Johnson & Johnson Accused of Destroying Documents in TVM Trial

The initial trials over Johnson & Johnson’s transvaginal mesh (TVM) products are well underway in West Virginia, where the majority of cases are consolidated. Lawyers for the women injured by TVM are now arguing that J&J intentionally destroyed many internal documents that are critical to their lawsuits. Transvaginal mesh lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm take a closer look at these accusations and how it could impact trial outcomes.

Injured plaintiffs and their lawyers are now calling on the Department of Justice to investigate their claims, and many nonprofit groups have written personally to Attorney General Eric Holder request his department look into the matter. They are claiming that J&J and its CEO deliberately obstructed justice by destroying its internal records regarding the TVM products.

TVM implants were widely prescribed to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. The mesh products were aggressively marketed to those with these chronic, often extremely painful conditions, despite premarket studies that showed the implants could cause even more devastation once implanted.

Although J&J and other manufacturers knew the implants could cause serious, life-altering side effects, they decided not to inform patients or even physicians about this possibility. As a result, hundreds of thousands of women were implanted with TVM devices and are now suffering wide-spread, permanent injuries.

Among the injuries include:

• Mesh erosion through the vaginal wall, requiring multiple surgeries • Chronic, debilitating pain • Serious infections and bleeding • Bowel, bladder or blood vessel perforation • Painful urination and sexual intercourse • Vaginal shortening and tightening
There are six other TVM manufacturers, including Gynecare and C.R. Bard, which makes the Avaulta and Prolift meshes, respectively. All six companies have set aside millions of dollars to settle TVM lawsuits, and J&J specifically has allotted about $520 million to resolve over 22,000 claims. Earlier this year, the Judge overseeing these cases against the pharmaceutical giant stated that, although there is proof the company destroyed thousands of documents related to its TVM implants, there is not proof it was done intentionally or maliciously.

The documents of concern included reports of tests on patients, which detailed all serious side effects and complications patients experienced after being implanted. Knowing this, it is somewhat difficult to believe the documents were destroyed unintentionally, particularly because we now know how egregious the injuries actually are.

Other documents recently revealed in court have shown that J&J kept close ties with physicians and gave them cash incentives to prescribe the meshes. This would, in part, explain why such a poorly-tested implant would be recommended for so many women, before it’s true efficacy and safety risks were known.

Women who have been injured by these devices have horrifying stories; some have even committed or attempted suicide due to the immensity of their pain. Due to the severity of the injuries and how many meshes were actually implanted into patients, the TVM cases have turned into the largest mass medical injury case in the U.S.

Our team of TVM attorneys are currently investigating cases of serious injury from these mesh implants. If you or a woman close to you was implanted with a TVM device, contact our team of all-female TVM attorneys immediately. We can help you join the litigation against negligent manufacturers and guide you through the process of filing the claim. In fact, we do all the work for you – from ordering medical records to investigating what type of implant you received – completely free of charge. We do not get paid unless we get you a settlement. Call or email us today.

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