By Marilyn T. McGoldrick, Esq.
Published on May 28, 2019
A Philadelphia jury ordered Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, to pay $80 million dollars to a woman who was injured by her Prolift transvaginal mesh implant. The verdict included an award of $50 million dollars in punitive damages. This is the 10th mesh-related case tried in Philadelphia and the 8th verdict in favor of plaintiffs.
Patricia Mesigian was implanted with Ethicon’s Prolift mesh in 2008 when she was 64. The implant was intended to treat her pelvic organ prolapse, a condition where the muscles supporting the organs weaken allowing the organs to drop down and press on or into the vagina. Instead of treating her condition, the implant caused her vaginal bleeding and pain, discomfort during sex, infection, and inflammation. Eventually the mesh eroded into her vagina and she endured 5 surgeries and two chemical burn treatments in an attempt to remove the mesh which was embedded in scar tissue.
The jury deliberated two days before reaching its verdict. They found the Prolift implant was defective and that the defendants failed to adequately describe the risks. The jury awarded Ms. Mesigian $30 million in compensatory damages.
This is the second verdict against Ethicon in less than one month. An Altoona woman was awarded $120 million in April for the defective mesh she was implanted with to treat urinary incontinence. The verdict comes in the wake of the FDA’s decision to ban the last two manufacturers of pelvic mesh, Boston Scientific and Coloplast, from selling or distributing mesh products for transvaginal repair of pelvic organ prolapse in the United States. The FDA said that the manufacturers were unable to show that the products were safe or effective for the treatment of organ prolapse, compared to repair procedure using native tissues. Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit stopped selling the Prolift transvaginal mesh implants in 2012.
J&J’s Ethicon issued a statement saying that the verdict was “inconsistent with the science” and that they plan to appeal.
Any woman who has mesh implanted to treat pelvic organ prolapse who is having any symptoms connected with the implant should contact her doctor immediately. The injuries caused by defective transvaginal mesh may include vaginal bleeding or discharge, severe pelvic or groin pain, infection, pain during sexual intercourse, urinary problems, or perforated organs from mesh eroding into surrounding tissues. Do not delay seeking medical attention if you have any symptoms you believe are related to your transvaginal mesh implant.
If you would like to explore your legal options regarding your mesh implant, call the transvaginal mesh lawyers at Thornton Law Firm at 888-491-9726 to talk with Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick. You can also tell us your story online for a confidential, free evaluation of your claim.