A state court jury in Philadelphia reportedly slapped Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary Ethicon with a $120 million verdict yesterday in a product liability lawsuit brought over one of its pelvic mesh products.
The jury in the Pennsylvania Court of Common pleas awarded Susan McFarland $20 million in compensatory damages and $100 million in punitive damages after finding that Susan McFarland’s chronic pain, incontinence and lack of consortium were caused by the Gynecare TVT-O implanted in 2008 to treat her pelvic organ prolapse, according to media reports.
Another jury deadlocked after the McFarland case first went to trial last September; the retrial began in March but was halted after an expert witness’s heart attack, according to the reports.
“While Ethicon empathizes with women who experience medical complications, this verdict and the damages awarded are inconsistent with the science, Ethicon’s actions, and previous verdicts related to our TVT-O product, which continues to be the gold standard of treatment for stress urinary incontinence. We believe the evidence showed Ethicon’s TVT-O device was properly designed and that Ethicon acted appropriately and responsibly in the research, development and marketing of the product,” Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman Mindy Tinsley told MassDevice.com. “Unfortunately, the jury was not permitted to hear critical evidence related to the FDA’s review and classification of these devices, which we believe significantly influenced the verdict and punitive award in this case. We respect the legal process, but we want to reiterate that jury verdicts are not medical, scientific or regulatory conclusions about a product and Ethicon will appeal this verdict.”
It’s the seventh verdict to go against J&J in pelvic mesh trials, with total damages reportedly topping the $270 million mark. Last week the company logged a win after another jury in Philly found Ethicon not liable despite finding it negligent in the designing, marketing and sale of the device.
Earlier this month the FDA ordered the last two makers of pelvic mesh for organ prolapse in the U.S., Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) and Coloplast (CPH:COLO B), to immediately halt sales and distribution here.