March 20, 2013 — Bloomberg reports that a jury has awarded Linda Gross $7.76 million for her vaginal mesh lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit. The award includes $3.35 million in compensation for her pain and suffering, lost income, medical expenses, and loss of consortium for her husband. After her lawyers pushed for punitive damages, the jury awarded an additional $4.4 million. The 9-member jury found that Ethicon failed to warn about the risks of vaginal mesh and misrepresented its safety in brochures.
Linda Gross, a nurse from South Dakota, was implanted with the Gynecare Prolift in 2006 to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP), a debilitating condition that occurs when stretched pelvic muscles allow abdominal organs to push against the vaginal wall. Traditional surgical methods for treating POP involve abdominal incisions and repair using a patient’s own tissue. Vaginal mesh, on the other hand, involves a synthetic “sling” that is implanted transvaginally (through incisions in the vagina). Unfortunately, this method is fraught with complications. Mrs. Gross filed a lawsuit in November 2008, after she required 18 corrective surgeries to fix complications including erosion of the mesh, severe scarring, disfigurement, chronic pain, and more.
Mrs. Gross is not alone in her pursuit of justice. About 1,800 more lawsuits have been filed by women who were injured by the Gynecare Prolift. In total, more than 8,000 vaginal mesh lawsuits are pending against five manufacturers of vaginal mesh — Johnson & Johnson, C.R. Bard, American Medical Systems, Boston Scientific, and Coloplast. These lawsuits are pending in multiple federal Multi-District Litigation (MDLs), which have been centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, before Judge Goodwin.
All of the lawsuits allege that women and doctors were not adequately warned about the dangers of vaginal mesh. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a Safety Communication in 2011, warning that “serious complications associated with surgical mesh for transvaginal repair of POP are not rare.” In addition to serious complications, the FDA added that there was no clear evidence that vaginal mesh offered any benefits over traditional surgery for POP repair.
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 side effects, 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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