Transvaginal mesh implants used in surgery – not a fun subject by any means. But worst of all, these implants have been a living hell for the women who suffered the horrible symptoms associated with them.
Yesterday an Atlantic City, New Jersey jury awarded $3.35 million to Linda Gross. The Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, Ethicon, must pay this substantial amount in what is the first of 2,100 lawsuits over the transvaginal mesh implant. Now, punitive damages in this case may amount to as much as $16.75 million.
Apparently, the South Dakota woman’s surgeon wasn’t warned of the dangers associated with its Gynecare Prolift transvaginal mesh implant. What’s more, it is claimed that Ethicon misled her. Linda Gross, a 47-year-old nurse was experiencing constant pain and 18 operations after the device was implanted. So along with her husband, she sued Ethicon. According to Gross’s attorney Adam Slater, “This verdict establishes that Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon failed to tell physicians and women the truth about the catastrophic complications that can result from the Prolift.”
Punitive damages could be awarded today. Compensatory damages pay victims for losses and injuries. Punitive damages actually punish the defendants for “willful and wanton behavior.”
In January, 2012, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) ordered Johnson & Johnson, C.R. Bard Inc. and 31 other manufacturers to study rates of organ damage and complications from transvaginal mesh implants. In 2010, doctors implanted over 70,000 of these devices in women to secure their pelvic muscles. Slater, the attorney for Gross, told jurors that company communications proved Ethicon knew their mesh product would harm women.
The Prolift is made of a polypropylene mesh and was inserted vaginally by incision. In August, Johnson & Johnson discontinued selling four of these mesh products in the U.S., including Prolift. However, they claimed this move was based on a lack of commercial sales, and not due to the risks or effectiveness of the products. But Slater said Ethicon knew of the dangers as early as 2005.
Mrs. Gross said that since the mesh was implanted, she experiences severe and constant pain. She has prescriptions for 20 different medications to help the pelvic problems. Gross has had over 400 visits to both doctors and physical therapists, and these experiences were horrific.
Once again, Big Pharma got away with damaging the lives of numerous women forever. Fortunately in this case, they have to pay for their crimes. If you or someone you care about has had a surgery in which a transvaginal mesh product was used, call our team of expert DFW medical device attorneys now at 1.877.308.7900. Or email me: Angel@ReyesLaw.com.