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Jury Hits J&J with $35M Verdict in Transvaginal Mesh Case

judge holding gavel

An Indiana jury this month awarded $35 million to a woman in a transvaginal mesh case. The jury found Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon negligent in the design and marketing of the Prolift transvaginal mesh device.

Barbara Kaiser and her husband filed a lawsuit against J&J and Ethicon after Kaiser received a Prolift mesh implant during prolapse repair surgery.

Kaiser suffered severe pelvic pain, among other “severe and irreversible injuries,” according to her 2012 complaint.
On March 8, 2018, the Indiana jury ruled in favor of Kaiser and her husband after a nine-day trial.

“Ethicon defended an indefensible product, and the jury stood up for Barbara Kaiser,” Kaiser’s attorney Thomas Plouff told Scotland’s Sunday Post. “They were asked to send a message to Ethicon to deter future wrongdoing, and they did.”

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The jury awarded the Kaisers $10 million for pain, suffering and monetary damages. Jurors also awarded the couple $25 million in punitive damages for wanton disregard of Kaiser’s safety.

J&J and Ethicon knew the device had a high risk of complications and failure, Kaiser said in her lawsuit. But, the device maker failed to warn the public of the risks.

Kaiser’s surgeon testified that he was unaware of the Prolift’s safety risks.

J&J spokeswoman Mindy Tinsley told that the company intends to appeal.

“All surgeries to treat pelvic organ prolapse have risks. While we empathize with those who have experienced complications, many women with pelvic mesh see an improvement in their day-to-day lives,” Tinsley told via email. “Ethicon stands by, and will continue to defend, our pelvic mesh products in litigation.”

This verdict comes two days after J&J lost its bid to overturn a $15 million verdict for Elizabeth Hyrmoc. Hyrmoc’s trial took place in November 2017 in New Jersey.

J&J and Ethicon still faced more than 13,600 mesh lawsuits as of Feb. 15, 2018.

Last modified: March 12, 2018


Michelle Y. Llamas is a senior content writer. She is also the host of Drugwatch Podcast where she interviews medical experts as well as patients affected by drugs and medical devices. She has written medical and legal content for several years — including an article in The Journal of Palliative Medicine and an academic book review for Nova Science Publishers. With Drugwatch, she has developed relationships with legal and medical professionals as well as with several patients and support groups. Prior to writing for Drugwatch, she spent several years as a legal assistant for a personal injury law firm in Orlando. She obtained her English – Technical Communication degree from the University of Central Florida. She is a committee member with the American Medical Writers Association.

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  1. Perriello, B. (2018, March 12). Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon loses $35M pelvic mesh lawsuit. Retrieved from
  2. Scott, M. (2018, March 11). US jury awards mesh victim almost £30m over ‘unreasonably dangerous’ implant which has been used in Scotland. Retrieved from
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