New Jersey Court Decision
Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson has lost an appeal of an $11 million judgment tied to its pelvic mesh implant, in a ruling handed down last month by the New Jersey Superior Court. The New Jersey court denied a petition for certification of an appeal filed by Johnson & Johnson, along with its subsidiary, Ethicon.
According to court documents, the plaintiff was a South Dakota woman named Linda Gross. Gross filed legal action in 2008, after she’d unsuccessfully had three surgeries to remove the mesh and reduce her pain. Like many other women, Gross had the plastic mesh implanted, based on marketing assertions by Johnson & Johnson that it would alleviate incontinence or problems with pelvic prolapsed in women with a weakened internal support system. Gross alleged in her lawsuit that she experienced just the opposite (as have many other plaintiffs)—that she experienced increased incontinence, suffered substantial pain and had a diminished sex life. Gross is one of more than 80,000 women who have brought legal action against Johnson & Johnson for injuries caused by pelvic mesh implants.
Gross finally took her case to trial in 2013 and, despite Ethicon’s argument that the product was approved by the FDA, won a $11 million verdict. Johnson & Johnson appealed both the verdict and the judgment. The New Jersey high court ruled last March that there was no basis for throwing out the verdict. With respect to the damage award, the court opted not to hear arguments, effectively letting the judgment stand.
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