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From Products Liability Law Daily, March 6, 2015

$5.7M jury verdict against Ethicon, J&J ends Calif. pelvic mesh trial

By Pamela C. Maloney, J.D.

A California jury awarded $5,700,000 in damages, including $5 million in punitive damages, to a woman who had filed a products liability and medical malpractice against Johnson and Johnson and Ethicon, Inc. the manufacturers of a pelvic mesh product, and Dr. Luu, her surgeon. According to the woman’s complaint, the poloprophylene mesh vaginal product which her surgeon implanted caused her serious injuries and pain that will continue throughout the remainder of her lifetime (Perry v. Luu, March 5, 2015, Brumfield, L.).

Background. Colleen Perry had undergone surgery to have a “Sling System” or poloprophylene mesh vaginal implant inserted, despite the Food and Drug Administration’s public health notification regarding the issues with Sling System and other similar products. The information in the 2011 Safety Communication was not shared with Perry by her physician, Dr. Luu; the manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson; or Ethicon, a Johnson & Johnson Company. Perry’s claim was part of the centralized multidistrict litigation centralized in the Southern District of West Virginia.

Jury’s findings.  In reaching its verdict, the jury found in favor of Perry on her claims for negligent design, negligent failure to warn, and negligent misrepresentation against both Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon.

Damage award. The $5.7 million award included $100,000 in future medical expenses, $100,000 in past non-economic damages, and $500,000 in future non-economic damages. Based on a finding that Perry had proven by clear and convincing evidence that the Ethicon’s and Johnson & Johnsons’ conduct amounted to malice, oppression, or fraud, the jury awarded her $5,000,000 in punitive damages.

The case is No. S-1500-CV-279123-LHB.

Attorneys: Stewart R. Albertson (Albertson & Davidson LLP) for Coleen M. Perry. T. Harold Pinkley (Butler Snow O’Mara Stevens & Cannada PLLC) and Joshua J. Wes (Tucker Ellis & West LLP) for Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon, Inc.

Companies: Johnson & Johnson; Ethicon, Inc.

MainStory: TopStory DamagesNews DesignManufacturingNews WarningsNews MedicalDevicesNews CaliforniaNews

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