Johnson & Johnson was slapped with a $57.1 million verdict, awarded to a woman who alleges her pelvic mesh implant was defective, scarred her urethra, and caused her incontinence.
Ella Ebaugh, the recipient of two Ethicon pelvic mesh devices, claims the mesh was defective, ultimately leaving her with a “mutilated” urethra and severe incontinence. The award included an eye-popping $50 million in punitive damages, Law360 reports.
“Hopefully they recognize that their conduct was reckless,” Ebaugh’s attorney told Law360. “I hope this sends a clear message that they did something wrong with these products and that they really think, going forward, about what they do.”
Ebaugh’s two pelvic mesh devices were the now-recalled TVT-Secur and the “standard” TVT mesh. She was first implanted with the TVT-Secur mesh in May 2007 as treatment for her stress urinary incontinence. When she saw no improvements, she received the second TVT device a few weeks later.
Three years later, Ebaugh met with her doctor about the sudden urges to urinate and severe pelvic pain. Upon further testing, her doctor found that the mesh had eroded into her urethra. Several surgeries and an incision from “hip to hip” only served to confirm that the mesh had scarred her urethra, which caused her incontinence.
This isn’t the first case against Ethicon for a mesh product it manufactured and sold. The number of Physiomesh lawsuits are quickly climbing to 100, and have already been consolidated into a multi-district litigation.
Physiomesh is a hernia mesh device made of polypropylene, coated in four additional layers that the company claims will incorporate into the human body more effectively and help prevent infection. However, the complaints claim the five-layer design actually discourages adequate fluid drainage and leads to a buildup of infection-causing bacteria.