Johnson & Johnson Hit With $120 Million Pelvic Mesh Verdict

A Philadelphia jury punished a Johnson & Johnson (J&J) subsidiary with a $120 million verdict over claims its pelvic mesh was defectively designed and left a woman with chronic, debilitating pelvic mesh snippain. The verdict, handed down on April 24, awarded plaintiff Susan McFarland $20 million in compensatory damages while hitting Ethicon Inc. to the tune of $100 million in punitive damages.

McFarland’s claims centered on Ethicon’s TVT-O pelvic mesh device she had implanted in 2008 to treat her urinary incontinence. McFarland alleged that the TVT-O eroded through the tissue in her pelvis and eventually had to be partially removed with a second surgery. As a result, she suffers from chronic uterine tract infections and vaginal pain so severe that she has not been able to have sex with her husband for over 10 years. The jury agreed with McFarland’s claims that the TVT-O’s defective design caused the migration of the mesh and was ultimately responsible for her injuries.


The verdict marked the seventh plaintiff victory and the largest award yet among the pelvic mesh cases tried in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. The total awarded to plaintiffs across these seven cases now exceeds $270 million.

The verdict also comes just over a week after the Food and Drug Administration ordered the manufacturers of pelvic mesh products to stop selling and distributing the devices after the manufacturers failed to provide evidence of its long-term safety.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective pelvic mesh implant, call the Minnesota defective medical device attorneys at GoldenbergLaw for a free consultation. We have the experience and skills required to help you obtain the justice you deserve.

Four Cases That Will Make You Think Differently About Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson is one of the largest and most well-known companies in the world, and millions of individuals trust the company with the products they purchase. Unfortunately, Johnson & Johnson has run into some legal trouble with some of its signature products. Here are four recent trials that show a consistent pattern in the manufacturing, marketing, and sale of some Johnson & Johnson products.

  • Prolift pelvic mesh: Johnson & Johnson misrepresents the efficacy and safety of the mesh.

In March 2018, Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon were hit with a $35 million verdict over their Prolift pelvic mesh. Plaintiffs accused the companies of underreporting and withholding information about the mesh, including reports of a high failure rate and revision surgeries. Some plaintiffs claimed the Prolift mesh caused irreversible injuries. Further, plaintiffs claimed that the companies misrepresented the efficacy and safety of the products by misinforming the public and medical community of the potential risks of implantation. The jury agreed and found that Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon Inc. were negligent in the design of the mesh and did not adequately warn patients and physicians of the risk.

  • Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip: J&J’s product has design defects.

In November 2017, J&J’s orthopedic subsidiary DePuy was hit with a $247 million verdict across six plaintiffs who claimed the Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip caused implant loosening and metal poisoning. A Dallas jury found DePuy liable for design defects and fraud related to the manufacturing and marketing of the Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip and punished the company with $168 million in punitive damages. This was the third plaintiff verdict in the Pinnacle litigation. Thousands of individuals suffered injuries, including tissue death and bone erosion, that they attribute to the design flaws of the Pinnacle hip implant. The jury agreed and found that Johnson & Johnson and DePuy were liable for design defects and fraud.

RELATED: Pinnacle Trial Update: Combined Verdict of $247 Million

  • Talcum Powder: The manipulation of testing methods so asbestos could not be found in talcum powder

In April 2018, Plaintiffs in a New Jersey state court successfully claimed that Johnson & Johnson and supplier Imerys Talc America Inc. have sold and distributed talcum powder containing asbestos for decades. A jury sided with the plaintiff’s claim that J&J created tests that would intentionally not detect asbestos in the talcum powder and hit J&J and Imerys with $117 million in total damages. Many individuals have been diagnosed with mesothelioma that they claim is a result of talcum powder use. The jury found that the baby powder contained asbestos and that the plaintiff’s exposure to it played a substantial factor in him contracting mesothelioma.

RELATED: Johnson & Johnson Hit With $117 Million in Asbestos Talcum Powder Trial

  • Talcum Powder: Selling the baby powder despite the numerous studies that show a link between talc and ovarian cancer.

In February 2016, a Missouri state court awarded $72 million to a Virginia woman who claimed that her daily use of J&J’s talcum powder caused her ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson became aware of this potential danger in 1982 when epidemiologist Dr. Daniel Cramer published a study about the association between perineal talcum powder use and ovarian cancer. Since then there have been over 20 other studies that reaffirm Dr. Cramer’s findings. The case ended up being reversed because the lawsuit lacked jurisdiction in Missouri. Nonetheless, the case highlighted the strength of plaintiff’s claim that J&J failed to warn that perineal use of talcum powder can be a contributing factor to the development of ovarian cancer.

Despite several verdicts that hold Johnson & Johnson responsible for its defective products, the company has not accepted fault and has planned to appeal the decisions.

GoldenbergLaw Can Help

GoldenbergLaw is accepting Talcum Powder, Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant, and Prolift pelvic mesh cases. Please contact your defective medical device attorneys GoldenbergLaw. Call us at 612 – 436 – 5026.