The trial involved Ella Ebaugh, a woman who was injured by two vaginal mesh implants made by Ethicon Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.
One was the TVT-Secur mesh, which is no longer on the market. The other was the company’s “standard” TVT mesh, which is still sold.
Ebaugh was implanted with TVT-Secur mesh in May 2007 for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence. When the mesh failed to correct her condition, she was implanted with TVT mesh in 2008.
Three years later, she was suffering from incontinence and chronic pain. Doctors found that her mesh implants eroded into her urethra. She required a series of surgeries, including one described as being “cut open from hip to hip” to remove as much of the mesh as possible.
Despite multiple surgeries, Ebaugh still suffer from incontinence as a result of scar tissue and complications of her vaginal mesh implants.
The jury unanimously agreed that Ethicon was responsible for selling a defective device that “mutilated” her urethra and left her incontinent. The $57 million verdict included a $50 million punitive damage award.
The trial was the 5th vaginal mesh case to proceed in Philadelphia, with 4 out of 5 juries awarding nearly $50 million in total damages. The largest verdict before Ebaugh’s trial was a $20 million award in April.
Ethicon is the last big holdout in the vaginal mesh litigation, which at its peak involved lawsuits from over 100,000 women who were injured. All of the other manufacturers have agreed to pay settlements in the vast majority of cases, but Ethicon still faces 30,000 lawsuits.
The lawsuit was filed in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania — Ella Ebaugh et al. v. Ethicon Inc. et al. — Case No. 130700866.