Oregon's Attorney General Sues Johnson & Johnson for Deceptive Marketing of Vaginal Mesh Devices
Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson for alleged deceptive marketing of its transvaginal mesh devices. According to a news report, the suit also names J&J’s subsidiary Ethicon Inc. Rosenblum alleges the companies deceptively marketed the surgical mesh devices by failing to disclose dangerous complications. So far, at least 3,700 Oregon women have had the devices implanted without enough information about their risk and benefits, the lawsuit states.
Risk of Serious Complications
The complaint states that the pharmaceutical corporation marketed surgical mesh to doctors and patients as “minimally invasive with minimal risk” without disclosing the risk for permanent and debilitating complications. It said J&J did this in spite of being urged by its own medical advisers and employees to use different mesh in some of its devices and to warn doctors and patients of pain with intercourse, sexual dysfunction and impact on the quality of life.
J&J persisted in misrepresenting the risks of these devices even after receiving complaints from doctors and patients about severe complications from the vaginal mesh device, the lawsuit said. Various manufacturers of vaginal mesh devices have settled about $8 billion worth of personal injury claims arising from these defective products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration stopped the sale of pelvic mesh to treat organ prolapse even though similar products are used to treat urinary incontinence in women.
Statistics show that an estimated 10 to 20 percent of women worldwide who received pelvic mesh implants suffered severe side effects. The side effects range from severe and chronic pain to nerve damage, organ damage and inability to have sexual intercourse. The plastic in the mesh devices is known to erode and disintegrate. In many women, it has sliced through organs and vaginal walls causing severe pain and irreparable damage. Women have been unable to get these mesh devices, or pieces of the devices, out of their bodies even after multiple surgeries to remove them.
Product Liability Issues
J&J and Ethicon continue to maintain that their products are safe to use even after several regulatory bodies in Canada, Europe and Australia have deemed these products unsafe for use, saying that the risks outweigh the benefits. It appears that J&J and other manufacturers knew this fact for a long time, but failed to disclose it to consumers because it might have cost them billions of dollars in profits.
If you or a loved one has suffered side effects due to a transvaginal mesh implant, please contact an experienced product defect lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights. You may be able to receive compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of surgeries, permanent injuries, disabilities, loss of life’s enjoyment, pain and suffering and emotional distress.