A South Dakota woman, 47-year-old Linda Gross, blames Johnson & Johnson for her ongoing trouble with the company’s transvaginal mesh implant which she received in 2006.
The lawsuit concerns whether J&J’s Ethicon unit adequately warned Ms. Gross of the device’s risks. Johnson & Johnson is one of several companies that produce the synthetic devices to treat Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) – which can occur after pregnancy. The companies face lawsuits by thousands of women who blame them for organ perforation, pain, scarring and nerve damage.
In court papers, Gross’ attorneys wrote: “She can no longer sit comfortably for more than a few minutes without having to either stand up or lay down to try to reduce the level of pain. She requires various daily medications to treat her severe chronic pain.”
The New Brunswick-based J&J denies Gross’s claims for failure to warn of the risks, defective design and negligence, according to an Ethicon spokesman, Matthew Johnson.
“The evidence will show that Ethicon acted appropriately and responsibly in the research, development and marketing of pelvic mesh products to treat debilitating conditions affecting many women,” Johnson said in an e-mail.
Four months ago, J & J stopped selling four different mesh devices in the U.S., including the Gynecare Prolift that Gross had implanted on July 13, 2006. The former nurse claims her ongoing pain has ruined her quality of life and keeps her from working.
Matthews & Associates’ firm founder David Matthews was in New Jersey to hear the opening arguments in the case. Matthews is scheduled to try a similar type of case, against American Medical Systems in California in May 2013. But unlike the NJ case, the California case concerns a slightly different product: the AMS Monarc sling, which is used for stress urinary incontinence (SUI).
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