In December 2017, a Bergen County Jury of New Jersey unanimously awarded nearly $15 million to a woman who alleged that she suffered debilitating pain caused by one of the two pelvic mesh devices she received in 2008, sold under J&J’s Ethicon brand name Prolift. The verdict supported the claim that the manufacturer failed to adequately warn about the potential side effects.
Ethicon challenged this verdict. However, a New Jersey Superior Court Judge Rachelle Lea Harz denied this appeal stating that the manufacturer failed to warn about certain risks associated with its Prolift and TVT-O implants.
Seven pelvic mesh manufacturers are facing thousands of lawsuits under individual MDLs consolidated by U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin, in early 2012, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. The total number of cases under the umbrella was over 102,133 cases as of March 2017. Formation of MDL No. 2327 in Re Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation was a part of the consolidation. Ethicon has consistently had the largest number of product liability cases filed in the federal court with about 38,035 cases filed and 5,547 cases closed. These cases all relate to the use of transvaginal surgical mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapse ("POP") and/or stress urinary incontinence ("SUI").