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Drugs & Medical Devices

Johnson and Johnson Won First Pelvic Mesh Trial

— October 6, 2015

Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Ethicon, won the first case involving the company’s Gynecare Prosima pelvic mesh to go to trial. The plaintiff, Carol Cavness, had asked for $9.5M in damages for past and future medical expenses, pain & suffering and an unspecified amount in punitive damages. The jury decided in favor of J&J with a 10-2 vote.

Carol Cavness, a patient formerly using J&J’s Prosima pelvic mesh had her day in court this week and it didn’t go well. Cavness claimed that the Gynecare Prosima device manufactured by J&J’s Ethicon subsidiary was the direct cause of her injuries. The mesh was surgically implanted to resolve Cavness’ pelvic organ prolapse. When all was said and done, Johnson and Johnson won first pelvic mesh trial.


Cavness’ suit alleged that the Prosima mesh was not only defectively designed, but that Ethicon’s warnings were not sufficient to describe the risk of using the product. The Texas jury did not find Cavness’ case to be compelling and decided in favor or J&J with a 10-2 vote. Cavness’ suit asked Judge Ken Molberg to grant $9.5M to cover past and future medical expenses, pain & suffering and punitive damages.

An Ethicon spokesperson, Matthew Johnson, issued a statement saying that the jury’s decision “reflects the facts in this case.” He also said that Ethicon’s actions in research and development of the pelvic mesh were appropriate and responsible.

He added, “We empathize with all women suffering from pelvic organ prolapse, which can be a serious and debilitating condition, and we are always concerned when a patient experiences adverse medical events.”

Apparently not concerned enough to help cover the costs of such adverse events. Granted, we can’t have everyone who ever used any product suing the manufacturer claiming that, “It gave me a headache!” when, in reality, they’re just out for the money. However, in a case where substantial damage actually has been done, is there no room at the inn for compassion?

Fine, don’t hand Cavness a $9.5M check, but maybe try to help by covering legitimate expenses to have your product removed/corrected? I know, I know… We’re talking about a major medical device manufacturer and product liability law, what’s with all the compassion crap?

Chalk it up to the bliss from having had a great massage this afternoon.

Sadly, Cavness isn’t feeling any bliss this week and that’s a shame. As this case becomes precedent, it’s quite likely that many other plaintiffs won’t be feeling blissful, either.


Johnson & Johnson wins 1st Prosima pelvic mesh suit

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