Johnson & Johnson is back in the news, although it is not they type of news they would like to hear. The company is entrenched in a pelvic mesh lawsuit that has already seen over 100 cases settled in the past year, and faces over 30,000 more cases that have yet to be heard. While the exact settlement numbers have not been released by Johnson & Johnson, it is speculated that the company could lose millions.
What is the Reason for the Lawsuits?
The pelvic mesh lawsuits are flooding in from patients all over the country who have experienced severe side effects from the mesh. The claims are being made that Johnson & Johnson did not properly market the products, failing to cite the side effects that were caused by the product.
In a report by the Associated Press, Attorneys General Bob Ferguson of Washington and Kamala Harris of California accused the New Jersey-based health care giant of neglecting to tell patients and doctors about the risks and occurrences of dire, sometimes irreversible complications. Those include urinary dysfunction, loss of sexual function, constipation and severe pain. These side effects can make everyday activities such as walking up and down stairs, laying down, or exercising extremely painful.
In a Reuters article, it is stated that Johnson & Johnson sold more than 787,000 pelvic mesh devices in the United States from 2008 until 2014, including more than 42,000 in California. Also in that article, the Food and Drug Administration said it was reclassifying mesh used to treat pelvic organ prolapse trans-vaginally from class II, or moderate risk, to class III, for high-risk devices, which will require manufacturers to submit extensive data to establish the devices’ safety. Hopefully this increased scrutiny by the FDA will prevent something like this from happening again in the future.