Thursday, a Dallas jury found transvaginal mesh manufacturer Ethicon and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson (J&J), the world’s largest maker of transvaginal mesh implants, liable for defects associated with the company’s TVT-O transvaginal mesh sling.
The mesh patient, Linda Batiste, aged 64, was awarded $1.2 million for suffering serious health issues from her transvaginal mesh device implanted to treat incontinence, due to its defective design. This was the first verdict against the company over these devices.
Jurors in state court in Dallas, Texas found that the design of the TV-O mesh sling was defective and that she deserved $1.2 million in compensatory damages in a trial that lasted more than two weeks.
Batiste suffered severe and debilitating pelvic pain when the J&J device eroded inside her body. She was not awarded punitive damages.
This verdict represents the first time a state court jury found that Ethicon’s sling products are defective.
The mechanically cut TVT-O mesh is still being used today, as well as other similar products like the TVT-Secur and TVT-Abrevo.
Many patients who have transvaginal mesh implants have been forced to undergo additional surgeries to correct problems associated with the slings after they were implanted.
As we have been following these cases and reporting to you, there are currently more than 12,000 lawsuits involving J&J’s transvaginal mesh implants, alleging that Ethicon improperly designed the vaginal slings, that caused serious damage to women’s internal organs, causing painful intercourse, among other health issues, many of which are permanent. Most of the cases have been consolidated before a federal judge in West Virginia for pre-trial information purposes, while other cases are being heard in state courts.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have ordered J&J, C.R. Bard Inc. (BCR) and 31 other transvaginal mesh implant makers to study the rate of organ damage and complications directly linked to the implant devices.
It is reported that in 2010, doctors inserted more than 70,000 transvaginal mesh implant devices in the U.S. for the intent of strengthening weakened pelvic floor muscles, needed to aid in stress incontinence.
The first case to go to trial regarding transvaginal mesh implant devices was in 2013 when a New Jersey jury found that J&J was liable and awarded $11.1 million in damages to a woman who alleged that she was injured by a Prolift device. The jurors found that Ethicon knew about complications related to its Gynecare Prolift transvaginal mesh (TVM) device, but did not adequately warn the plaintiff and continued marketing their defective device.
The jury awarded 47-year-old Linda Gross and her husband $3.35 million in February 2013, and then an additional $7.8 million in punitive damages.
Ethicon still faces thousands of cases over transvaginal mesh implants, which are used to treat incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Plaintiffs complain that the devices eroded and shrunk, leaving them with debilitating problems.
In February 2014, Judge Goodwin, overseeing the federal transvaginal consolidated litigation in West Virginia, rejected a woman’s claims that another line of the company’s sling inserts was defective.
We will keep you updated on any news regarding these mesh implant devices.
For more information, contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).