Last week, drug and medical product maker Johnson & Johnson was ordered to $1.2 million by a Texas jury to a woman who experienced complications related to the company’s vaginal mesh implants.
Bloomberg reported that 64-year-old Linda Batiste was ordered the settlement because her Johnson & Johnson TVT-O vaginal mesh sling was defective. Eroding inside her, the implant caused the plaintiff much pain. In several cases of defective vaginal mesh slings, the device damages organs and makes sex painful.
“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 drug and medical device attorney with the Levin, Papantonio law firm. “Unfortunately, these companies often focus on profit over consumer safety.”
Ethicon is the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary accused in 12,000 lawsuits of improperly designing vaginal implants, including the TVT-O slings. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has forced Johnson & Johnson and other companies to perform studies on the devices’ relation to damaged organs and other complications.
Drug makers often develop and market a product without proper quality assurance and knowledge of its perceived and potential dangers. Once the product is ready to market, the companies will fast track it through the FDA’s 510(k) approval process, which is merely a rubber stamp of sorts that quickens the product’s way to the shelves.
Other companies accused of this practice included C.R. Bard. Last year, a jury found that C.R. Bard failed to properly warn consumers of the dangers associated with its transvaginal mesh products. C.R. Bard was ordered to pay $2 million for the defective products’ harm to patients.