A woman injured by Johnson & Johnson’s pelvic mesh product was just awarded $5.7 million by a California jury. Mesh lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm applaud the jury for its decision and explain how this case could impact others like it throughout the country.
The plaintiff in this case, Coleen Perry, sued the Johnson & Johnson unit that makes mesh products, Ethicon, over the debilitating pain caused by the product. Ethicon manufactures the TVT Abbrevo mesh product and the TVT-O transvaginal sling, which are subject to tens of thousands of lawsuits.
These mesh products are surgically placed in women to treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and pelvic organ prolapse (POP). Unfortunately, these products were never studied for their long-term effects in humans, causing a wide range of serious, permanent, and even fatal injuries.
Perry’s was the first trial over the TVT Abbrevo mesh, although many other mesh lawsuits have been successful in court. More than 70,000 women injured by various mesh products have filed lawsuits against the companies who made them, already winning millions for their horrendous injuries.
The California jury in Perry’s case found Ethicon liable for the TVT Abbrevo’s faulty design and for failing to warn patients and doctors about the risks. Of the $5.7 million awarded to Perry, $5 million was ordered as punitive damages, to punish Ethicon for its illegal, dangerous, and unethical behavior. The jurors stated that Ethicon’s conduct was malicious and should be punished accordingly.
This is the fourth win against Ethicon over its mesh products; about 36,000 lawsuits are currently pending against the company.
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Perry’s experience with the mesh mirrors many others. Almost immediately after being implanted with the mesh in 2011, Perry started feeling a pulling-type pain in the abdominal and pelvic area. The mesh was eroding inside her, causing immense pain that doctors expect to last for the rest of her life.
Other injuries experienced by women implanted with mesh devices include: infections, repeated surgeries, organ perforation, erosion, uncontrolled bleeding, painful or impossible intercourse, and recurrence of SUI or POP.
In response to these catastrophic injuries and lawsuits, the FDA recently proposed to reclassify mesh products as “high risk devices.” If this proposal is finalized, it would require all seven mesh manufacturers to provide clinical data to prove the products are safe and effective. This would only apply to products being used to treat transvaginal POP.
Over the last six years the FDA has issued repeated actions and statements over mesh products. The first was released in 2008, regarding serious complications associated with surgical mesh products. Several actions were taken in 2011 and the latest occurred in 2012, when the FDA ordered mesh companies to conduct studies that measured specific safety concerns. More information on these FDA actions can be found here, on the agency’s website.
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Many are criticizing the FDA for taking action too late and not doing enough to prevent mesh injuries. Several public health advocacy groups have petitioned the FDA to recall all surgical mesh products, to no avail. These groups are calling the FDA’s actions reckless and inadequate, exposing women to unnecessary and permanent risks that hinder quality of life.
The transvaginal mesh attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm are currently accepting cases of serious injury from these products. If you or someone you love was implanted with a transvaginal mesh (TVM) device and experienced complications, contact our firm immediately as you may be able to recover damages. Our consultations are completely free and available to concerned parties nationwide.