Court Official Rules J&J/Ethicon Destroyed Thousands of Files on Transvaginal Mesh Implants
A court official in the J&J/Ethicon multidistrict litigation (MDL) has decided that the pharmaceutical giant improperly destroyed thousands of files regarding the safety and efficacy of transvaginal mesh devices.
Cheryl Eifert, a U.S. magistrate judge in Charleston, West Virginia, concluded on February 5th that Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary, Ethicon, negligently lost or destroyed thousands of documents, both paper and digital, regarding the development of the Gynecare Prolift and TVT Retropubic Transvaginal Mesh devices. The company’s negligence goes back as far as 2007, according to Eifert.
The finding came less than a week before the company goes into its first bellwether trial on February 10th regarding the TVT Retropubic sling. Ethicon faces over 12,000 personal injury lawsuits about the dangers of the TVT Retropubic sling alone.
Eifert did note that there is no evidence that J&J and Ethicon officials intentionally lost or destroyed documents with information about the transvaginal mesh devices. She said that the files were destroyed as part of the company’s file management system when employees left the company. However, Eifert reported that Ethicon was still negligent in the way it handled its files, and should be punished by allowing some juries in transvaginal mesh cases to hear evidence regarding the document destruction.
Matthew Johnson, an Ethicon spokesman, said in an email statement: ““While Ethicon produced millions of pages of documents in the MDL, it did inadvertently fail to preserve some documents, many of which were available elsewhere.”
Eifert’s ruling must still be approved by Judge Joseph R. Goodwin, who is overseeing the Johnson & Johnson MDL, as well as five other MDLs related to other transvaginal mesh device manufacturers.
Current Transvaginal Mesh MDLs
The six current transvaginal mesh MDLs are:
1. C.R. Bard MDL 2187: In Re C. R. Bard, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation.
2. Johnson & Johnson/Ethicon MDL 2327: In Re Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation
3. American Medical Systems MDL 2325: In Re American Medical Systems, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation
4. Boston Scientific MDL 2326: In Re Boston Scientific Corp. Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation
5. Mentor ObTape MDL 2004: In re Mentor Corp. ObTape Transobturator Sling Products Liability Litigation
6. Coloplast MDL 2387: IN RE: Coloplast orp. Pelvic Support Systems
Recently, due to the high number of personal injury claims involving transvaginal mesh devices, CR Bard, Endo Health Solutions, Boston Scientific, Coloplast, and Cook Medical, began settlement talks. Reportedly, these five transvaginal mesh manufacturers faced a total of 30,000 personal injury lawsuits. Johnson & Johnson, meanwhile, has not agreed to any settlement talks and will continue facing bellwether trials in its MDL in Virginia.
The Strom Law Firm Fights for Women in Transvaginal Mesh Personal Injury Case
Transvaginal mesh kits were initially produced to help with pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Several varieties of mesh kits exist, but transvaginal mesh specifically was supposed to produce less scarring and pain, because the procedure was less invasive. However, vaginal mesh slings can cause a host of problems, including organ perforation, infection, internal scarring, continued organ prolapse, and bleeding. If you or a loved one has pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence, have had a transvaginal mesh device implanted, and have since experienced detrimental complications, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced lawyers at Strom Law, LLC can help. We offer free consultations, so please contact us today, and we can help get you on the road to recovery. 803.252.4800