The news has been full of reports recently regarding a number of manufacturers’ vaginal mesh products. One of the largest manufacturers of these devices is Johnson & Johnson, which is facing numerous lawsuits in a multi-district litigation. The devices are intended to treat pelvic organ prolapse and urinary stress incontinence, but thousands of women reported experiencing severe complications after receiving the devices. These injuries included minor issues involving pain and very serious conditions that required additional surgeries and treatment.
A plaintiff who experiences severe injuries and damages as the result of a medical device may bring a product liability lawsuit to recover compensation. In a product liability case, the plaintiff may pursue three different theories of recovery. First, the plaintiff can show that the defendant designed the device in an unreasonably unsafe manner. Second, the plaintiff can establish that the specific unit that the defendant received suffered from a defect during the manufacturing process. Finally, the plaintiff can show that the defendant failed to provide sufficient warnings or adequate instructions regarding the device’s use and potential dangers. The plaintiff is not limited to one of these theories and may seek to establish all three.
Recently, a Philadelphia jury rendered a decision in the second lawsuit concerning Johnson & Johnson transvaginal mesh devices. In her complaint, the plaintiff alleged that she suffered severe pain and injuries after the mesh device eroded and that she was required to undergo three revision operations to remove the device.
The jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $3.5 million for compensatory damages and $10 million for punitive damages. Punitive damages are an item of damages that is meant to punish a defendant for particularly egregious conduct. To recover punitive damages, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s conduct was reckless, intentional, or a wanton disregard for the safety of its consumers. According to the jury, Ethicon’s polypropylene transvaginal tape was defective. The jury also determined that the warnings Johnson & Johnson provided were inadequate and did not sufficiently communicate the risks associated with the device.
In an earlier case involving Johnson & Johnson’s transvaginal mesh products, another Philadelphia jury returned a verdict against the defendant, awarding $7 million in punitive damages and compensatory damages of $5.5 million. This lawsuit was the first action tried against Johnson & Johnson involving the mesh products.
In a statement regarding the verdict, a representative for Johnson & Johnson indicated that the company believes it has “strong grounds for appeal” and that the record contained enough evidence to support a verdict in the transvaginal mesh maker’s favor.
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries as the result of a defective transvaginal mesh product or another dangerous medical device, you may be entitled to compensation. At Moll Law Group, our skilled and compassionate team of product liability lawyers knows what it takes to put together a strong legal claim and to pursue the compensation or the settlement that you deserve. We represent clients across the United States, including in Illinois, Texas, New York, and Florida. We offer a free consultation to help you learn about the rights and remedies available to you, so call us at 312-462-1700 or contact us online to set up your appointment.