A jury in Philadelphia has ordered Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, to pay $120 million to a woman who was severely injured by a vaginal mesh implanted to treat urinary incontinence. According to a report on Philly.com, jurors found that Ethicon was negligent in the design of the transvaginal mesh device, a strip of mesh, which has eroded into the woman’s vagina. The plaintiff, 68-year-old Susan McFarland, had the medical device implanted in 2008 and was left suffering from pelvic pain and chronic urinary tract infections. Like many others, surgeries to remove the mesh failed to help her.
The $120 million verdict includes $100 million in punitive damages, which is believed to be the largest to date in a vaginal mesh case. Her attorneys said McFarland is not able to have sex and hasn’t been able to since she got her implant 10 years ago. The inability to have intimacy affected her deeply, her attorney said. Johnson & Johnson has said it would appeal the verdict. The jury deliberated for three hours before arriving at the verdict.
Vaginal Mesh Disasters
This has been a big week for those who have been injured by vaginal mesh implants. The numbers are large worldwide – tens of thousands of women. Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered the two remaining medical device companies – Boston Scientific and Coloplast – from selling surgical mesh for the repair of pelvic organ prolapse to stop all sales and distribution in the United States. Also last week, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $9.9 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the state of Washington state accusing the health-care giant of misrepresenting the risks of pelvic mesh implants.
Injuries and Damages Caused
We are representing a number of women who have suffered and continue to suffer horrific injuries including mesh erosion, chronic pain, inability to have sexual intercourse, and organ damage. In addition, a number of women, because they are unable to function normally, end up losing their jobs and careers and even struggle to care for their children. Women also suffer serious psychological issues as a result of these physical injuries. One study out of the United Kingdom showed that one in 20 women who suffered serious side effects due to pelvic mesh implants have attempted suicide.
These are dangerous and defective products that should be removed from the market. If you or a loved one has been injured by vaginal mesh implants, please contact an experienced product defect attorney who can help you better understand your legal rights and options.