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$11.1 Million New Jersey Bellwether Verdict Upheld

Posted by Sarah Showard | Mar 31, 2016 | 0 Comments

An $11.1 million jury award against Johnson & Johnson by a woman injured by vaginal mesh has been upheld by a state court of appeals in New Jersey. Linda Gross filed suit against Ethicon, a division of J&J in 2008 alleging injuries including severe pain which resulted in 18 surgeries, the loss of her career as a nurse and the inability to have sex with her husband. 

Following a 31 day trial in February 2013 the jury returned with a verdict of 3.35M in compensatory damages and 7.76M in punitive damages.  The jurors found that J&J failed to adequately warn of the risks of the Prolift implant and made fraudulent representations to Ms. Gross.  The 3.35M portion of the verdict represented just 45 minutes of the $57M per day advertising budget for J&J in 2012.  The Gross case was the bellwether trial in New Jersey's multidistrict litigation over J&J's mesh products. 

In response to the verdict, defense counsel moved for judgment notwithstanding the verdict or for a new trial arguing that the award was not supported by adequate evidence.  Both motions were denied and J&J appealed the decision.

During oral arguments held in February in the appeal, J&J argued that the judge was incorrect in her determination that there was sufficient evidence to support the juries findings.  The panel, however agreed with the judge, referencing Ms. Gross' doctor's testimony that he would not have recommended the mesh or spent at least 45 minutes discussing it's drawbacks had he know that it “should not be implanted in sexually active people.”  The judge also relied on Ms. Gross' testimony that she would not have opted for the Prolift had she known of the risks.

Not surprisingly, Ethicon has issued a statement that the company disagrees with the panel ruling and continues to believe it “acted appropriately and responsibly.”

Showard Law Firm represents women injured by vaginal mesh products and has recovered millions for women in Southern Arizona.  If you have been injured by a mesh product contact us today for a free consultation.

About the Author

Sarah Showard

Sarah Showard graduated from the University of Maryland in 1985, Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English-Linguistics and a Certification in Women's Studies. She then graduated from New York University School of Law in 1988. Sarah began practice initially as an insurance defense attorney, and has been representing plaintiffs since 1990. Sarah has a son, Benjamin, who recently graduated from The Gregory School and will attend ASU in the fall, with future plans to attend law school and eventually join Showard Law Firm. In her spare time Sarah enjoys horseback riding and spending time in Sonoita with her husband Peter.

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Showard Law Firm is dedicated to compassionate representation for our clients who have been injured by defective products, dangerous drugs or the negligence of any individual or company. We are experienced in litigation and ready to ensure you receive the maximum possible settlement for your injuries, medical bills, mental anguish and other losses.

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2016 marked the 10th anniversary of Showard Law Firm. After 18 years of practice, and a prior ten-year partnership, Sarah Showard and her longtime assistant, Maria De La Rosa, opened the doors of Showard Law Firm in October 2006. Sarah and everyone at Showard Law Firm is proud to serve Southern Arizona as the local law firm for defective drug and medical device claims and personal injury.