J&J Hit With $7.76 Million Punitive Damage Award In First Transvaginal Mesh Trial

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Ennis & Ennis, P.A. reports on the Punitive Damage Award Against J&J in the first transvaginal mesh trial.

"The jury's verdict shows that it believed J&J to have acted inappropriately in failing to warn of the dangers of its transvaginal mesh product," stated attorney Holly Ennis

A New Jersey jury has awarded Plaintiff, Linda Gross punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and its subsidiary, Ethicon for their conduct in failing to warn of the dangers associated with their transvaginal mesh product, the Prolift. According to court documents, lawyers for Linda Gross asked the jurors to pay punitive damages yesterday after the jury had previously awarded Gross and her husband $3.35 million in compensatory damages. Attorneys for Ms. Gross urged the jury to, “tell them through your verdict, don’t do this again, change your way of business.” Gross’ attorneys also urged the jury to, “Tell them to tell the truth. Make sure you punish them for not telling the truth.”

According to court documents Gross, who worked as a nurse in South Dakota, had her Prolift implanted on July 13, 2006 to stabilize pelvic muscles. The Prolift, made of polypropylene mesh, was inserted through an incision in the vagina. Gross claims that Ethicon failed to warn doctors of known risks and didn’t advise doctors how to remove the mesh if necessary. As a result, Gross was forced to undergo over 400 medical encounters, including office visits, surgeries and physical therapy. Ms. Gross and her experts testified regarding the tissue and nerve damage she sustained, the pain she experiences daily and the numerous medications she must take to cope with her severe issues.

According to court documents, testimony revealed that J&J had total assets of $121.3 billion and a net worth of $64.8 billion through December 31, 2012. The average annual profit from 2009-2012 was $11.5 billion. A J&J manager testified that sales from the Prolift from 2005-2012 were $128 million, which created a $5.6 million profit. The jury was allowed to consider the financial resources of J&J in making its determination regarding punitive damages. In New Jersey, a jury may award a plaintiff five times the amount of compensatory damages or up to $16.85 million; however, the jurors were not given this information. The jurors made this award to punish J&J, the world’s largest seller of healthcare products, for its conduct. This trial is the first of 4,000 lawsuits to go to trial regarding J&J’s pelvic mesh product. Ethicon and J&J indicate they will appeal the punitive verdict today as well as the February 25, 2012 $3.35 million compensatory award, noted Bloomberg News. The case is Gross v. Gynecare Inc., Atl-L-6966-10, Superior Court of Atlantic County, New Jersey (Atlantic City).

Ennis & Ennis, P.A. continues to offer free, nationwide, confidential consultations to anyone who was injured by a transvaginal mesh device including, but not limited to Ethicon’s’ Prolift, Boston Scientific’s Pinnacle and Uphold, American Medical Systems’ Elevate, Apogee and Perigee, C.R. Bard’s Avaulta and Pelvilace products, Caldera Medical’s Ascend, and other products manufactured by Mentor and Tyco Covidien by calling toll free 1-800-856-6405 or by going to http://www.ennislaw.com and completing an online case evaluation form.

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Attorney David Ennis