The litigation against Ethicon Inc. and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) over their defective pelvic mesh products has been ongoing for years now, but the first case finally came to an end. The Supreme Court of New Jersey declined to hear an appeal from Ethicon and J&J on the first pelvic mesh verdict awarded back in 2013.
A South Dakota woman named Linda Gross filed a lawsuit against the companies in 2008 after requiring three additional surgeries to correct painful complications from pelvic mesh implanted in a previous procedure. Although it took Ms. Gross five years before her case went to trial, it was worth the wait.
Jurors found Ethicon and J&J grossly negligent for failing to warn consumers of the dangers of pelvic mesh and for producing and marketing an unreasonably dangerous device. The jury awarded Ms. Gross $11.1 million in damages for her injuries.
Ethicon and J&J fought this verdict for three years, but the fight is now over. Now that the court has sided in favor of Ms. Gross, she finally receives the justice she deserves.
Ethicon and J&J have come under scrutiny for their pelvic mesh products not only by patients, but also by several states including California, Kentucky, and Washington. State prosecutors are currently investigating whether the companies misrepresented the risks of pelvic mesh to patients and doctors.
The companies currently face tens of thousands of pelvic mesh lawsuits, and they aren’t the only ones. Other transvaginal mesh manufacturers also face lawsuits – there are currently 80,000 such lawsuits pending against a variety of manufacturers.
But pelvic mesh isn’t the only mesh product proven unreasonably dangerous. Another one of Ethicon and J&J’s mesh products, Physiomesh, has been subject to intense scrutiny after the companies voluntarily recalled the product from the market. Physiomesh is designed to help treat ventral hernias, but two large studies found the device has a much higher rate of reoperation than other mesh products.