News

Sort By

N.J. Jury Awards $15 Million in Pelvic Mesh Case

Justice Brennan Court House in New Jersey

A state court jury in Hackensack, N.J., has ordered a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson to pay $15 million to a woman who says she was injured by a faulty pelvic mesh implant.

Jurors awarded Elizabeth Hrymoc $4 million for pain and suffering, $1 million for loss of conjugal affection and $10 million in punitive damages, according to a report in northjersey.com.  Jurors deliberated most of the day, Thursday, December 14, after an almost three-week trial, according to CVN, Courtroom View Network.

Injured by complications related to transvaginal mesh? We can help.

Hrymoc, 71, was implanted with Ethicon’s Prolift mesh device in 2008 and testified during a trial that since the surgery, she suffers from chronic pain, according to the news website.

This is not the first jury to hit Ethicon over Prolift. In 2013, a federal jury in New Jersey ordered the company to pay $11.11 million to Linda Gross, who had to undergo 18 revision surgeries after her implant. $7.76 million of that award was punitive damages.

Gross, too, said she suffered from near constant pain and had trouble sitting following her implant. Evidence in that trial included internal J&J documents showing officials had knowledge that the mesh posed a risk of pain and injuries for women.

Hrymoc had the Prolift and transvaginal tape implanted after suffering from incontinence. She underwent several corrective surgeries.  Prolift was removed from the market in 2012.

Jurors determined the Prolift, and not transvaginal tape, caused Hryomoc’s injuries. However, it found that Ethicon failed to provide adequate warnings about both products.

Mesh Risk Known by Company Researchers

Evidence in the trial included a brochure given to Hrymoc by her doctor showing there was a “small risk” the implant would be exposed to the vaginal canal. Attorney Adam Slater introduced documents from Ethicon researchers suggesting a much higher risk.

Slater argued during summations that Ethicon showed “willful and wanton” disregard for what would happen to patients given the implants.

Attorneys for Johnson & Johnson argued that the product, while imperfect, had been tested sufficiently and that Hyrmoc knew the risks when she agreed to the surgery. The company maintains the product has helped thousands of women who would have required riskier, more invasive surgery.

J&J spokeswoman Mindy Tinsley told CVN that the company will appeal.

At least 9,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits have been filed against Ethicon in New Jersey Superior Court. The cases are being managed as part of multicounty litigation, according to the law firm representing Hrymoc, Bernstien Liebhard.

This is the first N.J. state court case to go to trial since Gross’ verdict. Another trial involving manufacturer C.R. Bard is scheduled for trial in January.

Ethicon and J & J are facing more than 50,000 similar lawsuits around the U.S.

Last modified: December 14, 2017

Author

Elaine Silvestrini is a career journalist with a strong desire to learn, explain, and help people. At Drugwatch, Elaine has reported about trials over whether talcum powder caused ovarian cancer and allegations that Androgel causes heart problems in patients who use it. She has chronicled the billions of dollars generated for big pharmaceutical companies by certain drugs and efforts to warn consumers about the dangers of specific medical problems. Elaine has received six health literacy certificates for completing courses offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She brings more than 20 years of experience covering state and federal court systems, learning the intricacies of criminal and civil law, developing investigative pieces about how the law affects people’s lives and digging through and digesting reams of court records on a daily basis.


Hide Sources

  1. Cowen, R. (2017, December 7). Pelvic mesh has caused nine years of pain, woman testifies against Johnson & Johnson. Retrieved from http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/2017/12/07/woman-seeking-damages-johnson-johnson-over-pelvic-mesh-implant-testifies/930386001/
  2. Cowen, R. (2017, December 14). Jury Awards $15 million in damages in pelvic mesh case. Retrieved from http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/health/2017/12/14/pelvic-mesh-jury-awards-15-million-damages/953278001/
  3. Cowen, R. (2017, December 14). Pelvic mesh case against Johnson & Johnson goes to the jury in Bergen. Retrieved from http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/2017/12/14/pelvic-mesh-case-against-johnson-johnson-goes-jury-bergen/949590001/
  4. PR Newswire. (2017, December 13). Ethicon Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit Goes to Trial in New Jersey, Bernstein Liebhard LLP Reports. Retrieved from http://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/Ethicon-Transvaginal-Mesh-Lawsuit-Goes-to-Trial-in-New-Jersey-Bernstein-Liebhard-LLP-Reports-590974
  5. Siegel, D. (2017, December 14). BREAKING: NJ Jury Blasts J&J Subsidiary Ethicon With $15M Pelvic Mesh Verdict. Retrieved from http://blog.cvn.com/breaking-nj-jury-blasts-jj-subsidiary-ethicon-with-15m-pelvic-mesh-verdict
Free Transvaginal Mesh Case Review

Experiencing complications and side effects from your Transvaginal Mesh?
Get Help Now