Plaintiffs’ attorneys for the transvaginal mesh multi-district (MDL) litigation in Charleston, West Virginia allege that Johnson and Johnson either destroyed or misplaced thousands of files that were ordered to be retained by the company. Ethicon, a unit of Johnson and Johnson that manufactures the Gynecare Prolift transvaginal mesh device, purportedly lost or disposed of the documents over the last decade.
According to the filing, plaintiffs’ lawyers claim there are inconsistencies in the company’s story and that Johnson and Johnson “should not benefit from the gaps in plaintiffs’ story that defendant created,” reported Bloomberg News.
“Big pharmaceutical companies will underplay the dangers of their manufactured drugs and devices, and unfortunately some will take extreme measures to hide these risks from the public,” commented Robert Price, a transvaginal mesh attorney with the Levin, Papantonio law firm.
Johnson and Johnson has faced a number of legal woes over the past few years, with the company recently agreeing on $2.475 billion dollars to settle a number of DePuy ASR lawsuits. The company’s over-the-counter painkiller, Tylenol, is also facing scrutiny for its alleged connection with acute liver failure and rare skin reactions. Moreover, the mega-corporation has previously paid out $2.2 billion for marketing non-approved uses for their manufactured drugs Risperdal, Invega, and Natrecor.
The first federal trial regarding Gynecare Prolift transvaginal mesh devices is set for February 10, 2014 in Charleston, West Virginia.