Johnson & Johnson, Ethicon transvaginal mesh lawsuit update: Resource4thePeople adds lawyers in aftermath of $3.35 million verdict

North Dakota woman's claims of transvaginal mesh complications found true by New Jersey jury. Verdict could cause more women to come forward seeking legal help.

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San Diego CA (PRWEB) February 28, 2013

http://www.resource4thepeople.com/defectivemedicaldevices/transvaginal-mesh-lawsuit.html

Resource4thePeople announced today that in the wake of a New Jersey jury awarding a woman $3.35 million for health problems she suffered from a transvaginal mesh implant that additional lawyers will be available to assist other women who have suffered similar complications.

The verdict in a lawsuit filed by a former South Dakota nurse* was returned Feb. 26 by an Atlantic City Superior Court jury that heard the evidence against pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Ethicon.

"This is an important case because it was the first to be heard by a jury among over 2,000 other lawsuits that made similar allegations about transvaginal mesh products manufactured by Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Ethicon," said Resource4thePeople.

"Resource4thePeople had been providing a steady stream of referrals to free legal consultations by our lawyers on cases involving transvaginal mesh complications.

"With this verdict the flow of inquiries is increasing and we will be adding additional lawyers to our nationwide legal network in order to provide all consumers with access to experienced, aggressive advice about the legal options that other victims of these products may have available to them."

The North Dakota woman's lawsuit was the first to go to trial from among 2,100 lawsuits consolidated in New Jersey over allegations that the companies' vaginal mesh products were not safe and that consumers were not warned of dangerous side effects.

The same jury was also scheduled to deliberate whether to award punitive damages, which the judge in the case has ruled that the woman may be eligible for.

Bloomberg News reported that lawyers for the woman, Linda Gross, asked jurors in Atlantic City to require Johnson & Johnson, the world’s largest seller of health-care products, to pay punitive damages after the panel found the company failed to warn the woman's surgeon of the risks of its Gynecare Prolift implant and fraudulently misled her about the risks.**

"New Jersey caps punitive damages at five times compensatory damages, or $16.75 million, although jurors weren’t told that," Bloomberg reported, saying that " Gross attorney Adam Slater urged the panel of six women and three men to find that J&J and its Ethicon unit acted with willful and wanton disregard of the probable harm to his client."

According to the court file in the case, the 47-year-old Gross filed allegations complaining of constant pain and said she was forced to undergo 18 operations to repair abdominal injuries she suffered after having the device implanted to treat her pelvic organ prolapse.

Bloomberg reported that Gross’s attorneys called a forensic economics expert, Frank Tinari, to testify about J&J’s financial condition and he testified the company, he said, had total assets of $121.3 billion and a net worth of $64.8 billion through Dec. 31.

"Among the questions we are receiving from women who suffered transvaginal mesh implants are whether it is too late to file a lawsuit on their behalf," said Resource4thePeople.

"The answer, in most cases, is no. There is also the possibility that now that Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon have been found liable for damages that they may become more amenable to settling claims filed against them rather than going to trial again.

"Each case, is different of course, which is why we recommend that any woman who has suffered serious health problems as a result of transvaginal mesh seek out legal advice to define their eligibility to seek compensation."

Resource4thePeople also is recommending that women who have suffered health problems from transvaginal mesh products familiarize themselves with Safety Communications issued by the Food and Drug Administration warning of “serious complications associated with transvaginal placement of surgical mesh for pelvic organ prolapse.***

In the warning issued to health care professionals, the FDA cited recent medical literature which revealed that:

  •     Mesh used in transvaginal POP repair introduces risks not present in traditional non-mesh surgery for POP repair.
  •     Mesh placed abdominally for POP repair appears to result in lower rates of mesh complications compared to transvaginal POP surgery with mesh.
  •     There is no evidence that transvaginal repair to support the top of the vagina (apical repair) or the back wall of the vagina (posterior repair) with mesh provides any added benefit compared to traditional surgery without mesh.
  •     While transvaginal surgical repair to correct weakened tissue between the bladder and vagina (anterior repair) with mesh augmentation may provide an anatomic benefit compared to traditional POP repair without mesh, this anatomic benefit may not result in better symptomatic results.

The FDA said that its literature review found that erosion of mesh through the vagina is the most common and consistently reported mesh-related complication from transvaginal POP surgeries using mesh.

Agency officials said mesh erosion can require multiple surgeries to repair and can be debilitating for some women. In some cases, even multiple surgeries will not resolve the complications.

Sources:
*Gross v. Gynecare Inc., Atl-L-6966-10, Superior Court of Atlantic County, New Jersey (Atlantic City)
**http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-26/j-j-seeks-to-avoid-punitives-after-losing-mesh-verdict.html
***http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm262435


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