Kentucky joined California and Washington state in suing Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary Ethicon over its pelvic mesh products, accusing the company of deceptively marketing its treatments for female urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
Ethicon is already facing tens of thousands of product liability lawsuits over the pelvic mesh devices; in Kentucky, more than 15,000 women were implanted “without Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon providing sufficient information about the known hazards so women and their doctors could make informed treatment decisions,” according to a press release from Kentucky attorney general Andy Beshear.
“The way this company clearly chose profits over people is outrageous,” Beshear said in prepared remarks. “My office has talked to victims whose lives have been devastated by this company’s deceitful practices. We may not be able to give them back the lives they once had, but my office will do everything we can to hold this company accountable.”
“The lawsuit against Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson is unjustified, and the company plans to vigorously defend itself against the allegations,” spokeswoman Samantha Lucas told FierceBiotech. “The evidence will show that Ethicon acted appropriately and responsibly in the marketing of our pelvic mesh products. The use of implantable mesh is often the preferred option to treat certain female pelvic conditions, including pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, and is backed by years of clinical research.”
In May, California AG Kamala Harris and Washington AG Bob Ferguson sued Ethicon on similar grounds.
“For many victims, their health and their quality of life were forever changed as a result of this deception,” Ferguson said at the time, according to the Wall Street Journal. “Sitting upright, lying on their side, walking all became incredibly painful. … These women were robbed of their ability to live and work in the way they once did.”