$12.5M Verdict in Prolift® Injury Case Hammons v. Ethicon
A 65-year-old woman who suffered severe injury after being implanted with Johnson & Johnson’s Prolift® pelvic mesh was recently awarded $12.5 million by a Philadelphia jury. In addition to a $5.5 million compensatory award, the woman received an additional $7 million in punitive damages designed to discourage future misconduct from the medical device manufacturer. The compensatory damages alone totaled more than Prolift’s $4.2 million in sales between 2005 and 2012.
The victim, a Wal-Mart store stocker from Indiana, originally had the polypropylene mesh implanted to treat symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse. The device ultimately failed, causing the woman serious pelvic damage. After numerous surgeries to remove the mesh, doctors determined that the device could not be fully removed, as parts of it had permanently implanted into her bladder. The victim now faces a future of chronic infections, pain, and an inability to engage in sex.
Prolift originally went on the market in 2005 after Johnson & Johnson bypassed the FDA approval process. It was not until three years later that the FDA became aware that they kit was being sold. A research and development engineer for the company admitted that they had not considered how to remove the mesh if the device failed.
This was the first pelvic mesh case to be heard in a Philadelphia court and is also the first time that the Prolift system has been determined to be negligently designed. In addition, this has been the first time in Johnson & Johnson’s history of pelvic mesh litigation that the company was revealed to have destroyed documents that were meant to help plaintiffs prepare for trial.
Johnson & Johnson’s lawyers contend that the company acted appropriately, continue to stand behind the efficacy and safety of their product. They plan to appeal the court’s decision.
There are currently several product liability lawsuits involving pelvic mesh implants scheduled for early 2016, with over 181 cases pending in the Philadelphia Court of Common alone.
Read more about this case online via The Legal Intelligencer.
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If you or someone you know has experienced adverse side effects after receiving a pelvic mesh implant, speak with a skilled Atlanta personal injury lawyer at Schneider Hammers. Our attorneys have more than 40 years of experience with defective medical product litigation and have helped thousands of clients obtain compensation after an injury. We accept cases throughout the state of Georgia and offer complimentary, no-obligation case evaluations. Whether your case can be resolved inside or outside of the courtroom, we make your best interests our first priority.
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