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Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit Update January 14, 2013 | Ethicon Trial Begins

Opening statements in the first transvaginal mesh trial against Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, have been completed by both parties. Attorneys representing the plaintiff, a 47 year-old former hospice nurse, told the jury that Johnson & Johnson sold a defective vaginal mesh implant before adequately testing the product. 

Plaintiff in First Ethicon Mesh Lawsuit Alleges Multiple Revision Surgeries Were Necessary
The plaintiff alleges that Johnson & Johnson was negligent and failed to warn of the risks associated with the Gynecare Prolift mesh device.  She also alleges that the design of the implant was defective and that Johnson & Johnson deceived consumers and committed fraud. The plaintiff allegedly underwent 22 surgical procedures to repair extensive damage caused by defective mesh implanted on July 13, 2006, for the repair of pelvic muscles.

The plaintiff’s attorney told the jury that her chronic pain and associated injuries were risks that were well known by Ethicon before sales of the Prolift device began in March 2005. In her opening statement, one of the attorneys representing Johnson & Johnson denied the plaintiff’s allegations and claimed that Ethicon properly warned the plaintiff and her surgeon of the risks associated with the surgical implant of the Prolift transvaginal mesh.

Ethicon Transvaginal Mesh Was Not Tested Before Being Used in Patients
In his opening statement, the plaintiff’s attorney told the jury that Johnson & Johnson failed to perform clinical testing to determine the potential risks associated with the Prolift product. He explained that Prolift is made from synthetic polypropylene, which hardens as tissue grows around the mesh. As the mesh erodes, it causes vaginal scarring, pelvic inflammation, chronic pain, and infection. He told the jury that internal company emails will prove that Ethicon researchers were aware of the risks associated with transvaginal mesh, yet failed to develop safe products. 

During the third day of trial, the plaintiff’s primary care physician was called as a witness. He testified that the plaintiff suffers from chronic debilitating pain as the result of her mesh surgery in 2006. Physicians determined that she suffered from a severe immunologic reaction to the synthetic mesh. During a revision surgery performed at the Mayo Clinic, surgeons discovered the plaintiff had extensive nerve damage caused by eroded mesh. Mesh fibers had penetrated her vaginal wall and infiltrated her pelvic organs. 

Transvaginal mesh is used to repair pelvic organ prolapse, a condition in which a woman’s pelvic organs slip out of place and protrude into and through the vagina due to the gradual weakening of pelvic muscles.  Often, women who are suffering with transvaginal mesh injuries do not even know they have the mesh.

Contact a Female Transvaginal Mesh Injury Attorney 
If you have suffered injuries due to transvaginal mesh, you may have a claim against the mesh manufacturer. Female transvaginal mesh attorney Kay Van Wey understands the complexities involved with women’s health issues and the challenges faced by women injured by transvaginal mesh. Please contact Ms. Van Wey for a free and confidential consultation at (800) 489-5082. 

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Kay Van Wey
Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization

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