On the fifth day of trial in a bellwether case in a multidistrict litigation over transvaginal mesh injuries, Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon Inc. has settled the case.
Ethicon spokesman Matthew Johnson said the company and the plaintiff had agreed to resolve the matter, but did not provide any details of the settlement, Law360 reports.
The plaintiff alleged she suffered inflammation, chronic pain, and other complications after the Ethicon transvaginal mesh device was implanted. According to Law360, court documents indicate she had four subsequent surgeries to remove and revise the mesh.
This case is one in the seven MDLs involving transvaginal mesh assigned to U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin. More than 70,000 cases were consolidated into the MDLs. Transvaginal mesh devices are used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Women have sued over injuries including mesh erosion through the vagina (also called exposure, extrusion, or protrusion), pain, infection, bleeding, pain during sexual intercourse, organ perforation, and urinary problems. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rejected a call for a total ban on pelvic mesh devices, but is considering a reclassification that would move the devices to Class III, the highest risk category, which would subject the devices to stricter regulatory control.
A number of pelvic mesh manufacturers have been hit with large awards over their mesh devices. In September, a plaintiff was awarded $3.3 million in a suit over Ethicon’s TVT-O transvaginal sling. The jury found in favor of the plaintiff on all counts, including strict liability, design defect, failure to warn, and negligence, Law360 reports. Boston Scientific Corp. was hit with a $73 million verdict in September. A Texas state jury found the company’s Obtryx transvaginal sling was defectively designed and caused severe injuries. In January a West Virginia judge refused to dismantle a $2 million verdict against C.R. Bard Inc., though the company claimed the verdict was not supported by sufficient evidence. Last week, a California jury returned a $5.7 million verdict against Ethicon in a suit over another of its mesh devices.