Atlantic County, NJ–A New Jersey Superior Court judge upheld an $11.1 million jury verdict awarded last year in a bellwether product liability case against transvaginal mesh manufacturer Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc.
In Linda Gross v. Ethicon, Judge Carol Higbee of the Atlantic County Superior Court denied Ethicon’s motion for a new trial and a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, ruling that "strong evidence" supported Gross’s product liability claims against Ethicon's Prolift, a device use to treat vaginal prolapse. Gross argued that she underwent multiple surgeries to remove the device after it hardened and eroded through her vaginal wall. She also claimed that long-term damage caused by the Prolift left her unable to sit for long periods of time without pain. The jury awarded Gross $3.35 million in compensatory damages and $7.76 million in punitive damages after finding Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, Inc., misrepresented the Prolift to Gross and failed to adequately warn her surgeon of its risks.
The case is one of more than 5,950 suits across New Jersey as part of In Re Pelvic Mesh/Gynecare. Additionally, more than 19,000 vaginal mesh lawsuits have been filed against Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson as part of federal multidistrict litigation brought before the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of West Virginia.