Johnson & Johnson has settled four transvaginal mesh lawsuits alleging that the company’s mesh devices caused serious injuries in women. The lawsuits were the first four to be tried against J&J—also known as “bellwether trials”—and likely indicate that more transvaginal mesh settlements could be coming soon.
J&J faces more than 23,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits alleging that devices manufactured by its subsidiary Ethicon had severe side effects including tissue damage, internal bleeding, severe discomfort and mesh erosion. Several other companies have begun settling surgical mesh lawsuits for similar devices.
In 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered mesh manufacturers to conduct more thorough studies into the potential dangers of transvaginal mesh products. Several companies issued transvaginal mesh recalls for their devices after discovering they have a higher risk of severe side effects than alternative methods of treatment.