Deliberations have begun in the first lawsuit to be tried in Philadelphia alleging injuries from defectively designed transvaginal mesh manufactured by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon Inc.
Plaintiff Patricia Hammons claims that shards from the transvaginal mesh she had implanted between her bladder and vagina in 2009 to shore up organs that had prolapsed, causing incontinence and discomfort, became imbedded in her bladder. As a result, she says she is unable to have sexual intercourse, which has left her feeling less of a woman and in fear of losing her boyfriend.
Attorneys for Ethicon argued that Hammons was unaware that her symptoms could be caused by her transvaginal mesh implant until she saw a new doctor in 2012. She filed her lawsuit in May 2013. The defense claims that Hammons failed to prove that she was unaware of the connection between her symptoms and transvagional mesh before May 2011, suggesting that her claim fell outside the two-year statute of limitations.
Hammons’ attorneys fired back, alleging that that Ethicon provided false data on the safety and success of its Prolift mesh. Hammons’ physician, who performed the initial surgery, said that if he had known in 2009 what he now knows about the Prolift, he would not have used it on his patient.
Ethicon faces the highest number of federal lawsuits involving its transvaginal mesh devices. In January 2015, the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary agreed to settle four lawsuits for an undisclosed amount. In September 2014, a West Virginia jury slapped Ethicon with a $3.27 million verdict over injuries caused by its Gynecare TVT mesh. In 2013, a New Jersey jury hit Ethicon with an $11 million verdict. Also that year, a Texas state jury hit it with another $1.2 million in transvaginal mesh litigation.
Source: Law 360