A 51-year-old Pennsylvania woman was awarded $57.1 million in a transvaginal mesh (TVM) lawsuit after a jury found that Ethicon Inc.’s implant had eroded into her uretha, caused her to undergo several corrective surgeries, and resulted in permanent incontinence.
The case was the sixth Ethicon pelvic mesh lawsuit to go to trial in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, and the fifth to result in a plaintiff’s verdict. Previous verdicts awarded the plaintiffs $12.5 million, $13.6 million, $17.5 million, and $20 million in damages. Johnson & Johnson has prevailed in only one TVM lawsuit, although in July, the Court granted the plaintiff’s post trial motion requesting a new hearing on damages in that matter.
What is Transvaginal Mesh?
Transvaginal mesh is a net-like implant made of polypropylene that is implanted through the vagina to permanently repair pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI) conditions that occur in women after hysterectomy, menopause, or childbirth. While these products were created to help women, the design and recommended implantation technique of some of the devices has contributed to a number of dangerous side effects and complications.
Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits Make Common Allegations
In all, J&J and Ethicon are facing more than 55,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits filed in courts across the country. The cases make common allegations regarding complications associated with the mesh, including:
- Erosion of the mesh into the vaginal wall
- Chronic infections
- Severe pain
The September 7th verdict included $7.1 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages. During the trial, evidence was introduced suggesting that Johnson & Johnson deliberately manipulated medical literature to downplay the complications associated with transvaginal mesh and failed to warn doctors and consumers of these risks.