CVN screenshot of of California Deputy Attorney General Jinsook Ohta addressing the court
San Diego, CA - A California state court judge on Thursday ordered Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon to pay $344 million for making false and deceptive statements in marketing its pelvic mesh implants.
San Diego County Superior Court Judge Eddie Sturgeon issued his decision following a nine-week civil trial in 2019, when the California Department of Justice accused the company of withholding information from patients and doctors about risks of side effects and complications associated with the implants.
The 2019 trial was recorded gavel-to-gavel by Courtroom View Network.
It marked the first time a state took Ethicon to trial over its pelvic mesh devices, as opposed to the thousands of women who have filed personal injury lawsuits against the company claiming pelvic mesh devices left them suffering from chronic pain and could not be fully removed even after multiple surgeries. The state sought nearly $800 million in damages.
“Johnson & Johnson intentionally concealed the risks of its pelvic mesh implant devices. It robbed women and their doctors of their ability to make informed decisions about whether to permanently implant the products in patients’ bodies,” said attorney general Xavier Becerra in a news release. “Johnson & Johnson knew the danger of its mesh products but put profits ahead of the health of millions of women. Today we achieved justice for the women and families forever scarred by Johnson & Johnson’s dishonesty.”
Ethicon plans to appeal the verdict.
“Ethicon responsibly communicated the risks and benefits of its transvaginal mesh products to doctors and patients, and the decision disregards the company’s full compliance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) laws on medical device communications and the appropriateness of its actions,” the company said in a statement.
California was represented at trial by in-house attorneys from the AG’s office.
Ethicon was represented by attorneys from Covington & Burling.
The case is captioned The People of the State of California v. Johnson & Johnson, case number 37-2016-00017229-CU-MC-CTL in the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego.
E-mail David Siegel at email@example.com