A Texas jury recently awarded $1.2 million to a woman who was injured by a mesh sling manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. The sling was used to treat incontinence. The woman, who is 64 years old, had a mesh sling implanted in her body. The mesh sling eroded, which caused severe pelvic pain and internal damage.
The jury found that the mesh sling had a design defect. At one point, Johnson & Johnson knew there was a better, safer mesh sling available, but it continued to manufacture and market the inferior sling. Evidence presented at tried showed that the company worried that removing the inferior product from the market would be an admission that it was inferior and should have been removed earlier. Also, removing the product would mean the company would lose seven years of safety data that it had accumulated, which can be a valuable marketing product.
This jury verdict is the first against Johnson & Johnson for this mesh sling product. The company plans to appeal. However, the company still faces over 12,000 federal lawsuits related to the product. Mesh manufacturers have already paid out millions of dollars to settle claims. A consumer rights' organization is urging the U.S. Justice Department to open an investigation into whether the company purposely destroyed documents that could be used as evidence in upcoming trials.
It's tragic that a company would put corporate profits and reputation ahead of the safety and well-being of its customers. A device that is surgically implanted inside a person's body should be thoroughly tested, and absolutely safe. If it's later discovered to be unsafe, the company should remove it from the market immediately.
If you have been injured by a defective medical device such as a mesh sling, call the Houston defective medical device attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 713-489-9493.