J&J Subsidiary Ethicon Destroyed or Lost Documents Related to Transvaginal Mesh Studies
A motion filed on December 2nd claims that Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon lost or destroyed documents that would help plaintiffs’ transvaginal mesh cases, so that they cannot fully represent their cases in upcoming bellwether trials against the medical manufacturer. The motion requested that default judgment be entered in favor of plaintiffs in bellwether cases for at least one of the two transvaginal mesh products manufactured by defendants.
“Ethicon’s document destruction has severely prejudiced the plaintiffs for the upcoming bellwether trials,” according to the filing. “Defendants should not benefit from the gaps in plaintiffs’ story that defendant created.”
Officials with J&J’s Ethicon unit are accused of systematically destroying documents related to their Gynecare Prolift implant over 10 years, even though J&J executives ordered them to preserve the information.
The first federal trial against Ethicon will begin on February 10th in the US District Court of Charleston, West Virginia. A state court in New Jersey has already ordered Ethicon to pay $11 million in damages to a woman who suffered serious side effects related to her transvaginal mesh implant.
Matthew Johnson, an Ethicon spokesman, said the company had “an appropriate process” for retaining documents and has turned over millions of pages of material to plaintiffs’ lawyers.
“We have never intentionally destroyed, withheld or failed to produce relevant documents,” he said in an e-mailed statement. He said the plaintiffs weren’t “prejudiced by any isolated instances where documents may have inadvertently not been maintained.”
However, Ethicon did admit that people who worked for the company had destroyed all documents related to their Gynecare transvaginal mesh on former Ethicon manager Renee Selman’s computer.
“Many employees did not understand that they were supposed to preserve documents or how they were supposed to do it,” the plaintiffs’ attorneys said.
The motion requested that, because J&J and Ethicon mishandled vital documents related to the transvaginal mesh cases, the company should be prohibited from seeking to throw out lawsuits because they were filed beyond deadlines or using other defenses.
“The proverbial slap on the hand is not enough,” the plaintiffs’ attorneys said in the 26-page filing.
The case is In Re Ethicon Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, 12-MD-02327, U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia (Charleston).
Results of a New Study Show that Transvaginal Mesh is Ineffective in Prolapse Repair
The findings of a recently published study show that transvaginal mesh is not beneficial for the repair of vaginal prolapse.
The study, conducted by Robert E. Gutman, MD, from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, was published in the September 6th online version of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
The transvaginal mesh study looked at 65 participants, and found no difference in cure rates for women with or without the use of the mesh devices. The authors are quoted as saying: “There was no difference in three-year cure rates when comparing patients undergoing traditional vaginal prolapse surgery without mesh with those undergoing vaginal colpopexy repair with mesh.”
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