According to the New York Times, a jury in New Jersey has recently awarded a plaintiff over 3 million dollars in compensation for her pain and suffering after being implanted with Johnson & Johnson’s Gynecare Prolift transvaginal mesh device. Shortly after surgery, the plaintiff became plagued with constant pain, trouble sitting, and painful intercourse resulting from the mesh eroding through her organ walls. She then underwent 18 revision surgeries, all of which failed to effectively remove the mesh and restore her previous quality of life. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Johnson & Johnson may face additional charges up to $16.75 million in punitive damages. The manufacturer was charged with failing to warn the plaintiff’s surgeon of potential risks and for fraudulently misrepresenting the product.
Transvaginal mesh is a surgically implanted device designed to help with problems of organ prolapse (or “falling out”) and bladder incontinence. This mesh is a synthetic material which acts as a reinforcing sling around the intended organs. The mesh sling is not an entirely new concept – it has been used with some success in surgeries in other areas of the body. However, this procedure has proven especially problematic in the female pelvic region due to the increased number of organs involved, the very small area, and possibility of erosion from movement.
Surgeries involving transvaginal mesh have proven the risk for disastrous consequences. Some side effects include organ perforation, extreme pain, infection, bleeding, urinary problems, mesh contraction and mesh erosion through the vagina. After such complications ensue, multiple surgeries are often required to remove the device and reconstruct any damage it caused. A patient may suffer for years after their original surgery from debilitating pain and discomfort. The Houston Chronicle notes that hundreds of thousands of women have had transvaginal mesh devices implanted.
Johnson & Johnson currently faces an estimated 4,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits, according to Drugwatch. However, Johnson & Johnson is not the only manufacturer facing defective medical device charges for their transvaginal mesh products. Last August, a California jury awarded a plaintiff $5.5 million in a case against medical device producer C.R. Bard.
What’s the take-home message? Even though the New Jersey plaintiff who was awarded 3 million dollars was a nurse, had her surgeon’s confidence, and read a company brochure on the procedure, she still fell victim to a defective medical device. Don’t suffer for years as a result of transvaginal mesh. If you believe you have been adversely affected by this product, contact a lawyer and find out what compensation you may be entitled to.
At Borchardt Law Firm, we wish for no family to ever experience incapacitating tragedies due to defective medical devices. Our firm has the experience and the drive necessary to continue to strive for the improved protection of future generations of Texans. If you or a loved one has ever suffered from a related misfortune and feel you were not properly warned about the potential risks, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer to discuss any legal compensation you might be entitled to. Borchardt Law Firm represent clients over many areas in Texas; feel free to give us a call.
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