A New Jersey jury has just awarded one woman $3.35 million in compensatory damages and nearly $8 million in punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson (J&J). $11.11 million total – for one transvaginal mesh injury case.

That is a huge number. Why is it so high?

The case involved a transvaginal mesh device called Prolift, made by a subsidiary of J&J called Ethicon. Transvaginal mesh is implanted permanently into women to help treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. But here’s what else products like Prolift have done for women:

  • caused severe bleeding and extreme pain
  • led to severe and embarrassing digestive problems
  • injured the bowels and other organs
  • limited patients’ ability to have sex
  • prevented some women from even walking or sitting down
  • required multiple surgeries (in the case above, 18 surgeries total!)
  • led to pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, the very problems it was meant to treat

The jury found that Prolift caused the plaintiff’s injuries. Worse, the court determined J&J’s subsidiary used fraudulent tactics when dealing with her medical providers. They sold the device under the premise of safety, when they were aware of the devastating impacts it could have.

As a result, many thousands of other woman also had the device implanted, and continue to do so today. Far too many are completely unaware of the dangers that come with these products.

For anyone concerned about the amount of this judgement, ask yourself: how much is it worth to be able to walk? To sit for 20 minutes? To have children? To spend time with other people?

These are impossible questions. But they’re questions women all over the country are asking J&J, and with good reason.

J&J is afraid, vowing they will appeal the decision. This was the first vaginal mesh injury case to go to trial, but thousands are pending. The manufacturers know there are many more plaintiffs where this one came from; and justice for those devastated families is a scary prospect for the corporations that benefited from their pain.

You or someone you deeply love may have been seriously injured by transvaginal mesh. According to the FDA, at least 10% of women using it experience erosion and exposure of the mesh, and that’s just within the first year; yet it’s something not everyone knows about. We’re grateful this case is starting to raise awareness about this terrible problem.

If you or your loved one are suffering from a serious mesh injury, our transvaginal mesh attorneys in Memphis can help. We will stand up for you, as we have for so many people injured by dangerous drugs and medical devices. Contact us today to get started. The conversation is completely free.

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(Image credit Jasper Greek Lao)