Tampa, FL (PRWEB) March 22, 2013
Consumer Lawyer Kendall Almerico is providing his analysis of a New Jersey jury verdict awarding $11.1 Million in damages to a South Dakota woman who sued Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon over damages she alleged were caused by the Gynecare Prolift transvaginal mesh implant. The jury verdict, believed to be the first in the country from a transvaginal mesh lawsuits, included $3.35 Million in compensatory damages and $7.76 million in punitive damages.
“This jury verdict shows that the people will not stand for dangerous products, no matter how big and powerful the company,” Almerico said. “This verdict sends a message to Johnson & Johnson and all the other transvaginal mesh manufacturers that they need to start settling with these injured consumers.”
The jury verdict, reported by Bloomberg News, came in the case Gross v. Gynecare Inc., Atl-L-6966-10 in the Superior Court of Atlantic County, New Jersey. Linda Gross filed the transvaginal mesh lawsuit alleging constant pain after undergoing 18 operations to repair abdominal injuries suffered after having the Gynecare Prolift transvaginal mesh implanted to treat a pelvic organ prolapse. The jury awarded punitive damages finding that Johnson & Johnson and failed to warn of the risks of the Gynecare Prolift transvaginal mesh implant by fraudulently misleading Mrs. Gross about the risks.
“When a jury awards punitive damages, they generally have to find that the product manufacturer acted in a way that deserved to be punished,” Almerico says. “Generally, punitive damages are only for those cases where fraud or other willful and wanton behavior occurred.”
Bloomberg reports that a forensic economics expert testified at the trial that Johnson & Johnson had total assets of $121.3 billion and a net worth of $64.8 billion. “It makes the $11.1 Million seem like a drop in the bucket,” Almerico adds. “But it is normal in punitive damages cases for the jury to be instructed to award enough to punish, but not bankrupt, the defendant, no matter how egregious their conduct.”
Almerico further suggests that any woman who has had adverse effects from a transvaginal mesh implant should seek the advice of an attorney to see if she is eligible for compensation.
Gross v. Gynecare Inc., Atl-L-6966-10, Superior Court of Atlantic County, New Jersey (Atlantic City)