As reported in Bloomberg news, the Philadelphia jury found that the Ethicon mesh device had a defective design, verdict includes $17.5 million in punishment damages. Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $20 million to a New Jersey woman who blames the company’s vaginal-mesh device for leaving her in constant pain.
Johnson and Johnson $20M Mesh Verdict
A state-court jury in Philadelphia found that J&J’s TVT-Secur mesh, designed to treat incontinence in women, was defectively designed and caused Margaret Engleman’s injuries. The panel awarded her $2.5 million and then hammered J&J and its Ethicon unit with $17.5 million in punitive damages.
Punitive damages are designed to punish the company for wrongdoing and reckless behavior.
The verdict is the first against J&J over the vaginal-mesh devices in more than a year. The world’s largest pharmaceutical and medical device maker hasn’t faced any vaginal mesh injury trials while it tried to negotiate settlements in some of the more than 54,000 lawsuits filed over the alleged defective medical device products.
The company is exposed to three more trials in Philadelphia in the next two months.
Johnson and Johnson under fire over its vaginal mesh
J&J has lost at least five jury awards totaling more than $35 million over the vaginal-mesh devices since 2014. It has settled other cases, including one for as much as $5 million. Johnson & Johnson has won several cases, including a 2015 lawsuit in Texas over its Prosima inserts. J&J is appealing some of the plaintiff’s wins.
J&J Vaginal mesh recall
Almost five years ago, J&J voluntarily pulled four lines of vaginal-mesh devices, including the TVT-Secur device, off the market after facing a tsunami of product liability and personal injury lawsuits. Ethicon is the J&J unit that sells the mesh.
The decision to stop selling the vaginal mesh devices came several months after the FDA ordered J&J and more than 20 other makers of such devices, designed to treat incontinence and shore up weakened pelvic muscles, to conduct further studies about their health risks.
Engleman said the TVT-Secur mesh eroded once it was placed in her body in 2007, forcing her to undergo multiple surgeries to try and remove the mesh. The insert caused her “sharp stabbing pain” and exacerbated her bladder problems, according to court filings.
“I’m happy I could be a voice for other women,” Engleman said Friday. “It’s been a nightmare.”
The case is Engleman v. Ethicon, No., 05385, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.
If you or a loved was injured by a vaginal mesh or bladder sling device or required surgery to remove the device, contact the Dr. Shezad Malik law firm immediately 888-210-9693. Our office handles vaginal mesh and bladder sling device lawsuits nationwide.
Shezad Malik is an Internal Medicine and Cardiology specialist, a Texas Medical Doctor (retired) and Defective Medical Device and Dangerous Drug Attorney. Dr. Shezad Malik Law Firm has offices based in Fort Worth and Dallas and represents people who have suffered catastrophic and serious personal injuries including wrongful death, caused by the negligence or recklessness of others.