An Indiana federal jury returned a $35 million verdict in favor of Barbara Kaiser who alleged she was injured by a vaginal mesh implant.
The jury’s verdict found that defendants Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon Inc. were negligent in the design of the trans-vaginal mesh and then chose not to adequately warn patients and physicians of the risk.
Trans-vaginal mesh is used to treat stressed urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, a condition that occurs when a woman’s bladder or another pelvic organ drops from its normal place and then pushes up against the walls of the vagina.
The surgery at issue in this case took place in Munster, Ind., in 2009. The doctors involved implanted Kaiser with the Ethicon Prolift mesh device to treat her pelvic organ prolapse.
She originally filed her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon in 2012. The case found its way to the multi-district litigation (MDL) in the Southern District of West Virginia.
In the lawsuit, she contended that the mesh implant caused injuries that included bladder spasms and pelvic and groin pain. The case was reassigned to the federal court in Hammond, Ind., in March 2017.
In June 2012, which was three months after Kaiser filed her lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson announced that it would phase out the sale of four vaginal mesh implants, including the mesh system involved in this case.
Johnson & Johnson is facing thousands of other lawsuits that are still pending around the country. It was said in the reporting of this case that the Prolift mesh can harden and twist, causing pain and sometimes eroding the vaginal walls.
In Kaiser’s case, the jury verdict was returned after a 9-day trial. The presiding federal district court judge has not yet entered a judgment.
The lead trial attorney for Kaiser was Thomas O. Plouff. He handled this case along with his co-counsels, Edward Anthony Wallace and Jeffrey M. Kuntz. In addition to the legal team, the plaintiff also engaged the services of a jury consultant. According to a spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson, the verdict will be appealed.
Johnson & Johnson’s comment was that the verdict “contradicts the evidence that the product was properly designed and that the company appropriately informed surgeons of pertinent complications.”
Barbara Kaiser, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, No. 17 C 114 (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana).
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling hernia mesh lawsuits, product liability cases, pharmaceutical defect cases and wrongful death cases for individuals, families and loved ones who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Naperville, New Lenox, Rosemont, Riverside, Winnetka, Flossmoor, Highland Park, Lake Zurich, Bloomingdale, Chicago (Wicker Park, Logan Square, Rogers Park, North Lawndale), Lincolnshire, Vernon Hills, Buffalo Grove and Worth, Ill.
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