Dallas Jury Awards $1.2 Million Verdict Against Johnson and Johnson’s Ethicon

In another victory for plaintiffs against vaginal-mesh implant manufacturers, a Dallas jury found for the plaintiff Linda Batiste and ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $1.2 million in compensatory damages.  The jury declined to award punitive damages. (Batiste v. McNabb, No. 12-14350, District Court for the 95th Judicial District, Dallas County Texas (Dallas)).

The jury found that 64-year-old Linda Batiste was implanted with a defectively designed Johnson & Johnson Ethicon TVT-O pelvic mesh.  As a result of the defective device, Batiste suffered severe pelvic pain.  The jury also found that Ethicon properly issued notification of known risks related to the implant, rejecting Batiste’s claims that Ethicon did not provide proper warnings about the slings’ health risks.

Johnson & Johnson already stated it plans to appeal the verdict.

Vaginal Mesh Trial History

Bard has lost two jury trials, settled a third case after a jury selected, and settled a fourth before trial commenced.  In July 2012, a California jury awarded Christine Scott and her husband $5.5 million after she underwent nine revision surgeries.  Scott sued C.R. Bard in 2009 over its Avaulta Plus mesh product.

In February 2013, Linda Gross won $11.11 million in her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon brand over its Prolift vaginal mesh product.  Gross had 18 surgeries.  The New Jersey jury found that J&J failed to warn patients and doctors about the risks of its mesh products and made fraudulent misrepresentations.

On August 15, 2013, after about 12 hours of deliberation, the jury found for Donna Cisson in her vaginal mesh trial against manufacturer C.R. Bard Inc, and found damages in the amount of $250,000 and $1.75 million in punitive damages.  The jury found that Bard failed to provide adequate warnings as to the defects in its vaginal mesh product and that the device was defective.  Judge Joseph Goodwin upheld the 2 million verdict in October 2013 as appropriate and that Cisson’s attorneys proved the company’s vaginal mesh was the cause of her injuries.  In Queen vs. Bard, starting trial immediately after Cisson, a settlement was reached after the jury was selected.  Finally, Bard settled Melanie Virgil’s claims that Bard’s Avaulta Plus insert caused urinary problems before trial commenced in New Jersey.

On February 18, 2014, Judge Joseph Goodwin granted Ethicon’s Motion for Directed Verdict at the close of Plaintiff’s case in Lewis vs. Ethicon, Inc. (In Re: Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2327, Carolyn Lewis, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 2:12-4301, S.D. W.Va.).

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