West Virginia Federal Jury Awards $3.27 Million Verdict against Johnson and Johnson’s Ethicon
In another victory for plaintiffs against vaginal-mesh implant manufacturers, a federal jury in West Virginia found for the plaintiff Jo Huskey and ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $3.27 million. Jurors found that J&J defectively designed the Ethicon TVT-O sling and failed to properly warn doctors and patients the device could erode, subsequently damaging organs and causing pain. The case was presided over by Judge Joseph Goodwin. (Huskey v. Ethicon, 12-cv-05201, U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia (Charleston)).
Huskey, a physical therapy assistant from Illinois, was implanted with her Ethicon sling in 2011. She had surgery to remove the device later that year after suffering pain.
Click here to read the full Bloomberg article: J&J Ordered to Pay $3.27 Million Over Mesh Implant
The TVT-O (transvaginal tape obturator) is a polypropylene mesh hammock, sling or tape, designed to support the urethra and correct stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Like the TVT (transvaginal tape), TVT-O is implanted through the vagina, but unlike the TVT which exits through the lower abdomen, the TVT-O has an exit point through the groin, making mesh injuries and mesh removal potentially harmful and injurious. Both types of mesh hammocks are still on the market.
Vaginal Mesh Trial History
Bard has lost two jury trials, settled a third case after a jury selected, and settled a fourth before trial commenced. In July 2012, a California jury awarded Christine Scott and her husband $5.5 million after she underwent nine revision surgeries. Scott sued C.R. Bard in 2009 over its Avaulta Plus mesh product.
In February 2013, Linda Gross won $11.11 million in her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon brand over its Prolift vaginal mesh product. Gross had 18 surgeries. The New Jersey jury found that J&J failed to warn patients and doctors about the risks of its mesh products and made fraudulent misrepresentations.
On August 15, 2013, after about 12 hours of deliberation, the jury found for Donna Cisson in her vaginal mesh trial against manufacturer C.R. Bard Inc, and found damages in the amount of $250,000 and $1.75 million in punitive damages. The jury found that Bard failed to provide adequate warnings as to the defects in its vaginal mesh product and that the device was defective. Judge Joseph Goodwin upheld the 2 million verdict in October 2013 as appropriate and that Cisson’s attorneys proved the company’s vaginal mesh was the cause of her injuries. In Queen vs. Bard, starting trial immediately after Cisson, a settlement was reached after the jury was selected. Finally, Bard settled Melanie Virgil’s claims that Bard’s Avaulta Plus insert caused urinary problems before trial commenced in New Jersey.
On February 18, 2014, Judge Joseph Goodwin granted Ethicon’s Motion for Directed Verdict at the close of Plaintiff’s case in Lewis vs. Ethicon, Inc. (In Re: Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2327, Carolyn Lewis, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 2:12-4301, S.D. W.Va.).
On April 4, 2014, a Dallas jury found for the plaintiff Linda Batiste and ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $1.2 million for its defective design of the Ethicon TVT-O pelvic mesh.
Two Massachusetts juries recently rejected women’s claims that Boston Scientific’s incontinence sling was defective designed and injured women.
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