Initial Vaginal Mesh Cases Result In Large Awards Against Manufacturer

Last week, on February 28th an Atlantic County, New Jersey jury delivered a $7.76 million dollar verdict in punitive damages to Plaintiff Linda Gross, a South Dakota nurse, after determining Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn Mrs. Gross and her physician of the potential risks from the Prolift vaginal mesh implant made the company’s Ethicon Inc. subsidiary. The award comes on the tail of the jury’s February 25th verdict of $3.35 million in compensatory damages. (Gross v. Gynecare Inc., ATL-L-6966-10, Superior Court of Atlantic County, New Jersey (Atlantic City)

The case was the first Ethicon mesh lawsuit to go to trial in a consolidated litigation pending in Atlantic County Superior Court; it was the first in the nation to be tried before a jury as well. According to Reuters, there are approximately 11,000 other claims filed against the several manufacturers of vaginal mesh implants which have been consolidated into five cases pending in federal court in West Virginia.

Regarding the first TVM trial as referenced above, and after a six week trial, a New Jersey Superior Court jury ruled against Transvaginal Mesh manufacturer Johnson & Johnson in a momentous verdict, determining the company’s Ethicon Inc. subsidiary was liable for injuries a patient suffered after receiving a vaginal mesh implant. According to Reuters, the jury awarded Plaintiff Linda Gross of South Dakota $3.35 million for injuries attributed to the implant that forced her to undergo multiple corrective surgeries. (Gross v. Gynecare, Inc., Superior Court, New Jersey, ATL – L – 6966-10).

Gross, a 47 year old nurse, sued Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary, Ethicon Inc., after contending she sustained serious injuries from its Gynecare Prolift mesh implanted to treat pelvic organ prolapse in 2005. Gross is among the thousands of women filing transvaginal mesh lawsuits against Ethicon’s Gynecare Prolift mesh, alleging the device caused serious physical injuries that are extremely painful and often debilitating. Many women are forced to undergo additional surgeries in effort to repair the damage cause by the mesh, and remove the implant which often becomes deeply embedded in the body. In June 2012, it was revealed that Ethicon would withdraw four mesh products from the market, including: Gynecare Prolift Pelvic Floor Repair System, Gynecare Prolift+M Pelvic Floor Repair System, Gynecare Prosima Pelvic Floor Repair System, and Gynecare TVT Secur System.