Yesterday, Johnson & Johnson’s lawyers informed class action Judges, Judge Goodwin (West Virginia) and Judge Higbee (New Jersey), that it is will stop selling Prolift Vaginal Mesh. Now, J&J is not calling it a recall. But the difference between “stop selling” and “recall” is purely one of semantics. J&J now realizes the Prolift Vaginal Mesh is a bad product.
Importantly, J&J has asked the FDA to “place the existing 522 orders requiring additional studies for these products on hold.” It sounds like J&J knows the results of those studies would be very bad for them. Bad study results mean that the class action-like lawsuits (it is technically multidistrict litigation in West Virginia and consolidated cases in New Jersey), which are already very good cases, become extremely good.
Background: What Is Vaginal Mesh?
Vaginal mesh (also called transvaginal mesh, vaginal slings, transvaginal slings, and bladder slings) is a medical device that is surgically implanted to treat a condition called pelvic organ prolapse. These products have an extremely high rate of failure, and cause problems including infection, pelvic pain, punctured organs, urinary problems, and erosion of the mesh into the vagina. These are horrible, almost unspeakably embarrassing injuries.
There are many manufacturers, including C.R. Bard Avulta, AMS, Johnson & Johnson (through Ethicon, Boston Scientific, UGYTEX, and Covidien.
What Products Are Being Recalled?
Johnson & Johnson is ending sales of the following products in the United States:
- GYNECARE TVT SECUR
- GYNECARE PROSIMA Pelvic Floor Repair System
- GYNECARE PROLIFT Pelvic Floor Repair System
- GYNECARE PROLIFT+M Pelvic Floor Repair System
There is one product that is not being discontinued, but which will feature updated labeling—the GYNECARE GYNEMESH PS.
What Will The Court Do?
The lawyers in the Vaginal Mesh cases have a case management conference set in West Virginia in July. Right now, especially in light of this Prolift recall, plaintiffs’ lawyers are rushing to file the remainder of their Prolift vaginal mesh cases. The judge seems encouraged to start setting trial dates, which is a good sign that the cases may begin settling. Settlements routinely occur just before and after these initial trials in cases like this.
The parties are still working on some remaining discovery issues, and working on creating Plaintiff Fact Sheets (PFS) and Defendant Fact Sheets (DFS). The Fact Sheets are agreed-upon documents that each plaintiff and defendant fills out to provide the opposing side with some good preliminary information. Plaintiffs will disclose their medical and surgical history, demographic information, and other relevant information.
If you have been injured by vaginal mesh, or want to learn more about the Johnson & Johnson vaginal mesh recall, contact our product liability lawyers at 1.800.553.8082, or online for a free internet consultation. We can help you to determine whether you have a vaginal mesh recall claim, and to get a lawsuit filed on your behalf. We believe that bladder sling settlements may be just around the corner, so please call immediately.