Bloomberg News reports that on Monday, a jury in Atlantic City, New Jersey, ordered a Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit to “pay $3.35 million in the first of 2,100 lawsuits over its vaginal mesh implant.” The jury found that the Cincinnati-based medical device manufacturer “failed to warn a South Dakota woman’s surgeon of the risks tied to its Gynecare Proflift vaginal mesh implant and fraudulently misled her. Linda Gross, a 47-year-old nurse, sued along with her husband, complaining of constant pain and 18 operations she had after the device was implanted.”
Reuters adds that Monday’s verdict was preceded by a six-week hearing before Judge Carol Higbee and nine panelists. After the verdict was read, Judge Higbee scheduled a hearing for today, during which the jury will consider whether punitive damages should also be awarded to the plaintiff.
The AP notes that New Jersey law permits “punitive damages of up to five times the compensatory damage amount.” Meanwhile, Ethicon spokesperson Sheri Woodruff pointed out that the jury “did not rule against the company on all counts” as it rejected allegations, claiming the “vaginal mesh implant was designed defectively.” J&J discontinued selling the Gynecare Proflift product last summer.
From the American Association for Justice news release.