CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit continues to face lawsuits for its defective transvaginal mesh, it is important to remember the company’s flagrant misconduct and efforts to hide the truth in the past.
J&J in Recent Years
In December 2013 it was revealed that officials at Johnson & Johnson destroyed hundreds of thousands of documents over the span of a decade – documents that would have been crucial in any transvaginal mesh litigation the company might face. Victims’ attorneys filed a 30-page brief detailing J&J’s activities in the federal district court in West Virginia that has been overseeing many of the transvaginal mesh cases
Although there was a government order in place to preserve any materials or documents, thousands of documents, notes, databases, emails, video, and other records were lost and destroyed. These documents had the potential to provide key pieces of information on Ethicon’s senior officers who were in charge of developing its TVT and TVT-O transvaginal mesh and its Prolift mesh kit. This includes Renee Selman, Former Worldwide President for Women’s Health & Urology at Ethicon. Selman and other officials were in charge when the company’s experts and sales representatives documented safety failures, dealt with complaints and warranty failures, were involved in market surveillance, and who were in contact with the FDA during the time. Other officials include Ramy Mahmoud, Chief Medical Officer, and Charlotte Owens, Global Medical Director, among others. Mahmoud was missing tens of thousands of files from his hard drive and only 27 were turned over by Ethicon. Ethicon produced 6 documents from Owens’ computer when there should have been 14,000.
Ethicon, the J&J unit specifically implicated in the destruction of evidence, claims that it already turned over millions of documents to the plaintiffs and never intentionally destroyed anything. Selman, however, admits that any documents on her company computer were destroyed.
Why is this important? The information missing in these files could be used to prove how much the company knew about the dangers of transvaginal mesh and whether they should then be subject to punitive damages. Punitive damages are a tool the court may use to punish egregious corporate behavior and award harmed plaintiffs.
Purpose of Transvaginal Mesh
Transvaginal mesh is a synthetic surgical material used in women whose pelvic muscles have weakened considerably. The mesh is meant to prevent or treat pelvic organ prolapse – which occurs when pelvic organs, like the bladder, fall from their normal place and into the vagina. It is a condition that causes pain, incontinence, bleeding, and sexual dysfunction.
Transvaginal mesh was designed to prevent this from happening by shoring up the muscles in the region. However, it has been found to do the opposite. It has also been found to cause even more serious health issues as the mesh may break off or disintegrate. This causes prolapse, damaged tissue, and the puncture of neighboring organs. In July 2011, the FDA issued a warning to surgeons stating that using transvaginal mesh could lead to serious health complications.
Our Lawyers Can Help
Our dangerous device attorneys can help if you or someone you care about was harmed by a transvaginal mesh implant. Lawsuits have been filed against the device maker by both patients and their families seeking compensation for injuries caused by the dangerous device. You may be entitled to a settlement. We do not charge any legal fees unless you receive a settlement and we pay all of the case costs. If your claim is not successful for any reason, you do not owe us anything. We put it all in writing for you. Our transvaginal mesh lawyers will help you file your lawsuit.
Our No Fee Promise on Transvaginal Mesh Cases
You can afford to have our great team of lawyers on your side. When you choose us, it literally costs nothing to get started. We promise you in writing:
- No money to get started
- We pay all case costs and expenses
- No legal fees whatsoever unless you receive a settlement
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Start Your Transvaginal Mesh Claim
Our transvaginal mesh lawyers will help you file your lawsuit. To get started, you can:
- Submit the Free Case Review Box on this page, or
- Call (866) 280-4722 any time of day to tell us about your case.
We will listen to your story and answer your questions. If you have claim, we will start immediately.
WARNING: There are strict time deadlines for filing transvaginal mesh lawsuit claims.