Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon plans to appeal a $20 million jury verdict over its TVT-Secur vaginal mesh inserts, which represents the first vaginal mesh verdict against the company in more than a year.
A state-court jury in Philadelphia ordered Ethicon to pay a New Jersey woman $20 million in damages, including $17.5 million in punitive damages. The jury found the TVT-Secur device, which was designed to treat incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse in women, was defectively designed and caused the plaintiff pain and injury.
|Learn how to prevent potential use errors during the product design phase at MD&M East, June 13-15, 2017, in New York.|
The company stopped selling the TCT-Secur device, along with three other vaginal mesh products, in 2012. The company said at the time that the global discontinuation was largely due to negative publicity surrounding vaginal mesh devices, and not because of any of the lawsuits against it.
"We believe the evidence showed Ethicon's TVT-Secur device was properly designed, Ethicon acted appropriately and responsibly in the research, development, and marketing of the product, and TVT-Secur was not the cause of the plaintiff's continuing medical products," Kristen Wallace, an Ethicon spokeswoman, said in a statement emailed to Qmed. "Therefore, we are disappointed with today's verdict, and feel we have strong grounds for appeal."
Wallace also noted that the company empathizes with women suffering from stress urinary incontinence, which can be a serious, and debilitating condition.
Ethicon is currently preparing for a new series of vaginal-mesh trials, including three more in Philadelphia that are scheduled over the next two months.
Thousands of lawsuits have been filed over vaginal mesh devices from multiple manufacturers, including American Medical Systems, Boston Scientific, C.R. Bard, Cook Medical, Endo Health, and Coloplast.
Ethicon has won some and lost some of the lawsuits filed against it over the devices, and has settled more than 100 others.
Complications from the implants may crop up years after surgery and are sometimes irreversible. The mesh was not designed to be removed, so it may take multiple surgeries to try to remove it. A California patient said last year that a consultant likened excising the mesh to "trying to remove chewing gum from hair."
Amanda Pedersen is Qmed's news editor. Contact her at [email protected].
[Image courtesy of Pixabay]