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Plaintiff Alleges Surgical Mesh “Traumatizing”

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A Canadian woman endured a decade of pain before filing a surgical mesh lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson

Manitoba, CA A Canadian woman endured a decade of pain and was “traumatized” before filing a surgical mesh lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of Ethicon pelvic mesh.

The 57-year-old woman filed her product liability lawsuit in Manitoba's Court of King's Bench in March – after enduring various surgeries in an attempt to remove the mesh and ease her pain, including an emergency surgery after discovering the mesh had eroded and had moved throughout her body.

The mesh had become life-threatening. There was a possibility of developing sepsis--the body's extreme reaction to an infection – and without emergency treatment, it can lead to organ failure, tissue damage and death. The surgery “psychologically devastated" her because she woke up to a temporary ileostomy bag, which collects intestinal matter from the small intestine through an opening made in the abdomen. She wore the bag for five months, during which time at-home care was necessary and the bag, also referred to as a pouch had to be emptied up to eight times a day.

As if that isn’t bad enough, she required two more surgeries last year, including an open abdominal surgery where damaged parts of her bowel and one-third of her rectum were removed. According to CBC News, she was also advised the significant amount of scar tissue inside her would make it dangerous to do more surgeries. And a colon test revealed that her pelvic floor nerves were no longer connected "as a result of the disintegration of the mesh and/or the various surgeries required as a result.”  To this day, she is suffering from abdominal pain, bowel issues and bladder incontinence. She still sees specialists and hasn’t been able to return to work.

The lawsuit alleges Johnson & Johnson:
  • Breached the duty of care it owed the woman
  • "Was high-handed, improper and valued profits over the health of patients."
  • Introduced the mesh before it had been properly tested
  • Failed to warn the public of its potential harm

California Surgical Mesh Lawsuit

Last April 2022 the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon was ordered to pay $302M in a pelvic mesh case after the California appeals court ruled that the pharma giant must pay penalties to the state for deceptively marketing pelvic mesh implants for women. The amount was reduced by $42 million to $302 million. In 2020 Superior Court Judge Eddie Sturgeon assessed the $344 million in penalties

Johnson & Johnson appealed in 2020 after Superior Court Judge Eddie Sturgeon assessed the $344 million in penalties against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon. After a non-jury trial, Judge Sturgeon found that Ethicon made misleading and potentially harmful statements in hundreds of thousands of advertisements and instructional brochures for nearly two decades, reported the Associated Press. J&J, the world's biggest maker of health care products claimed the amount was excessive but it  amounted to less than 1% of Johnson & Johnson's net worth of $70.4 billion.


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