Woman Wins $11M for Injuries from Vaginal Mesh Implant
A 47-year-old woman who suffered injuries from a vaginal mesh device that made her life a “living hell” won an $11 million verdict this week.
The case is the first of thousands of cases set for trial against Johnson & Johnson and other makers of the devices.
Linda Gross, who lives in South Dakota, had the Johnson & Johnson Prolift mesh product implanted in 2006 to deal with sagging organs.
Vaginal mesh and sling products are advertised as a way to repair “pelvic organ prolapse” when muscles supporting pelvic organs like the bladder, uterus, bowel and vagina weaken and cause the organs to droop, a common occurrence in women as a result of childbirth.
The devices, made of synthetic or animal material, have been implanted in hundreds of thousands of women by being surgically tied to ligaments or bone.
About 4,000 women have sued the manufacturers of the products for coming loose, moving around and ripping through organs causing severe pain.
Gross testified that she had to endure 18 surgeries, all unsuccessful, to try to get the mesh out of her body.
After a seven-week trial, the jury found that Johnson & Johnson did not adequately warn doctors about the risks of the product and that it misrepresented its product to Gross. It did not find that the product was defectively designed or that the company made false claims to doctors.
Gross‘ attorney, Adam Slater, of the law firm Mazie Slater, said his client “cannot turn back the clock and make her misery and pain disappear. But she and countless victims like her can take some comfort in knowing that a jury … decided … that the corporation responsible for their suffering should be severely punished financially.”