UPDATE: Includes comment from J&J’s Ethicon
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary Ethicon has been found not liable in a suit claiming that an allegedly faulty pelvic mesh implant had caused a patient’s condition to worsen, alongside other complications, according to a report from TheLawFirm.com.
A jury in Philadelphia yesterday took less than a full day of deliberations to return a verdict that cleared Ethicon of claims that the product was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries, according to the report. The jury did conclude, however, that Ethicon had been negligent in designing, marketing and selling the device.
In the case, plaintiff Malgorzata Krolikowski claims that a TVT-Secur mesh implant that they received in October 2008 to treat a mild case of urinary stress incontinence caused her condition to worsen. The plaintiff also claimed that the mesh was responsible for other complications, including pain during sexual intercourse, according to TheLawFirm.com’s report.
Counsel for Ethicon argued that the company was not responsible for the device’s failure to completely resolve the plaintiff’s condition, and argued that there were other medical reasons for her complications, including pain during sexual intercourse, according to the report.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs said they believed J&J and Ethicon had been motivated by money and that they rushed an unsafe medical device to market, according to TheLawFirm.com
“Obviously, we’re disappointed, but we respect the jury’s decision. They found that the defendants, Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson, were negligent. We had the evidence to prove that,” Colin Burke, a lawyer representing Ms. Krowlikowski said, according to the report.
“We empathize with women suffering from stress urinary incontinence, which can be a serious and debilitating condition. There are various treatment choices for women with this condition seeking to improve their quality of life, including surgical treatment with implantable mesh, which is backed by years of clinical research and is considered by most doctors to be the gold standard treatment,” Ethicon spokewoman Mindy Tinsley told MassDevice.com in an email. “The jury’s decision reflects the facts in this case. The evidence showed Ethicon’s TVT-Secur device was properly designed and did not cause the Plaintiff’s alleged injuries.”
Earlier this month, a state appeals court in Pennsylvania upheld the plaintiff’s $13.7 million win in a product liability lawsuit brought over one of Ethicon’s pelvic mesh products.