Mesh Medical Device News Desk, April 23, 2019~ Trial was supposed to begin Monday morning as Washington State sued Johnson & Johnson over failing to warn women about pelvic mesh complications.
At the eleventh hour it settled.
Now three more states will take their turn in upcoming lawsuits against J&J over pelvic mesh sales there.
As a result of the Washington State AG’s settlement with J&J, $10 million will be made available to Washington women injured by J&J’s pelvic mesh. They should contact the AG’s office.
The trial was set to begin Monday, April 22, 2019 in Seattle.
See: State of Washington v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., case number 16-2-12186-1 SEA in King County Superior Court.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued the healthcare giant to recoup the costs the state advanced to care for women injured by Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon division pelvic meshes. The company violated Washington’s consumer protection division by failing to acknowledge or by misrepresenting the serious life-altering risks of the pelvic (vaginal) mesh it sold in the state.
It was estimated that J&J sold more than 14,000 of its pelvic mesh medical devices in Washington State between 2002 and 2015.
The state was seeking the maximum penalty of $2,000 per violation along with costs, fees, restitution and other relief which could amount to $24 million.
J&J updated its instructions for use in late 2015.
Globally, more than 40,000 women have filed product liability actions against the healthcare giant. Complications filed by thousands of women include chronic pain and infection, mesh erosion and shrinkage, nerve damage, autoimmune reactions, and loss of sexual function, among other complications.
Kentucky, California and Mississippi have also filed similar suits but this is the first AG action to go to trial. Former California AG Kamala Harris filed the California case which is set to go to trial in July in San Diego.
*Latest Update * $10 Million Dollars
**Latest Add * Here is a Video that provides details of how the J&J case settled on the eve of trial.
J&J will pay $9.9 million to the State of Washington that will be used to provide relief to women harmed from Johnson & Johnson, an action separate and apart from that from any personal injury lawsuit.
There will be a claims process. The AG’s office knows there were at least 14,000 pelvic meshes sold in Washington State bringing profits to the healthcare giant of approximately $15 million.
Because of HIPPA regulations, the AG’s office is asking women to contact any woman who lives in Washington State who was implanted with a pelvic mesh to reach out to the AG’s office to make sure they are compensated.
Additionally, under the settlement, J&J has to make corporate changes. If J&J learns of new risks they must disclose them. If J&J sponsors a study for research it must disclose its own sponsorship.
“Our resolution is sending a clear message – you cannot sell medical devices in Washington State and fail to disclose the risks.”
Because the case settled, the AG’s office decides where the money goes and it will go to the woman impacted. They cannot seek pain and suffering compensation. AG Ferguson encourages them to discuss further action with an attorney.
“J&J knew about these risks for years and they misrepresented those risks for more than a decade even as they sold thousand of these devices in Washington State alone,” ~ AG Bob Ferguson.
AG Bob Ferguson office- News Release and Contact here
MND, April 15, 2019, Wx State Prepares for Trial (here)