BAKERSFIELD, Cali. — Medical device and pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a California jury to pay $5.7 million in damages in one of the company’s first trials over its dangerous transvaginal mesh medical device.
Johnson & Johnson’s unit Ethicon was responsible for the design, manufacturing, and sale of TVT Abbrevo – one of the multiple transvaginal mesh products the company sold. Jurors in a Kern County, California state court found Ethicon was responsible for the product’s defective design and failure to warn of the dangers.
The jury came to its decision in less than 3 days. The plaintiff in this case, Coleen Perry, was awarded $700,000 in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded when a company is believed to have been maliciously or grossly negligent. It is a tool used by juries to punish egregious misconduct by corporations. In this case, the jury found Ethicon’s conduct and decision making with regards to the TVT Abbrevo line of transvaginal mesh amounted to “malice.” As such, the victim was awarded the $5 million in punitive damages.
TVT Abbrevo Line
The TVT Abbrevo line is a newer transvaginal mesh device by Ethicon and the Perry case is the first lawsuit involving this particular transvagial mesh product line. It received approval from the FDA in 2010 and was marketed as a long-term treatment for stress urinary incontinence. Abbrevo used a laser-cut mesh rather than mechanically cut mesh as a cost-cutting measure. This was done despite the fact that a safer, longer-lasting alternative was available.
In 2011 Ms. Perry had surgery to have the Abbrevo transvaginal inserted. Immediately after surgery, she experienced significant pain. It turns out the transvaginal mesh was eroding within her body shortly after being implanted. Since the erosion of the device, Ms. Perry has experienced chronic pain and other symptoms that have the potential to last long after the mesh is removed.
Transvaginal mesh is a synthetic netting that was popular amongst surgeons to repair pelvic organ prolapse and treat urinary incontinence. The mesh was created to shore up the muscles in the pelvic region and prevent the organs fall through (prolapse). However, because the mesh has been found to erode, it causes various health complications. Infection, pain, incontinence, internal bleeding or scarring, and sexual problems are the most common. Organ damage and organ prolapse are the more serious health risks.
The $5.7 million verdict is one of first against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon. Ethicon itself is facing thousands of lawsuits in federal and state court for its faulty transvaginal mesh. Despite the many pending lawsuits, TVT Abbrevo is still on the market.
The Transvaginal Mesh No Fee Promise
If you or a loved one has been harmed by vaginal mesh, you may have a claim against the manufacturer. Our award winning attorneys specialize in filing lawsuits for people who have been wronged by serious side-effects of prescription medications and defective medical devices. We operate under our No Fee Promise, which means you will not pay a dime until your case has been accepted and you receive your settlement. We will put it in writing for you.
To get started on your case, simply call our offices any time of the day at (866) 280-4722 or fill out the Free Case Review Form on the side of this page. We will listen to your story, explain what rights you have, and determine if you have a potential lawsuit against the device manufacturer. Remember, there are strict time deadlines to filing defective drug and device claims and if you do not act quickly your claim will be lost forever.