Kentucky’s attorney general has announced the state is suing healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) over the company’s transvaginal pelvic mesh. The state claims J&J failed to disclose the risks associated with the device to patients and doctors.
Attorney general Andy Beshear believes J&J and its subsidiary Ethicon deceptively marketed their pelvic mesh products to more than 15,000 Kentucky women who received the implant. Many of these women now suffer from severe and permanent side effects caused by the device, including chronic pain, loss of urinary function, and loss of sexual function.
Beshear stated in a press conference women “were put at risk by a company that put their own profits over the quality of their potential patients’ lives. While this lawsuit doesn’t seek direct restitution for the individuals, it seeks to hold the company accountable.”
Ethicon and J&J have already settled thousands of lawsuits regarding their pelvic mesh products, but are still facing lawsuits filed by several states. This past May, both California and Washington announced they plan to pursue lawsuits concerning the device.
For its part, Ethicon believes the lawsuit is completely unjustified. A spokeswoman for the company stated, “The company plans to vigorously defend itself against the allegations. The evidence will show that Ethicon acted appropriately and responsibly in the marketing of our pelvic mesh products.”
These lawsuits come at a pivotal time for Ethicon and J&J. The companies have already paid out massive damages in pelvic mesh lawsuits and are facing potentially huge losses from hip implant lawsuits. This past May, a jury ordered the companies to pay a whopping $502 million to six plaintiffs who experienced complications from the defective Pinnacle hip implant. The companies will face the next lawsuit over their hip implants next month, and with thousands of plaintiffs in the hip implant litigation, this could prove another costly mistake for the companies.