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$13.7M Ethicon Vaginal Mesh Award Should Stand

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Santa Clara, CAA $13.7 million judgement in favor of a plaintiff who has sued Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary Ethicon, over injuries related to Ethicon's mid-urethral sling device, should not be reversed on appeal. That’s the opinion of Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Kenneth J. Powell Jr., who is presiding over the case and who wrote "The evidence of defendant-appellant's wanton and willful disregard for plaintiff adequately supported the jury's award of punitive damages."

The transvaginal mesh lawsuit went to trial in February 2016, and lasted for 14 days, during which time the plaintiff presented evidence to show that she had suffered permanent pain as a result of having the mesh implanted. Sharon Carlino claimed that she had the device surgically implanted in 2005 to help resolve her urinary incontinence. After having it implanted, however, it began to cause her problems. Carlino claimed that the mesh was defective because its pores were too small, it had a tendency to degrade, it was overly friable because it was cut by a machine and not a laser, and the mesh can erode through a person’s tissue.

The jury hearing her case awarded her $3.25 million in compensatory damages, $250,000 to her husband for loss of consortium, and $10 million in punitive damages. Delay damages in the amount of roughly $240,000 were later awarded.

Consequently, Ethicon asked the court to either enter judgment notwithstanding the verdict, grant a new trial, or reduce the verdict award.

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