First Vaginal Mesh Verdict Against J&J Exceeds $3 Million, Morgan & Morgan Reports

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Johnson & Johnson has been hit with a $3.35 million verdict in a vaginal mesh bellwether trial, which could potentially impact the thousands of lawsuits pending against manufacturers of similar products. The plaintiff was awarded $385,000 for past medical bills; $1 million for future medical expenses; $1.1 million for pain and suffering; $680,000 in past and future lost wages; and $185,000 in pain and suffering for her husband.

This verdict could have an impact on the thousands of lawsuits pending against other manufacturers of vaginal mesh products.

On Feb. 25, 2013, a New Jersey jury awarded $3.35 million to a South Dakota woman who had to undergo more than a dozen operations to repair damage allegedly caused a vaginal mesh implant manufactured by Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit, Morgan & Morgan reports.* The jury found by a 7-2 vote that the manufacturers failed to properly warn the plaintiff’s doctor about the risks associated with the company’s Gynecare Prolift mesh and misrepresented the product in brochures, according to a Feb. 26 Reuters article. The $3.35 million verdict is the first among 1,800 cases pending against Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon in New Jersey Superior Court, Reuters reports.

“This verdict could have an impact on the thousands of lawsuits pending against other manufacturers of vaginal mesh products,” said attorney Michael Goetz, the head of Morgan & Morgan’s mass tort section.

Johnson & Johnson is one of several pharmaceutical companies facing allegations that its vaginal mesh products caused serious injuries. A number of other manufacturers, including American Medical Systems, Boston Scientific, C.R. Bard and Coloplast Corp., are facing litigation over similar products used in the repair of pelvic organ prolapse (POP). **

In this case, the plaintiff alleged the Prolift mesh caused her to endure nerve pain, painful sexual intercourse and urinary issues, according to Law 360. She had to undergo 18 surgeries to remove the Prolift mesh, which, according to the plaintiff’s testimony, was selected for treatment based on a product brochure that advertised the device as “revolutionary,” “minimally invasive” and associated with “rare” complications. The plaintiff claimed that her complications were so severe that she can no longer continue working as a nurse.

“The Prolift is not the only mesh product which has been linked to serious injuries,” Mr. Goetz added. “I have spoken with hundreds of women who reported similar injuries with a variety of vaginal mesh products.”

Vaginal meshes first came under scrutiny in October 2008 when the FDA issued a public health notification to warn of serious but rare complications associated with the products. The agency announced that during a three-year period it had received more than 1,000 reports from nine manufacturers of complications including mesh erosion, infection, urinary problems and recurrence of prolapse and/or incontinence. The FDA updated its health notification in 2011 to inform the public that the serious complications associated with mesh products used in the transvaginal repair of POP are not rare and that the products may expose patients to greater risk.

In early 2012, Johnson & Johnson faced further scrutiny after the FDA found that it had sold the Gynecare Prolift Pelvic Floor Repair System for three years without proper approval, according to a June 5 Reuters article.

The attorneys at Morgan & Morgan are offering a free consultation to women who have suffered serious complications after being implanted with a vaginal mesh product in the repair of pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence. For more information, please visit today.

About Morgan & Morgan

Morgan & Morgan is one of the largest exclusively plaintiffs’ law firms in the country with 15 offices throughout Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and New York. The firm handles cases nationally involving personal injury, medical malpractice, consumer class action, and securities fraud, as well as complex litigation against drug and medical device manufacturers. Visit Morgan & Morgan online at for a free case evaluation and information about your legal rights.

*(Gross v. Gynecare Inc., Atl-L-6966-10, Superior Court of Atlantic County, New Jersey (Atlantic City)
** In re: American Medical Systems, Inc., Pelvic Repair Systems Products Liability Litigation (“MDL No. 2325”); In re: Boston Scientific Corp., Pelvic Repair Systems Products Liability Litigation (“MDL No. 2326); In re: C.R. Bard, Inc., Pelvic Repair Systems Products Liability Litigation (“MDL No. 2187”); and In re: Coloplast Corp. Pelvic Support Systems Products Liability Litigation (“MDL No. 2387”).

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