A New Jersey appeals court today upheld a $11.1 million jury award against Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE:JNJ) Ethicon subsidiary in a case concerning injuries caused by the company’s Prolift vaginal mesh.
The plaintiff in the case claimed the product caused debilitating nerve pain and said that better labeling and warnings could have prevented injuries. The plaintiff added that the product resulted in multiple complications which required intensive medical treatment and numerous operations, according to court documents.
In the initial case, the jury found for the plaintiff to the tune of $3.4 million in compensatory damages and an additional $7.8 million in punitive damages.
Johnson & Johnson argued that the trial judge “erroneously failed to apply the learned intermediary doctrine to the fraudulent misrepresentation or deceit claim,” and failed to recognize causation evidence as sufficient to prove a failure to warn, and said that punitive damages should not have been considered by the jury, according to court documents.
The appeals court held up the original finding and the award initially issued.
Earlier this month, Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon subsidiary agreed to settle a bellwether lawsuit filed over its Prolift pelvic mesh product, the company said.
Ethicon spokesman Matthew Johnson confirmed with MassDevice.com that the company agreed to settle with plaintiffs Dianne Bellew and her husband, Dan Bellew.
“The parties have agreed to resolve the matter,” Johnson wrote.
The trial had entered its 5th day March 6 when jurors were informed of the settlement at about 11: 30 a.m., according to documents filed with the U.S. District Court for Southern West Virginia.
A judge in that court, Judge Joseph Goodwin, has been assigned to oversee more than 70,000 product liability lawsuits filed against a slate of pelvic mesh manufacturers including Ethicon, Bard, BSX and Coloplast.
A week earlier, J&J logged a loss and a win in some of the cases brought against Ethicon. In the loss, a California jury hit it with a $5.7 million verdict, finding it liable for design problems and failure to warn plaintiff Coleen Perry about the Abbrevo mesh.
But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit upheld Ethicon’s year-old win in the 1st pelvic mesh bellwether to go to trial. Goodwin had issued a directed verdict Feb. 18, 2014, ordering the case dismissed and stricken from the record.
Last September Ethicon vowed to appeal a $3.3 million loss involving its TVT-O transvaginal sling.