GLOBAL IMPACT OF VAGINAL MESH
I read an article recently about the progress of litigation being pursued on behalf of women-plaintiffs in Australia against pelvic mesh manufacturer Ethicon, subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. I had not heard about the November 2019 ruling by Australian Federal Court Justice Anna Katzmann, where she found the company acted negligently, and undertook misleading and deceptive conduct. The article announced Defendant Ethicon filed an appeal.
The ruling in the case back in November apparently resolved over 1,300 cases of women who suffered from pain and other myriad symptoms following implantation of Ethicon’s pelvic mesh, including the erosion of the surrounding tissues, incontinence, pain during intercourse, and nerve damage. Sometimes, several surgeries are required in an effort to address these resulting injuries. These women have suffered for years. The legal battle has already spanned about 7 years.
While these particulars surround a major legal battle Ethicon is fighting in Australia, this is a global problem for the company and for those patients around the world who have received the implants. Here in the United States, for example, Johnson & Johnson agreed to a $117 million settlement to resolve a multi-district lawsuit in October 2019. A San Diego judge ruled in January that Johnson & Johnson should pay $344 million in damages due to deceptive marketing to women in California.
Of course, the common thread is the suffering of women. Sadly, several manufacturers have been found liable for negligence and deceptive marketing of their vaginal mesh products on a global level, resulting in payouts approaching $8 billion.
For anyone who has experienced pain and suffering following a vaginal mesh implant surgery, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible with any information you might be able to pull from your medical records about the implant, including model or lot numbers.