The first lawsuit filed by a state attorney general, California’s Xavier Becerra, over pelvic mesh products went to trial yesterday in San Diego.
The lawsuit alleges that Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary Ethicon concealed the potential risks of pelvic mesh from the public and physicians. It’s the first of several lawsuits brought by state AGs to make it to trial; in April J&J settled a similar case in Washington for $10 million. Kentucky is also suing Ethicon.
The California suit seeks damages under the Golden State’s unfair competition and false advertising laws. Some 42,000 pelvic mesh devices were sold there between 2008 and 2014, according to Courtroom View Network. J&J maintains that the devices are not defective.
“J&J deceptively marketed its surgical mesh devices as safe with minimal risk when in fact these devices exposed women to a host of dangerous complications,” according to Becerra’s complaint, CVN reported. “J&J did this despite being urged by its own medical advisers and employees to warn doctors and patients of pain with intercourse, sexual dysfunction and impact on quality of life.”
During the state’s opening statement yesterday, Deputy AG Jinsook Ohta told San Diego Superior Court Judge Eddie Sturgeon that Ethicon hid the potential risks from Day One and lied to patients and doctors about them, Law360 reported.