$20M Jury Verdict in Pelvic Mesh Trial
On May 03, 2017
Philadelphia, PA - In the latest bellwether trial concerning one of Johnson & Johnson's transvaginal mesh products, a jury handed down a $20 million verdict against the corporation and its subsidiary, Ethicon. This is the third consecutive multi-million dollar verdict against J&J in a pelvic mesh case that was heard before a Philadelphia jury, and the company faces three more trials in the area over the next two months, with over 54,000 lawsuits pending around the country.
The jury delivered the order following a three-week long trial in which attorneys for the plaintiff argued that Ethicon, and by extension, Johnson & Johnson, failed to adequately test their products before rushing them to market, and did not properly warn consumers of the potential dangers. The jury agreed with the evidence and ordered the company to pay $2.5M in compensatory damages along with $17.5M in punitive damages to the plaintiff, Peggy Engleman of Cinnaminson, NJ. Engleman had the TVT-Secur device implanted in 2007 to treat urinary incontinence, but within a month of her surgery, began experiencing painful complications.
The majority of these mesh products are made using polypropylene, which often begins to degrade once it is placed inside the body. In Engleman's case, symptoms of urinary incontinence returned shortly after her procedure, and she began to experience pain and discomfort within the first few weeks. Doctors attempted to remove the mesh insert, but were unable to retrieve all fo the fragments once it had degraded, despite three separate surgical attempts. Engleman now suffers from chronic vaginal pain, pelvic floor spasms, and permanent urinary dysfunction.
Attorneys for the defense have stated that they plan to appeal the verdict, and that the company feels that it has "strong grounds" to have the decision overturned. Engleman stated "I'm happy to be a voice for other women. It's been a nightmare, and I feel justice was truly served today."