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Texas jury awards $1.2 million in J&J sling suit

A Texas jury awarded a woman $1.2 million after she filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, which claimed that the vaginal sling implants designed by the company were defective. The woman said that the defective product caused her to suffer pelvic pain.

A group of pharmaceutical companies are facing lawsuits over vaginal mesh products, which some patients say have caused them injuries. The 64-year-old woman to whom the $1.2 million judgment was awarded received a TVT-O sling from Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The TVT-O sling is one of several vaginal insert devices used to treat incontinence and prolapse. Reports indicate that more than 12,000 suits against Johnson & Johnson are pending. Plaintiffs in these cases claim that the devices they received were defective and that they caused painful side effects and eroded organ tissues inside the body.

Despite the Texas jury's ruling, Johnson & Johnson continues to market the TVT-O sling. Thousands of suits are awaiting trial against 33 manufacturers of vaginal insert devices. The Food and Drug Administration has ordered these companies to conduct studies regarding organ tissue erosion and other side effects resulting from vaginal implants.

Patients who receive medical implants expect that the product will treat their illnesses. However, in some cases these devices may cause more problems, requiring revision surgeries and operations to correct any tissue damage that may have resulted from the implant. Sometimes, manufacturers may continue to market their devices without proper warnings even after patients complain of side effects. Patients who suffer injury as a result of their vaginal implant devices may choose to seek the advice of a personal injury attorney. He or she may be able to help their clients recover compensation from the manufacturers of defective medical devices.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, "J&J Must Pay Damages in Mesh Incontinence Implant Verdict Loss", Jef Feeley , April 04, 2014

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