The news comes on the heels of the healthcare conglomerate’s revelation that it’s under investigation by a 42-state coalition of attorneys general offices regarding marketing of the mesh products.
A New Jersey jury yesterday decided in favor of plaintiff Linda Gross, ruling that J&J and Ethicon failed to properly warn her physicians about the potential risks of transvaginal mesh implantation. Gross claimed the device left her with severe chronic pain that prevents her from working or even sitting.
The jury decided against J&J and Ethicon, finding that the companies didn’t properly disclose the risks of transvaginal mesh implantation and that they misrepresented the products in marketing brochures, Reuters reported.
That’s not the final word on the lawsuit, as far as Ethicon is concerned. The company will present its rebuttal today, Ethicon Surgical Care communications vice president Sheri Woodruff told MassDevice.com.
"We will present evidence to the jury … in the punitive phase of the trial, which followed a mixed verdict by the jury," Woodruff told us. "While we are always concerned when a patient experiences medical conditions like those suffered by the plaintiff, all surgeries for pelvic organ prolapse present risks of complications."
Decisions made in this trial, the 1st of around 1,800 such lawsuits in New Jersey alone, may trickle down to similar cases filed against C.R. Bard (NYSE:BCR), Endo Health (NSDQ:ENDP) and Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX).
J&J reported in its latest regulatory filing that it is facing about 4,000 plaintiffs with direct claims in pending lawsuits regarding pelvic mesh products.
That includes multi-district litigations filed in the U.S. District Court for Southern West Virginia, as well as class action and personal injury cases in Canada and Australia, according to the J&J filing.
In the same report, J&J revealed that it filed a tolling agreement, effectively extending a statue of limitations, in a federal probe of its surgical mesh marketing. The investigation involves attorneys general offices from 42 states, according to the company.
J&J and Ethicon were unable to comment on the Attorney Generals’ investigations, according to an outside spokesperson.
Johnson & Johnson, the world’s largest medical device operation, isn’t the only device maker under investigation for its transvaginal mesh products. Rival Boston Scientific revealed in November 2012 that the California attorney general’s office had launched a probe of its transvaginal surgical mesh products.