Mesh Injuries Prompt $80 Million Award to Philadelphia Woman

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Courtroom jury stand

Jurors handed down an $80 million verdict to a Pennsylvania woman injured by transvaginal mesh used to treat her pelvic organ prolapse. The award includes $50 million in punitive damages to be paid by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon. The jury found Ethicon failed to properly warn people of the risks its mesh posed.

Patricia Mesigian’s lawsuit claimed the Prolift mesh eroded after her 2008 surgery to implant it. She required multiple surgeries in later years as the mesh caused pain, inflammation and infections, according to her complaint.

Mesigian’s attorney, Thomas Kline, said in a statement that the jury award recognized “not only the severity of the injury but the abhorrence of the conduct” by Ethicon.

Johnson & Johnson issued a statement saying the jury’s decision was “inconsistent with the science” and promised to appeal.

Transvaginal mesh, also called pelvic or urogynecologic mesh, is a surgical mesh used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence in women. It was designed to reinforce a weakened vaginal wall in prolapse cases and to support the urethra or portions of the bladder in urinary incontinence patients. But tens of thousands of women have blamed it for severe complications.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration stopped sales of transvaginal mesh in April 2019. Only two companies, Boston Scientific and Coloplast, were still marketing the mesh in the United States at the time. The FDA had reclassified mesh used to treat pelvic organ prolapse as a high-risk device in 2016.

Related News

Verdict Follows Other Philadelphia Jury Awards for Mesh Injuries

The verdict was the eighth time a Philadelphia court has sided with women suing Ethicon for mesh injuries. This latest jury award brings the total judgments so far to more than $346 million.

Mesigian’s case came just a month after another Philadelphia jury awarded $120 million to a woman implanted with Ethicon mesh to treat urinary incontinence. That verdict included $100 million in punitive damages.

Philadelphia Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit Awards

DATE AMOUNT
May, 2019 $80 million
Apr., 2019 $120 million
Feb., 2019 $41 million
Sept., 2017 $57.1 million
May, 2017 $2.1 million
Apr., 2017 $20 million
Feb., 2016 $13.5 million
Dec., 2015 $12.5 million

 

Ethicon has won two pelvic mesh cases in Philadelphia, one in June 2017 and another in April 2019. But a judge later overturned the 2017 verdict and ordered a new trial. It is still tied up in appeals.

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

Ethicon Faces More than 29,000 Other Mesh Lawsuits

Johnson & Johnson reported in a May 2019 financial filing that the company faced 29,500 transvaginal mesh lawsuits. This would include 7,711 lawsuits remaining in a federal litigation in West Virginia as of May 15, 2019. Other cases, including more than 80 lawsuits in Philadelphia alone, are pending in state courts.

Ethicon is one of six mesh manufacturers involved in mass litigations over its product. More than 107,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits have been filed against the companies. That includes 40,727 lawsuits against Ethicon, the most of any manufacturer. Mesh makers are paying roughly $8 billion to settle the cases in the litigation.

Ethicon also faces mesh lawsuits in other countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Israel and Belgium.

The company agreed to settle a consumer lawsuit filed by the state of Washington for $9.9 million in April 2019. The state’s attorney general claimed in the suit that Ethicon failed to disclose risks associated with the mesh.

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Terry Turner
Written By Terry Turner Writer

Terry Turner has been writing articles and producing news broadcasts for more than 25 years. He covers FDA policy, proton pump inhibitors, and medical devices such as hernia mesh, IVC filters, and hip and knee implants. An Emmy-winning journalist, he has reported on health and medical policy issues before Congress, the FDA and other federal agencies. Some of his qualifications include:

  • American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) and The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates member
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health Literacy certificates
  • Original works published or cited in Washington Examiner, MedPage Today and The New York Times
  • Appeared as an expert panelist on hernia mesh lawsuits on the BBC
Edited By

17 Cited Research Articles

  1. Hale, C. (2019, May 20). Philadelphia Juries Knock J&J With 2 Multimillion-Dollar Verdicts in Vaginal Mesh Cases. FierceBiotech. Retrieved from https://www.fiercebiotech.com/medtech/philadelphia-juries-knock-j-j-two-multimillion-dollar-verdicts-vaginal-mesh-cases
  2. Johnson & Johnson. (2019, May 1). Form 10-Q. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved from https://johnsonandjohnson.gcs-web.com/node/44871/html#s0B1EB8F62A2DD16785F9729C5F2A3133
  3. Kelly, S. (2019, May 20). Philadelphia Jury Awards $80M in J&J Pelvic Mesh Suit. MedTechDive. Retrieved from https://www.medtechdive.com/news/philadelphia-jury-awards-80m-in-jj-pelvic-mesh-suit/555116/
  4. Law360. (2017, May 26). J&J Hit With $2.61M Verdict in 4th Philly Mesh Case. Retrieved from https://www.law360.com/articles/928912/j-j-hit-with-2-16m-verdict-in-4th-philly-mesh-case
  5. Malfitano, N. (2019, April 25). Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon Prevail Over Plaintiff Who Claimed Product-Related Injuries in Pelvic Mesh Trial. PennRecord. Retrieved from https://pennrecord.com/stories/512451650-johnson-johnson-and-ethicon-prevail-over-plaintiff-who-claimed-product-related-injuries-in-pelvic-mesh-trial
  6. Malfitano. N. (2019, May 21). Philadelphia Jury Smacks Johnson & Johnson, Ethicon With $80M Pelvic Mesh Verdict. PennRecord. Retrieved from https://pennrecord.com/stories/512504166-philadelphia-jury-smacks-johnson-johnson-ethicon-with-80m-pelvic-mesh-verdict
  7. Mitchell, M. (2016, February 10). Jury Awards $13.5M in Second Pelvic Mesh Trial. The Legal Intelligencer. Retrieved from https://www.law.com/thelegalintelligencer/almID/1202749377034/jury-awards-135m-in-second-pelvic-mesh-trial/
  8. Mitchell, M. (2017, September 8). J&J Hit With Record $57.1M Verdict in Pelvic Mesh Case. The Legal Intelligencer. Retrieved from https://www.law.com/thelegalintelligencer/sites/thelegalintelligencer/2017/09/07/jury-hits-jj-with-record-57-1m-verdict-in-pelvic-mesh-case/
  9. Mitchell, M. (2019, April 25). Philadelphia Jury Slams J&J With $120M Pelvic Mesh Verdict. The Legal Intelligencer. Retrieved from https://www.law.com/thelegalintelligencer/2019/04/25/philadelphia-jury-slams-jj-with-120m-pelvic-mesh-verdict/
  10. Mitchell, M. (2019, September 8). Jury Awards $41M to Woman Who Needed 9 Surgeries to Fix Pelvic Mesh. The Legal Intelligencer. Retrieved from https://www.law.com/thelegalintelligencer/2019/01/31/philadelphia-jury-awards-41m-verdict-to-woman-who-needed-9-surgeries-to-fix-defective-pelvic-mesh/
  11. Mondics, C. (2015, December 24). Phila. Jury Awards $12.5M in Vaginal Mesh Case. The Philadelphia Inquirer. https://www.philly.com/philly/business/20151223_Philadelphia_jury_awards_woman__12_5_million_in_damages_from_Johnson___Johnson_in_vaginal_mesh_implant_case.html
  12. Perriello, B. (2017, June 12). J&J’s Ethicon Wins Philly Pelvic Mesh Trial. Mass Device. Retrieved from https://www.massdevice.com/jjs-ethicon-wins-philly-pelvic-mesh-trial/
  13. Raymond, N. (2017, May 1) J&J’s Ethicon Hit With $20 Million Verdict in Mesh Case. Reuters. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/products-johnsonjohnson/jjs-ethicon-hit-with-20-million-verdict-in-mesh-case-idUSL1N1I31MP
  14. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2019, April 16). FDA Takes Action to Protect Women’s Health, Orders Manufacturers of Surgical Mesh Intended for Transvaginal Repair of Pelvic Organ Prolapse to Stop Selling all Devices. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-takes-action-protect-womens-health-orders-manufacturers-surgical-mesh-intended-transvaginal
  15. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2019, April 16). Urogynecologic Surgical Mesh Implants. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/implants-and-prosthetics/urogynecologic-surgical-mesh-implants
  16. Washington State Office of the Attorney General. (2019, April 22). Johnson & Johnson Will Pay $9.9 Million for Failing to Disclose the Risk of Its Surgical Mesh Devices. News Release. Retrieved from https://www.atg.wa.gov/news/news-releases/johnson-johnson-will-pay-99-million-failing-disclose-risk-its-surgical-mesh
  17. Wood, S. (2019, May 18). Philadelphia Jury Orders J&J to Pay $80 Million to Media Woman Injured by Vaginal Mesh. The Inquirer. Retrieved from https://www.philly.com/business/pelvic-mesh-verdict-80-million-johnson-and-johnson-media-woman-20190517.html
View All Sources
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