In a resounding victory for Plaintiff, Ms. Linda Gross, in the Superior Court of Atlantic County, N.J., the jury reached a partial verdict in her favor for $3.35 million in compensatory damages against Johnson & Johnson for their defective transvaginal mesh implant.
Transvaginal mesh implants are implanted to help strengthen pelvic muscles following prolapse. The mesh will harden in the tissues, causing scaring and inflammation; the mesh fused with muscles and tissues, which makes removing it very difficult. Women who have mesh implants may suffer from perforation of organs, erosion of vaginal tissue, vaginal bleeding, vaginal scaring, and sever pain. Gross, a former nurse, had the device implanted in mid-2006 for pelvic organ prolapse, but instead of strengthening and relieving pain, the device actually caused more agony. Gross was so uncomfortable and in such excruciating pain, she was unable to sit down.
Johnson & Johnson released the product prior to FDA approval; instead of conducting lengthy tests, the company compared the Gynecare Prolift to another one of its mesh products already on the market, Gynecare Gynemesh. Internal emails show the pharmaceutical company was aware of the failure rate during testing, disregarded the potential risks, and placed the implant on the market for sale. Johnson & Johnson is not the only company manufacturing mesh products, other major mesh manufacturers include: American Medical Systems, Boston Scientific and C.R. Bard, Inc.