NJ jury awards woman $3.35 M in J&J implant suit

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 25, 2013 at 6:30 pm •  Published: February 25, 2013
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Mesh implants, made of a porous synthetic or biologic material, are implanted and tied to ligaments or bone to serve as a sort of sling to lift and support the organ involved.

Introduced more than a decade ago, they were touted as a safer, easier alternative to hysterectomy or other surgery. Hundreds of thousands of women had them implanted.

Thousands later complained of complications: severe pain, infections and bleeding, generally requiring follow-up surgeries to fix those problems.

The New Jersey jury deliberated for five days, capping a six-week trial before Superior Court Judge Carol E. Higbee. Following the verdict, Higbee heard arguments from attorneys on both sides as to whether a punitive phase was merited. She ruled in favor of the plaintiff late Monday.

Woodruff said Johnson & Johnson plans to present more evidence to the jury during a punitive phase.

About 1,200 of the 4,000 lawsuits alleging harm from J&J's vaginal mesh implants are pending in New Jersey.

In a statement, Gross called the jury verdict "a resounding victory" for her and tens of thousands of women seeking justice from Prolift's maker. During the trial, she described her life since getting the vaginal implant as a "living hell."

"Sadly, Linda Gross will never get back quality of life she enjoyed prior to 2006," said attorney David Mazie.

Mazie and his partner, Adam Slater, of the Mazie Slater firm in Roseland, N.J., and two other law firms represented the woman and her husband, Jeff Gross.

In trading Monday J&J shares fell 68 cents to close at $75.57 amid a broad market decline.

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Linda A. Johnson can be followed at http://twitter.com/LindaJ_onPharma .

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