In the New Jersey vaginal mesh lawsuit currently underway, an expert testified that Ethicon, the makers of the Gynecare Prolift transvaginal mesh device kit, ignored warnings about the potential dangers linked to the implant.
The expert, Dr. Uwe Klinge, claimed that Ethicon knew the kit “would erode and retract inside women’s bodies.” Klinge is a recognized expert on vaginal mesh in medical circles because of his extensive work on the biocompatibility of surgical mesh. According to Klinge’s testimony, he delivered a speech in 2005 to the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary in which he explained that “in order to be safe for patients, mesh used in the pelvis would need to be lightweight, with pores that are at least one millimeter in all directions.” This is the advice that Klinge states was ignored by Ethicon. Klinge stated that instead of heeding this warning, Ethicon started marketing the Prolift device kit despite the fact that the kit was heavier and larger than what Klinge recommended in order for the kit to be safe.
Klinge’s damaging testimony suggests that Ethicon was more concerned about making money than with the safety of their patients. Ever since the vaginal mesh devices have hit the market, patients have been complaining of complications that often require the devices to be surgically removed. Complications of the various vaginal mesh devices include erosion, vaginal scarring, painful intercourse and infections. This lawsuit is the first of 1,800 claims that are currently underway in New Jersey Superior Court against Ethicon. Other companies are suffering the same lawsuit struggles over their own version of vaginal mesh devices. Other manufacturers of similar devices include Boston Scientific, American Medical Systems, C.R. Bard and Coloplast. With so many companies being sued over similar devices, the results of this New Jersey trial will likely be followed by lawyers and patients who are looking to see if a precedent is set in the ruling.