Johnson & Johnson is facing a $20 million verdict for injuries a New Jersey woman suffered due to a vaginal mesh device, the Pensacola News Journal reports.
Margaret Engleman, 55, of Cinnaminson, New Jersey, was implanted with a vaginal mesh made by Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, in 2007 to relieve stress urinary incontinence, a condition in which small amounts of urine are leaked during exercise, sneezing, laughing or coughing.
The vaginal mesh device is made of knitted polypropylene fabric, and is used to reinforce the walls of the bladder. It is designed to be a permanent implant, unable to be removed even if the device proves to be defective.
The Pensacola News Journal, part of the USA Today Network, stated that just two months after her surgery, Engleman began experiencing excruciating pain and discomfort. Doctors inspected the device and determined it had begun to erode inside her body. Three surgeries later, doctors were unable to remove the mesh causing her pain.
Engleman filed a lawsuit against the medical device manufacturing giant accusing them of selling a defective device, as well as failure to warn of its risks. The lawsuit also claims the company had been well aware of the risks, but continued marketing and selling the device.
After only two weeks at trial in Common Pleas Court, a verdict was made against Johnson & Johnson for an eye-popping amount of $20 million. Of that amount, $2.5 million is for compensatory damages and $17.5 million is for punitive damages.
Engleman’s massive verdict award is the third consecutive eight-figure verdict against Johnson & Johnson in a mesh case handled in a Philadelphia courtroom.