NJ Judge Upholds $11 Million Linda Gross Award- Ethicon Announces Another Appeal
Congratulations Linda and Jeff Gross!
It was a year ago February that Linda and Jeff Gross of Watertown, South Dakota were awarded $11.1 million following their four-week defective pelvic mesh trial against Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.
Wednesday the verdict was upheld in the product liability case.
Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Carol Higbee, who oversaw the trial last February, denied motions by J&J asking for a new trial. Granting the motion would have stuck down $3.35 million in compensatory damages and $7.76 in punitive damages. Judge Higbee also refused to reduce the punitive amount.
Ethicon spokesman Matthew Johnson said an appeal will be filed in this case “as we believe the jury’s verdict and damage awards were not supported by the evidence presented at trial.”
The New Jersey Law Journal reports:
Ethicon’s Johnson, in his statement, said the company “acted appropriately and responsibly in the research, development and marketing of the Prolift pelvic organ prolapse repair kit.”
“We empathize with all women suffering from pelvic organ prolapse (POP), which can be a serious and debilitating condition, and we are always concerned when a patient experiences adverse medical events,” Johnson added. “We have always made patient safety a top priority and will continue to do so.”
Judge Higbee reportedly felt there was enough evidence presented during trial to prove the Gynecare Prolift Pelvic Mesh kit implanted in Ms. Gross had caused her mesh injuries. At the time Ms. Gross had undergone 18 explant surgeries.
Recall that the jury found by a 7-2 vote the jury found that J&J failed to warn her implanting physician and made fraudulent misrepresentation to Linda Gross. The award breaks down to $500k for lost wages, $1.1 million for pain and suffering, $1 million for future medical costs, $385 for past medical costs, $180,000 for lost wages and $185 for a per quod claim.
Linda Gross was represented by Adam Slater of Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman of New Jersey. Mesh News Desk covered the entire trial via Facebook in real time through a feed provided by Courtroom View Network. It may be the first time a trial was ever covered as it unfolded on Facebook.
There are still 5,957 cases filed in the New Jersey court against Ethicon and 1,472 against C.R. Bard. Additionally there are more than 65,000 pelvic mesh defective product cases filed against seven manufacturers in federal court in Charleston, West Virginia.
New Jersey Law Journal<July 16, 2014 here
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