Johnson and Johnson Settles Pelvic Mesh Class Action for $117 Million
In one of the larger class action lawsuits in the country, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has reached a settlement with 41 states (including Indiana) and the District of Columbia following injuries caused by J&J’s pelvic mesh products. The settlement figure is $117 million. Numerous women who had the once-popular, hammock-like devices implanted claim they caused severe pain, bleeding, infections and other complications. The class action suit also alleged the pelvic mesh products were deceptively marketed and the risks associated with the devices were not disclosed.
The products, also called transvaginal mesh, are a synthetic material surgically implanted through the vagina of women whose pelvic organs have sagged or who suffer from stress urinary incontinence — bladder leakage when they cough, sneeze or lift heavy objects. Such incontinence is estimated to affect 3% to 17% of women and sometimes becomes severe after age 70.
Some of the products are still on the U.S. market, and hundreds of thousands of women have had the devices surgically implanted. A J&J spokeswoman noted the settlement doesn’t include admission of any misconduct, and said the devices “are considered by many to be the gold standard for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence.”
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill hailed the settlement as a success. “My office will continue to hold accountable companies that cause harm to consumers through improper practices,” he said in a statement. “Women in Indiana and across the country have suffered as a result of the actions of Johnson & Johnson