Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, lost or destroyed records and documents that likely contained evidence relevant to injury lawsuits over the medical device company’s vaginal mesh implants, a federal magistrate judge concluded in a pretrial order issued on Feb. 4, 2014. U.S. Magistrate Judge Cheryl Eifert also recommended that the U.S. District Court judge overseeing the consolidated litigation allow the plaintiffs to introduce evidence at trial that Ethicon negligently erased or lost documents. A spokesperson for the Somerville, New Jersey-based company stated that Ethicon employees “did inadvertently fail to preserve some documents.”
Thousands of women across the nation are filing lawsuits against the makers of vaginal mesh implants, saying the medical devices caused pain, injury, or other harm. Ethicon made the Prolift and TVT Retropubic mesh devices and contends they were safe for consumers. These devices were surgically implanted into women to treat pelvic problems.
In 2013, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $11.1 million in compensatory and punitive damages to a woman who said Ethicon’s Prolift vaginal mesh device caused her severe pain and unable to sit for more than 20 minutes at a time. She needed 18 revision procedures after the initial surgery in order to remove the mesh.
Other medical device companies facing vaginal mesh product liability lawsuits include Boston Scientific, C.R. Bard, Cook Medical, Endo Health, American Medical Systems, and Coloplast. The first case against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit begins today in West Virginia.
Product liability attorneys with The Cochran Firm, D.C. are investigating claims related to vaginal mesh complications. If you or someone you know has suffered complications due to a defective mesh product, please contact our team of legal professionals. All initial inquiries are free, confidential, and carry no obligation.