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Georgia Judge Upholds $2.4 Million Verdict in ObTape Sling Product Liability Lawsuit

This month, a court in Georgia reduced a $4 million verdict awarded to the plaintiff in a Johnson & Johnson transvaginal mesh lawsuit in half, stating that a statutory cap on damages limited the plaintiff’s recovery to $2 million. The plaintiff requested that the judge refrain from applying the cap, but the judge declined. In addition to the $2 million award, the judge approved a $400,000 compensatory damages claim, making the total award to the plaintiff $2.4 million.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit was a Florida woman who filed a lawsuit after discovering that she suffered injuries and complications after being implanted with an ObTape Sling manufactured by Mentor Worldwide LLC and Johnson & Johnson. According to some estimates, nearly 35,000 women were implanted with the device between 2003 and 2006. The plaintiff received the device in 2004 to treat her stress urinary incontinence condition. Shortly after being implanted with the device, the plaintiff experienced the erosion of bodily tissues, including her vaginal wall, requiring substantial reparative surgeries. Among the many painful injuries she sustained, the plaintiff also dealt with ongoing and excruciating infections.

In her lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to provide sufficient warnings regarding the dangers associated with the ObTape sling device, including the erosion of bodily tissue, and that the company failed to provide sufficient testing to determine whether the product was safe for its intended use.

After the lower court entered judgment in favor of the plaintiff, Johnson & Johnson filed a series of motions seeking a new trial or, in the alternative, a directed verdict requiring the jury to side with the defense. According to the defendant, the jury did not correctly weigh the evidence presented at trial. It also contended that a number of evidentiary rulings resulted in errors that jeopardized the entire trial proceeding. The judge rejected these arguments and entered a judgment in favor of the plaintiff. It is not yet clear whether Johnson & Johnson plans to appeal this ruling.

In January 2015, the medical device and household product maker settled over 100 lawsuits regarding its ObTape Vaginal Sling product. The lawsuits had been consolidated into a multi-district litigation proceeding, which is a commonly used tool in medical device litigation. MDLs are similar to class actions in that they consolidate lawsuits that have common factual and legal issues. They differ, however, in that each plaintiff is required to prove his or her entitlement to compensation and the amount of damages that he or she should receive.

Although many of these lawsuits have been settled, numerous lawsuits are still pending against Johnson & Johnson, seeking damages for the harm that its ObTape device caused. At Moll Law Group, we have helped numerous victims throughout the United States investigate their potential claims and seek the compensation they deserve from a transvaginal mesh manufacturer, including women in Illinois, Florida, New York, and California. We offer a free consultation to help you learn about medical device litigation and how we may be able to assist you. Call us now at 312-462-1700 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.

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