Johnson & Johnson Loses or Destroys Thousands of Records Relating to Transvaginal Mesh Implants
For many women in North Carolina suffering from pelvic organ prolapse or urinary incontinence, the medical procedure that should have brought relief instead brought untold pain and suffering.
In 2010 alone, doctors implanted more than 75,000 patients nationally with transvaginal mesh devices. In theory, these small, synthetic slings provide permanent reinforcement to strengthen weakened urological tissue. For many women, however, the meshes eroded or shrunk over time, causing chronic pain and internal injuries.
In July of 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an urgent public notice and ordered Johnson & Johnson and 31 other vaginal mesh manufacturers to investigate the rate of organ damage among transvaginal mesh users.
As of this writing, more than 30,000 women have filed suit against Johnson & Johnson, Boston Scientific Group and other makers of the devices. Many transvaginal mesh lawsuits have been filed on behalf of women in North Carolina.
Now comes news that Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit may have destroyed or lost hundreds of thousands of documents related to its Gynecare Prolift implant, even though they were legally obligated to retain them. This may severely alter women’s abilities to be compensated fairly when their cases go to federal court in Charleston, W.V., on Feb. 10, 2014.
Already, the pharmaceutical company has been ordered to pay more than $11 million in damages to a woman severely injured by her implant. Now, thousands of women may not have access to records that could help them recover compensation for their own pain and suffering.
However, from a legal standpoint, Johnson & Johnson may still be forced to take responsibility for the faulty devices, even though important records were lost or destroyed. In a filing for the plaintiffs on Dec. 2, attorneys said, “Ethicon’s document destruction has severely prejudiced the plaintiffs for the upcoming bellwether trials. Defendants should not benefit from the gaps in plaintiffs’ story that defendant created.” The plaintiff’s added: “A slap on the hand is not enough.”
What does this mean for you?
If you or a loved one has been injured by the use of a transvaginal mesh implant, whether it was created by Johnson & Johnson or another pharmaceutical company, you need competent counsel to represent you.
According the Bloomberg article, Johnson & Johnson, the world’s largest manufacturer of pelvic mesh devices, may be unable to have certain cases thrown out even if they were filed beyond legal deadlines.
This means that even if you were told that the statute of limitations had passed for filing a defective product lawsuit on your transvaginal mesh device, you may still have legal recourse. But, going against a pharmaceutical powerhouse like Johnson & Johnson is never easy.
At Ward Black Law in Greensboro, N.C., our product liability attorneys are experienced in cases such as these and can help women across North Carolina understand their rights concerning injuries caused by implanted vaginal mesh and bladder slings. We have the integrity, experience, compassion and knowledge you need to help guide you through the process of filing a legal proceeding. From a confidential case review to representing you before the courts – we’re here for you.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be compensated for the hardships you have endured. You’ve suffered enough – let us help.
We are here to answer your questions and help you understand your next steps with no obligation. Call Ward Black Law toll free at (877) 256-1214 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.