A New Jersey woman has been awarded $15 million, including $10 million in punitive damages, in an Ethicon Prolift mesh lawsuit.
By Laurence Banville
A New Jersey jury awarded $15 million in damages on December 14, 2017 to a woman who claimed a faulty pelvic mesh implant manufactured by Johnson & Johnson left her in chronic pain. After six hours of deliberation, jurors for the Bergen County Superior Court found a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, Ethicon, liable for manufacturing a defective mesh product called Prolift, NorthJersey.com reports.
Prolift Trial In New Jersey CourtAlso ruling that Ethicon had failed to warn the public of Prolift's risks, the jury ordered the company to pay Elizabeth Hrymoc $4 million in compensation for pain and suffering, $1 million for loss of conjugal affection and $10 million in punitive damages.
Now 71, Hrymoc received two pelvic mesh implants in 2008, only one of which came from Ethicon's controversial line of Prolift devices. At trial, jurors heard evidence that Ethicon's researchers expressed early concerns that the mesh implant could shrink after implantation, ultimately eroding the vaginal wall. The woman's attorneys argued that, in the face of these doubts, Ethicon went ahead with the mesh, pushing the product to market without performing a clinical trial beforehand.
Ethicon Faces Thousands Of Mesh LawsuitsReleased in 2005, Ethicon's Prolift was designed to become a mainstay in the treatment of urinary incontinence, an extremely common, but difficult to treat, disorder that frequently develops in postpartum women. Mesh products are often used to reconstruct muscles that support the uterus and bladder.
Historical treatment methods, however, came with a high failure rate and relatively low efficacy. Prolift was meant to solve these problems, but as thousands of women have since learned, the device is not without its own significant risks. After years of complaints, Ethicon recalled the mesh in 2012.