A New Jersey jury has ruled Johnson & Johnson must pay $11.1 million to Linda Gross, of South Dakota, for her injuries resulting from the company’s transvaginal mesh implant product. The jury awarded Gross $3.35 million in compensatory damages and $7.76 million in punitive damages, resulting in a total verdict of $11.1 million.
Gross, 47, underwent 18 corrective surgeries after the device was implanted and suffered numerous debilitating side-effects. The jury ruled that Ethicon, a subsidiary of J&J and manufacturer of the device, failed to properly warn Gross of the risks associated with the transvaginal mesh implant and made fraudulent misrepresentations about its benefits.
The case is Gross v. Gyncare Inc., Atl-L-6966-10, Superior Court of Atlantic County, New Jersey (Atlantic City). The suit alleged failure to warn and fraudulent misrepresentation of the dangers associated with the Gyncare Prolift vaginal mesh product.
Gross filed her suit after she underwent surgery to install the transvaginal mesh medical device to treat pelvic prolapse. She spoke with her doctor and read a brochure supplied by Ethicon, leading her to believe there was little risk and that the mesh could be removed easily.
Instead, the mesh implant lead to a series of complications and problems, Gross testified, including mesh erosion, scar tissue, inflammation, hardening of the mesh, pain while sitting and 20 prescriptions for medications to help her with pelvic problems.
In August 2012, Johnson & Johnson stopped selling four types of mesh devices, including the Gyncare Prolift because, according to the company, the products “lacked commercial viability”.
This is the second verdict related to the dangers associated with transvaginal mesh implants. The ruling could have an impact on the other lawsuits against other manufacturers of similar products.
J&J Owes $7.76 Million in Punitives in Vaginal Mesh Case
Bloomberg, Feb. 28, 2013
Jury awards $3.35 million in vaginal mesh case against J&J
Reuters, Feb. 25, 2013
J&J Failed to Warn of Vaginal Mesh Risks, Jury Says
Bloomberg Businessweek, Feb. 25, 2013