Jury selection began January 7, 2013, in Atlantic County (N.J.) Superior Court over claims the Gynecare Prolift® Pelvic Floor Repair System caused injuries that forced a patient to endure multiple treatments and surgeries and caused permanent damage. Linda Gross, a South Dakota nurse, claims the Johnson & Johnson pelvic mesh implant was defective in design and manufacture and that the company failed to warn her and her doctors about its risks.
Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Ethicon Inc., took the Gynecare mesh device and three others off the market in August 2012, claiming lack of “commercial liability” and denying any safety issue. Gross's lawsuit was filed in New Jersey because the company is based in New Brunswick.
In July 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned health care providers and patients that such implants used to repair pelvic organ prolapse, such as in Gross's case, exposed patients to greater risk of injury. Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon have denied such allegations.
Last year, a California woman was awarded $5 million and her husband $500,000 after a jury found that transvaginal mesh manufacturer C.R. Bard Inc.'s negligence caused the woman's injuries, including incontinence and chronic pain.
Transvaginal lawsuits with common claims have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, where one judge is managing cases involving Bard, American Medical Systems Inc., Boston Scientific Corp., Ethicon and Coloplast.
Another multidistrict litigation in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia involves injury claims over Mentor OBTape™. Johnson & Johnson has already settled with some plaintiffs.