Emotions ran high during the month of April in the ongoing, tension-filled legal battle between survivors of vaginal mesh complications and the manufacturing companies that make and market the dangerous implants. Johnson & Johnson, and its subsidiary, Ethicon, are the largest perpetrators with as many as 30,000 lawsuits filed against them. Their TVT-O pelvic mesh sling, one of the primary products alleged to be defective, continues to be promoted by the company and used by doctors.
Used to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has spoken out against the sling-shaped, synthetic mesh designed to support and strengthen pelvic floor muscles. They stated that compared to more traditional procedures that treat the same conditions, not only does vaginal mesh not provide any added benefit, but the risk of complications is greater.
JOHNSON & JOHNSON HURTS WOMEN CAMPAIGN
Outrage last month reached a new zenith with the formation of the “Johnson & Johnson Hurts Women” campaign and website, an initiative of the Corporate Action Network (CAN). As an organization that stands up for individuals who have been wronged by corporate negligence, CAN seeks to hold Johnson & Johnson accountable for their actions, and works toward ensuring those who have been wronged receive compensation, while striving to put an end to the promotion of vaginal mesh. The site encourages whistleblowers to come forward with information about Johnson & Johnson’s unethical practices, and contains an open letter to Senator Kay Hagan requesting a U.S. Senate investigation into the matter.
On April 24th, not long after the formation of CAN’s campaign, Johnson & Johnson had their annual shareholders meeting. With a “Johnson & Johnson Hurts Women” banner in hand, protesters and victims of vaginal mesh gathered on the sidewalk outside of the J&J meeting place to speak out about their experiences and demand justice. One attendee, Robert Fish, said his 68-year-old mother shot herself in 2011 because the pain resulting from her 2008 implant was so bad. Estelle Tasz of Pittsburgh, 37, gave a tearful statement, “I’m not the person I was, the mom I was, and obviously not the wife I was. I want answers and I want my life back.”
But according to Johnson & Johnson CEO, Alex Gorsky, the company is doing well, seeing a four cent share increase, and yet more approvals for medical devices and prescription drugs in the last year.
All of this followed some good news from earlier in April when Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $1.2 million to 64-year-old Linda Batiste who was implanted with the TVT-O mesh sling to treat incontinence and later experienced pelvic pain when the device eroded inside her. The Texas jury concluded that the implant was, in fact, flawed.
This ruling is good news following U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin’s decision to throw out a case last February due to insufficient evidence. Judge Goodwin is overseeing the bulk of the cases, which have been consolidated in West Virginia.
If you or a loved one has undergone a vaginal mesh procedure, you may have legal recourse to collect compensation for your damages. Don’t settle for an inexperienced attorney. The experienced class action lawyers at Meshbesher & Spence will help you seek compensation for your injuries. Experience does make a difference. Please fill out the case evaluation form or call our offices to speak to an attorney today. There is no cost or obligation to have your claim reviewed.