A jury verdict of $57 million was handed down against Johnson & Johnson and awarded to Ellla Baugh, a Philadelphia woman who was injured by a commonly used product: transvaginal mesh.
What is Transvaginal Mesh used for?
Around 40 percent of all women experience some form of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) in their lives. POP occurs when the pelvic floor tissues holding up the uterus, bladder, and bowel become weakened or stretched, usually from pregnancy and childbirth. Without enough support, those organs descend from their normal position and bulge into the vagina. Weakened pelvic muscles also cause up to 35 percent of all women to suffer with stress urinary incontinence (SUI), in which they lose bladder control while laughing, coughing, or lifting something heavy.
Like many women, Baugh says that her pelvic floor muscles became weakened after having children. In an effort to fix the condition, she had surgery using transvaginal mesh made by Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon to reinforce tissue around her urethra. The mesh eroded through her urethra, and after three revision surgeries, some of the mesh still remains embedded.
Complications Caused by Transvaginal Mesh
The problems with transvaginal mesh are two-fold: the product itself is defective and the manufacturers do not adequately inform or train the surgeons they persuade to use the mesh. Thousands of women have experienced serious complications from transvaginal mesh and bladder sling surgeries. The mesh can erode and migrate through the vaginal wall, causing excruciating pain, infection, and bleeding. Often these problems can be corrected only by additional surgeries, which are extremely complicated because the mesh imbeds itself into the surrounding tissue and is difficult to surgically remove. To make matters worse, it’s not always easy to find a skilled surgeon willing to perform corrective surgery. And it may take more than one surgery to correct the problem.
The jury found that Ethicon was guilty of negligence in Baugh’s case and that its product was defectively designed.
How Waters Kraus & Paul Speaks for You
“Many women who have had children undergo vaginal mesh surgery because they experience a little urine leakage when they cough, sneeze or laugh,” says Waters Kraus & Paul partner Leslie MacLean. “What had been a minor inconvenience turns into a full-blown nightmare.”
This nightmare is due to Johnson & Johnson choosing profits over consumer safety. “Johnson & Johnson chose not to warn women that the company’s vaginal mesh product could cause the pain, urinary, and sexual injuries that our clients have suffered,” says Waters Kraus & Paul partner Gibbs Henderson.
Waters Kraus & Paul enjoys a national reputation and a wealth of experience representing clients injured by dangerous products and unsafe medical devices. We understand that transvaginal mesh is a women’s issue. Injuries caused by transvaginal mesh are personal and they’re sensitive. That’s why we’ve assembled a legal team of transvaginal mesh attorneys, most of whom are women, to provide our transvaginal mesh clients with compassionate and aggressive representation throughout the entire course of litigation. To learn more about Waters Kraus & Paul, or to have one of our attorneys review your potential transvaginal mesh case, email us or call 800.226.9880.