A jury in New Jersey will decide if Johnson & Johnson’s pelvic mesh is defective and if the company is responsible for injuries to a local woman. The decision comes more than nine years after the plaintiff had the mesh operation, which has left her in chronic pain.
Elizabeth Hrymoc filed suit against the company in Bergen County’s Superior Court. Judge Rachelle L. Harz is presiding over the case.
Hrymoc’s attorney told the jury that J&J knew that one of two mesh devices implanted in her client was defective. Her attorney alleges that the company did not provide patients with adequate information on the potential risks of the implant.
The attorney pointed out that Johnson & Johnson is a $70-billion company, and that it should pay for its mistakes.
Thousands of lawsuits have been filed in New Jersey over the defective mesh implants, but Hrymoc’s case is only the second one to come to trial. A jury awarded Linda Gross $11.1 million in damages in the first trial.
Hrymoc’s trial is expected to last until after the holiday season. She is seeking punitive damages and compensatory damages for her pain and suffering.
The jury will decide whether the evidence presented by Hrymoc’s attorney supports the claims made by plaintiff.
Johnson & Johnson maintains that its pelvic mesh devices aren’t necessarily defective, although the company removed its Prolift device from the market in 2012.
J&J’s attorneys argued that Hrymoc’s complications were natural risks of the surgery and not the result of a defective product.
The plaintiff’s attorney showed the jury documents that suggested the company as concerned about the mash potentially eroding the vaginal wall. J&J put the device on the market despite these concerns.
Once inserted, according to Hrymoc’s attorney, the mesh can harden because of scar tissue. In some cases, the mesh can pierce through the vaginal walls. Hrymoc underwent three surgeries to correct the issue, but they were all unsuccessful.
J&J argues that the plaintiff’s doctor was aware of the risks and explained them to Hrymoc before the procedure.