Thousands of lawsuits are pending for the harm and injuries that have been caused by the use of vaginal mesh or slings in the treatment of female reproductive issues. The first verdict against one maker of vaginal mesh, Johnson & Johnson, awarded a woman in a New Jersey court a $3.35 million compensatory award. In addition, the company was also instructed to pay another $7.76 million in punitive damages, for a grand total of $11.1 million. This landmark case and the large verdict gave a glimpse into the severity of the damage caused by these implants.
Is Such A Large Verdict Justified?
Linda Gross is the 47-year old former nurse from South Dakota that was awarded the first large award in a vaginal mesh case. She first had the mesh implanted in 2006 to give support to weakened pelvis muscles. She has complained of severe pain that has plagued her for years since the implant. Since receiving the vaginal mesh, she has had 18 surgeries to try and fix the damage that the mesh had caused.
Linda is just one of many woman suffering from these devices. Over 4,000 lawsuits have been filed, many claiming the same issues as Linda. The verdict was high due to the fact that the jury found that Johnson & Johnson failed to inform her surgeon of the risks involved with the implant and that Linda was fraudulently misled about possible health risks of the mesh.
Complications Associated With Vaginal Mesh
The most common reason that women have a vaginal mesh or a vaginal sling implanted is to help with a condition called pelvic organ prolapse (POP). POP is a common issue in woman where organs within the pelvis shift due to weakened muscles. The mesh or sling is meant to support the organs and hold them in place and although mesh of this sort has been used for decades, the FDA only approved it in 2002 for this particular use.
The issues with the vaginal mesh are well documented through the FDA. By 2008, there were over 1,000 complaints logged with the agency, spurring them to release a warning of possible complications due to the implants, but that they were rare. In 2011, they reissued the warning but retracted that they were “rare”. In fact it is estimated that 10% or more of women have complications with the mesh within 12 months of having it implanted. Johnson & Johnson’s product Gynecare Prolift that Linda Gross had implanted is just one of many implants that have been used over the last decade. Several other companies have manufactured and sold similar products with similar reactions.
This case is bound to be the first in many that will be publicized involving this harmful product in the coming months and years. The sizable award tells the story of the pain and loss of quality of life that having this device has inflicted upon Linda Gross. It can only be assumed that among the thousands of pending lawsuits that more of these horrible stories will be heard.
Legal Help For Women Impacted By Vaginal Mesh Complications
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is actively prosecuting vaginal mesh complication lawsuits. If you have been impacted by these defective devices contact our office for a complimentary and confidential case evaluation where we will advise you of your legal rights. 888-424-5757