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From Products Liability Law Daily, September 5, 2014

Ethicon hit with $3.27 jury verdict in pelvic mesh case

By Pamela C, Maloney, J.D.

A federal jury in West Virginia has awarded a patient $3.27 million in a bellwether trial relating to injuries she sustained resulting from an implanted transvaginal mesh device manufactured by Ethicon, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary. The jury found the manufacturer was liable on the patient’s strict products liability and negligence claims sounding in defective design and failure-to-warn. The bulk of the award was for future pain and suffering, mental anguish, disability, or loss of enjoyment of life for which the jury awarded $2,500,000 (Huskey v. Ethicon, Inc., September 5, 2014, Goodwin, J.).

Background. After having been surgically implanted with a pelvic mesh device manufactured by Ethicon, Inc. and marketed as the Gynecare TVT Obturator (TVT-O), Jo Huskey experienced dyspareunia and erosion of the mesh. She underwent a revision surgery in which a portion of the device’s mesh was excised, after which she experienced constant pelvic and vaginal pain, as well as a return of the urinary incontinence symptoms that originally had led her to undergo the implantation. The implant recipient and her husband (hereinafter the patient) filed suit against Ethicon alleging several causes of action in tort and products liability—including failure to warn and punitive damages.

Breakdown of award. The jury award was broken down as follows:

Expenses for past medical care $100,000

Past pain and suffering, mental anguish, disability, etc. $470,000

Future pain and suffering, mental anguish, disability, etc. $2,500,000

Loss of consortium (awarded to patient’s spouse) $200,000

The case number is 2:12-cv-05201.

Attorneys: Corey G. Raines (Wexler Wallace) for Jo Huskey. Christy D. Jones (Butler Snow), David B. Thomas (Thomas Combs & Spann), and Kimberly C. Metzger (Ice Miller) for Ethicon, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson.

Companies: Ethicon, Inc.; Johnson & Johnson

MainStory: TopStory DamagesNews MedicalDevicesNews WestVirginiaNews

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