Attorneys Generals from both the state of Washington and the state of California have filed consumer lawsuits against the pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, citing misrepresentation and neglect regarding its transvaginal mesh product.
The lawsuits specifically charge that the company “neglected to inform both patients and doctors of possible severe complications and misrepresented the frequency and severity of risks” that the product posed. Pelvic mesh is a common treatment offered to women suffering from pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence, but the use of the devices has been linked to a number of significant complications that have had serious impacts on the women’s health and quality of life. There have been more than 3,000 separate complaints lodged with the Food and Drug Administration, citing complications including permanent pain with intercourse, permanent loss of function for urinary and excretory processes, and loss of sexual function.
According to Kamala Harris, the Attorney General for the state of California, “Johnson & Johnson put millions of women at risk of severe health problems by failing to provide critical information to doctors and patients about its surgical mesh products. Johnson & Johnson’s deception denied the women the ability to make informed decisions about their health and well-being. My office will continue to hold companies accountable for misleading consumers and patients for financial gain.”
The lawsuits filed by California and Washington followed an investigation conducted collaboratively by 45 other states, as well as Washington D.C., and are consumer suits aimed at obtaining both monetary penalties and injunctive relief against the company, which Harris’ office says sold almost 800,000 of the transvaginal mesh devices nationally between 2008 and 2014. The suit charges that Johnson & Johnson understated both how serious the complications from the device were, and how frequently they occurred. “J&J knew about potential risks and side effects prior to the launch of their mesh products, yet omitted that information from educational and marketing materials provided to doctors and patients.”
In addition to the consumer lawsuits filed by the states, Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon have been the object of numerous personal injury lawsuits filed by the individual women who have been harmed by the transvaginal mesh devices. Speaking in their own defense, Johnson & Johnson issued a statement that said in part, “The evidence will show that Ethicon acted appropriately and responsibly in the marketing of our pelvic mesh products. The use of implantable mesh is often the preferred option to treat certain female pelvic conditions, including pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, and is backed by years of clinical research.”
For more information, please contact The Potts Law Firm at (888) 420-1299