Punitive Damages Awarded in J&J Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit

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Reuters recently reported that a California state court jury (in the case of Perry et al v. Luu et al, Superior Court of the State of California, Kern County, No. 5-1500-CV-279123) awarded $5.7 Million to plaintiff Coleen Perry for injuries allegedly related to Ethicon Inc.’s TVT Abbrevo product. Ethicon is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

The Reuters article stated that Abbrevo is one of Ethicon’s transvaginal mesh products that is currently the subject of thousands of lawsuits.  According to Reuters, Abbrevo was cleared in 2010 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat stress urinary incontinence.

 

According to Bloomberg, the plaintiff alleged that the Abbrevo device that was implanted inside of her began to erode in her body, causing pain and requiring her to have another surgery to remove part of the device.  The jury found that Abbrevo was defectively designed and that officials of J&J’s Ethicon unit failed to properly warn doctors and consumers about the device’s risks.  As a result, the jury awarded the plaintiff $700,000 in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.

Med Device Online reports that Ethicon has issued the following statement, and plans to appeal the verdict:

The evidence showed the TVT Abbrevo midurethral sling was properly designed and Ethicon acted appropriately and responsibly in the research development and marketing of the product.

 

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