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Prolift Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit Settled for $11.1 Million

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Atlantic City, NJA 47-year old nurse has been awarded a total settlement of $11.1 million in her Ethicon Gynecare Prolift transvaginal mesh (TVM) personal injury lawsuit. Linda Gross testified during the trial that following her initial surgery to implant the device, she had 18 subsequent unsuccessful revision procedures. She has described her life after surgery as a “living hell,” alleging that she and thousands of other women have been used as “guinea pigs” by the vaginal mesh maker, Johnson & Johnson.

On February 28th, a jury in New Jersey awarded Gross and her husband a further $7.8 million in punitive damages on top of the original $3.35 million originally awarded. The lawsuit is described as a bellweather case, being among the first of thousands of vaginal mesh personal injury lawsuits to go to court.

The jury hearing Mrs. Gross’ case held Johnson & Johnson/Ethicon liable for its highly controversial and widely implanted Gynecare Prolift surgical vaginal mesh prolapse repair product. Gross contended that based on their own studies, Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon knew that the Prolift transvaginal mesh was prone to complications. Nevertheless, the defendants at no point warned patients about the complications, but rather continued to market the device aggressively to physicians. The jury agreed, finding that Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon indeed failed to provide adequate warnings and that they had intentionally committed fraud against Mrs. Gross regarding the surgical mesh.

Plaintiffs who have filed transvaginal mesh lawsuits claim that the mesh and/or slings used to treat their pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence were negligently designed, thereby causing serious side effects such as mesh erosion, organ damage, chronic pain and other vaginal mesh complications.

As of January, 2014 more than 40,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits have been filed against a number of TVM manufacturers, including C.R. Bard, Ethicon (a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary), American Medical Systems (AMS), and Boston Scientific. While some claims have been settled, approximately 3,000 TVM lawsuits a month are currently being filed, mainly against the aforementioned manufacturers.

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