Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Inc., was hit with an $80 million verdict in the latest trial blaming the company’s transvaginal mesh for causing chronic pain and other injuries, Law360 reported. The verdict brings the total damages against Ethicon over its pelvic mesh to nearly $350 million.
The trial involved the case of Patricia “Jill” Mesigian, 75, who received a Prolift mesh implant in September 2008 to treat pelvic organ prolapse, a condition in which the pelvic organs drop down into the vagina. But shortly after being implanted with the mesh, she started bleeding vaginally. When she underwent surgery to treat her symptoms, doctors discovered that a portion of the mesh had cut into her vagina, and removed the portion of mesh.
Four years later, Mesigian began bleeding again and sex had become painful. That’s when doctors discovered that the mesh had, once again, eroded into her vagina. She underwent a third surgery to remove more of the mesh. But it would’t be the last. From 2013 to 2017, Mesigian endured three more surgeries and two treatments to remove scar tissue. She is left with chronic pain.
The $80 million awarded to Mesigian includes $50 million in punitive damages.
In April, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered all manufacturers of transvaginal mesh for pelvic organ prolapse repair to stop selling and distributing their products in the U.S., citing a lack of “reasonable assurance” that the devices were safe or effective.
About 1 in 8 women has surgery to repair pelvic organ prolapse. Reports of mesh erosion resulting in chronic and disabling pain have escalated in recent years. The FDA has previously issued warnings about the devices, resulting in waning sales. As a result, Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon stopped selling its transvaginal mesh products. Ethicon faces more than 22,000 lawsuits over its faulty mesh.