Who is Responsible for J&J’s DePuy ASR, Pinnacle, Ethicon’s Gynecare, and Merck’s Vioxx and Fosamax?
Consumers injured by defective devices face an armada of attorneys as they seek to hold accountable device makers such as J&J’s hip implants DePuy ASR, DePuy Pinnacle, J&J’s transvaginal mesh product Ethicon, and Merck’s FOSAMAX that has left countless post menopausal women with atypical femur fractures. Currently there are over 10,000 pending cases in the DePuy ASR litigation, over 3,000 pending cases in the DePuy Pinnacle litigation, and over 12,000 women injured by transvaginal mesh in litigation, 3,800 from J&J’s Ethicon.
Hip implant users experienced intense pain, poisoning from the release of metal, and revision surgery as DePuy has recalled the DePuy ASR and issued a silent recall of the DePuy Pinnacle by ceasing manufacturing of the metal on metal devices.
Women using the Ethicon transvaginal mesh have suffered mesh eroding and sticking through the walls of the bladder or vagina, causing burning and pain. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Canada stated, “Until adequate effectiveness and safety evidence is available, the use of the new TVM devices for prolapse repair should be considered experimental and restricted to use in investigative trials.”
All of these devices were approved by the FDA using the 510(k) process, which allowed the companies to piggyback on earlier approved products thereby avoiding necessary studies, and then marketing the devices as the next generation of improvements.
For more than a decade up to April 2012, J&J’s CEO was William Weldon, who stepped aside to make room for Alex Gorsky. A former sales representative, whose marketing background led him to the top of the J&J pyramid, Weldon’s tenure was marked by numerous lawsuits over defective products, recalls, and government investigation. For many of the people injured by the DePuy ASR or Ethicon vaginal mesh products, when they failed to perform in their jobs or were no longer able to perform, they were shown the door. For Weldon retirement brought $143.5 million in pension, retirement benefits, and deferred compensation, not to mention his 2012 total compensation of $29,839 million.
For Alex Gorsky, who also climbed the ladder through sales and marketing to presiding over the transvaginal mesh defendant Ethicon, the year was not exactly a bust as he garnered $10.98 million. In June 2012, two months into his tenure, the Ethicon unit stopped selling four of its Gynecare mesh products as lawsuits increased. These are Gynecare Prolift Kit, Gynecare Prolift+M Kit, Gynecare TVT Secur, and Gynecare Prosima Pelvic Floor Repair System. Ethicon continues to sell Gynecare Gynemesh, but changed the labeling to restrict its use to abdominal implantations.
Remember the Vioxx disaster? Arthritis suffers thought they had the new generation of pain relief but instead suffered serious heart related problems leading to deaths, devastated lives, and ultimately an over $4.6 billion dollar settlement. In 2011, the company also agreed to pay $950 million to settle criminal charges and civil allegations stemming from its promotion and marketing of the painkiller Vioxx.
The architect of the Vioxx defense was a former lawyer at Drinker Biddle & Reath of Philadelphia who joined Merck’s legal department named Kenneth Frazier and was rewarded for his efforts by moving farther up the corporate ladder to the CEO position in December 2011.
For his efforts in 2012, he received $1.5 million in salary, $3.28 million in stock, $3.8 million worth of options, and $2.5 million in incentive pay, plus $4.32 million worth of pension growth and deferred compensation and $57,850 worth of perks and other compensation.
For the people who had to have their hip replaced because of using J&J’s defective DePuy ASR or DePuy Pinnacle, the women who suffer intense pain and loss of intimate relations with their partners because of the erosion of the Ethicon Gynecare transvaginal mesh, and the countless women who used Merck’s Fosamax to strengthen bones only to suffer an atypical femur fracture, they will never know the corporate financial windfall, perks and compensation of Weldon, Gorsky, and Frazier. All they will know is the pain these men presided over and the damage to their lives.
The Brandi Law Firm continues to represent people injured by ACTOS, FOSAMAX, Transvaginal Mesh and the DePuy hip implants. We believe that ultimately that these drug companies will be held accountable in these cases. If you would like more information, go to our website, or contact us at 1-800-481-1615 or email us.