US District Judge, Joseph Goodwin, found for the defendants, Johnson and Johnson, and ruled that there was not enough evidence to show that a pelvic mesh device was a defective design or that it caused pain and injury to Lewis, who is from Texas.
“We believe this was likely one of the weaker cases, and the judge applied Texas state law since this was a Texas case,” says Dr. Shezad Malik, a Dallas attorney and physician, who is currently handling more than 100 personal injury cases involving transvaginal mesh products made by Johnson and Johnson, Bard, Boston Scientific, and Endo Health Solutions.
Carolyn Lewis’s case is just one of the more than 12,000 claims against J&J related to the safety of its TVT Retropubic slings. Lewis’s sling was implanted to deal with incontinence issues. Although J&J contends its transvaginal mesh products are safe, the company curtailed sales of the devices last year.
“We are still full steam ahead,” says Dr. Malik. “This is kind of a fluke verdict. We believe there is more than sufficient evidence in other cases to show that vaginal mesh manufacturers knew or should have known that there was a defect in their polypropylene mesh, and there is sufficient causation to show these women were injured as a result of the defective product.
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As one of the few physician-attorneys in the US, Dr. Malik and his firm are uniquely positioned to evaluate these types of cases.
“We do have a detailed understanding of female anatomy,” says Dr. Malik. “We know what these devices are, when they were implanted and why they were implanted. That means we can assess the situation and determine whether the injuries the women are struggling with are due to the device or whether it is due to a known complication from this type of procedure.”
“Although I am not a urologist or a gynecologist, as an Internist and Cardiologist, I can determine which injuries should go forward to litigation and which should not,” adds Dr. Malik.