Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon was slapped with a $15 million verdict over claims that its Profit transvaginal mesh device was defectively designed and caused plaintiff Elizabeth Hrymoc to suffer disabling injuries.
Hrymoc’s case is the second bellwether to go to trial in New Jersey. The first bellwether, tried in 2014, resulted in a $11 million verdict for the plaintiff.
Hrymoc, 71, says she was implanted with Ethicon’s Prolift tansvaginal mesh in 2008. She sued Ethicon alleging that the product was defective and caused injuries resulting vaginal pain that left her unable to have sexual intercourse or undergo a pelvic exam.
Transvaginal mesh, such as the Prolift pelvic repair system, is a type of surgical mesh that is inserted into a woman’s vagina to treat pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence. The jury in Hrymoc’s case found that the Prolift system was defectively designed and failed to contain adequate warnings. Punitive damages were awarded based on the jury’s finding that the Prolift design and warnings demonstrated willful and wanton disregard for the health and safety of Hrymoc.
Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman Mindy Tinsley said the company intends to appeal the verdict. The company’s Ethicon subsidiary faces about 2,000 pelvic mesh lawsuits pending in Bergen County, New Jersey. In 2018, it is expected that the court will begin trying two or three case at a time.
Medical device company Bard is also facing about 150 transvaginal mesh lawsuits. And in September, a Philadelphia jury ordered Ethicon to pay $57.1 million – $7.1 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages to a woman who claimed she was maimed by the company’s vaginal mesh.
Source: New Jersey Law Journal