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


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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.”

Injured by complications related to Transvaginal Mesh? Get a Free Case Review

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.

Michelle Llamas, Senior Content Writer
Written By Michelle Llamas Senior Writer

Michelle Llamas has been writing articles and producing podcasts about drugs, medical devices and the FDA for nearly a decade. She focuses on various medical conditions, health policy, COVID-19, LGBTQ health, mental health and women’s health issues. Michelle collaborates with experts, including board-certified doctors, patients and advocates, to provide trusted health information to the public. Some of her qualifications include:

  • Member of American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) and former Engage Committee and Membership Committee member
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Health Literacy certificates
  • Original works published or cited in The Lancet, British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and the Journal for Palliative Medicine
Edited By
Emily Miller
Emily Miller Managing Editor

2 Cited Research Articles writers follow rigorous sourcing guidelines and cite only trustworthy sources of information, including peer-reviewed journals, court records, academic organizations, highly regarded nonprofit organizations, government reports and interviews with qualified experts. Review our editorial policy to learn more about our process for producing accurate, current and balanced content.

  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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