Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon Inc., were hit with a $120 million verdict after a Philadelphia jury found that the companies’ transvaginal mesh implant caused a Pennsylvania woman to suffer from chronic pain, incontinence and the inability to have sexual intercourse with her husband, Law360 reported.
It is the seventh jury verdict awarded to women who claimed to have suffered injuries from allegedly defective J&J transvaginal mesh, and is more than twice the largest award among them. The verdict brings the total damages awarded to more than $270 million.
The trial involved the case of Susan McFarland who, in 2008, was implanted with J&J and Ethicon’s TVT-O pelvic implant, a mesh that is inserted through the vagina to hold up organs that have dropped due to age or injury. The mesh treats a condition called pelvic organ prolapse, which can cause urinary incontinence. McFarland claimed the mesh eroded into the soft tissue in her pelvis and punctured her vagina. She had to undergo surgery to remove pieces of the implant but remains in pain.
McFarland’s case went to trial in September, but the jury was deadlocked on whether the mesh had caused her injuries. The retrial began in March, but was halted for a month after an expert witness suffered a heart attack.
McFarland’s attorney argued that Ethicon had moved swiftly to put the device on the market and didn’t conduct any tests to determine if the transvaginal mesh was safe or effective.
The verdict comes just a week after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered all manufacturers of all transvaginal mesh devices to immediately stop selling and distributing their products due to a lack of “reasonable assurance” that they were safe or effective. Johnson & Johnson had already halted sales of its vaginal mesh. There are more than 48,000 lawsuits suing medical device companies over injuries they say were caused by their defective transvaginal mesh products.