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$20M Verdict Awarded in Third Ethicon TVT Mesh Lawsuit

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Santa Clara, CAA $20 million verdict has been awarded against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) in punitive damages, in the third bellwether Ethicon pelvic mesh injury lawsuit, part of the pelvic mesh mass torte. The 12-member jury hearing the case in Philadelphia returned the verdict after testimony was given by Plaintiff Margaret “Peggy” Engleman, demonstrating she suffered life-altering injuries when the mesh eroded inside of her. The verdict also includes a $2.5 million award for compensatory damages.

According to court documents, Engleman alleged she had underwent surgery to implant Ethicon’s TVT-Secur mesh to help with her stress urinary incontinence. However, just two months later, her doctor discovered erosions in the material. She claimed that the eroding mesh began causing her pain and she was eventually forced to undergo three additional surgeries, under anesthesia, to remove the material. However, portions of the mesh remain in her body and she has developed chronic pain and urinary dysfunction, according to court papers.

Engleman alleged that Ethicon’s TVT-Secur mesh was “defective in design, warnings and instructions” and that J&J released the product to market in full knowledge of the significant risk associated with the mesh implants, specifically, that the mesh would erode inside patients.

As of mid-December, 2014, court records indicated more than 67,500 claims had been filed against several transvaginal mesh manufacturers, including Ethicon. Gynecare pelvic mesh lawsuits allege that the mesh causes soft tissue injury, tissue erosion, bleeding, pain and infection. Plaintiffs also reported that pelvic prolapse and urinary incontinence conditions worsened after being implanted with the mesh. Many women have undergone surgery to have the mesh removed. Further, Ethicon lawsuits allege that the manufacturer knew its mesh products were unreasonably dangerous but continued to manufacture and sell them.

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