Australian Court Finds J&J Liable for Mesh Injuries

November 22, 2019

The Federal Court of Australia has found Johnson & Johnson responsible in a lawsuit by more than 1,350 women over injuries linked to failures of its pelvic mesh.

The class action suit against the company and its subsidiary Ethicon seven years ago alleged that the meshes — implanted after childbirth to repair pelvic organ prelapse — were defective and came with inadequate warnings. The women alleged serious and permanent injuries such as erosion of the mesh into surrounding organs, incontinence and chronic pain.

The court found that Ethicon sold the devices without properly warning women about the risks, and was negligent for rushing the products to market before proper testing.

“The post-market evaluation of all the Ethicon devices was deficient,” said Justice Anna Katzmann. “It fell well below the level of care required of a reasonably prudent manufacturer.”

Katzmann also called out the Therapeutic Goods Administration, saying that the evaluation of the products before and after they were marketed were inadequate

In a statement, Ethicon said that it “believes that the company acted ethically and responsibly in the research, development and supply of these products.” Ethicon plans on appealing the ruling.

Katzmann said that she would rule on damages in February 2020.