Last week, Carey Danis & Lowe released an update on the Gynecare Prolift trial in New Jersey, and wrote that Linda Gross was awarded $3.35 million in a case involving Johnson & Johnson’s defective Gynecare Prolift vaginal mesh. On February 25, the jury announced Gross’s compensatory award, and later also ruled that Johnson & Johnson should pay $7.76 million in punitive damages on top of the compensatory award.
Gross is a resident of South Dakota, and a former nurse, who received an implant of Johnson & Johnson’s Gynecare Prolift vaginal mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP). After undergoing eighteen corrective surgeries to remove the hardened Gynecare Prolift device, and suffering through a slew of other health complications that have left her unable to work, Gross filed a vaginal mesh lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon.
Gross’s case is being heard in a New Jersey Superior Court in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and is being overseen by Judge Carol Higbee. Gross’s case represents the first of 4,000 vaginal mesh lawsuits to go to trial. Of the 4,000 vaginal mesh lawsuits filed in the United States, approximately 2,100 vaginal mesh lawsuits remain pending in New Jersey courts.
In deciding the total amount to award in compensation and punitive damages, the jury ruled that Johnson & Johnson did not adequately inform Gross’s surgeon about the health complications associated with use of the Gynecare Prolift device. Furthermore, according to a Bloomberg report on Gross’s case, the jury ruled that Johnson & Johnson had employed deceptive advertising strategies in marketing the vaginal mesh product.
Despite the jury’s decision, Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon, the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that developed and manufactured the Gynecare Prolift vaginal mesh device, has announced that it plans to file an appeal of the punitive verdict, citing the lack of evidence bolstering the over $7 million paid in punitive damages.
The jury might have been swayed by the closing arguments, during which the plaintiff’s attorneys spoke about carefully considering the conduct of pharmaceutical giants like Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon. The plaintiff’s attorneys also spoke about deliberating the punishment such a company deserves when they disregard consumer safety.
Lawyers at Carey Danis & Lowe find the jury’s verdict on the compensatory and the punitive damages to be demonstrative of the future of the Gynecare Prolift lawsuits. However, due to Ethicon’s statement about their desire to appeal, Carey Danis & Lowe is still monitoring the outcome of Gross v. Gynecare for any important changes, as these may have a significant effect on pending vaginal mesh lawsuits.
If you or someone you love has been injured by the Gynecare Prolift vaginal mesh device or another type of vaginal mesh, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages. Contact an experienced defective medical device lawyer at Carey Danis & Lowe today by calling 800.721.2519 or by completing a legal claim form.References: Defective Medical Device litigation, Transvaginal Mesh