 31-day trial, the jury awarded her $3.35 million in compensation and $7.76 million in punitive damages. They found that Ethicon was negligent for failing to warn about severe side effects and fraudulently misrepresenting the safety risks associated with vaginal mesh.
Atlantic County Superior Judge Carol Higbee oversaw the original trial. Johnson & Johnson appealed the award, but Judge Higbee refused to reduce punitive damages or allow another trial.
It was the first of more than 19,000 vaginal mesh lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson to go to trial. In total, over 60,000 lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers of other vaginal mesh products.
Most of the lawsuits were filed after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that serious complications were “not rare” and could be permanent. The FDA also required manufacturers to conduct new safety studies. Soon after that announcement, Johnson & Johnson pulled the Gynecare Prolift off the market. They claimed the decision was based on changing market dynamics — not safety issues.
Do I have a Vaginal Mesh Lawsuit?
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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