When closing arguments began in the New Jersey vaginal mesh lawsuit filed against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon, the claims of French researchers offered the most damming evidence against the company to date in claiming that the Prolift device wasn’t safe for plaintiff Linda Gross or anyone else in her age bracket.
According to the written assessments of the French researchers — who were working on the perfection of the Gynecare Prolift surgery before Ethicon put the device on the market — the researchers stated about their findings:
“Nowadays, based on these data, we can only advise that caution be exercised when carrying out this new procedure. In fact, experimental studies and clinical trials seem necessary in order to reduce the level of exposure to less than 5 percent of cases.”
The plaintiff’s lawyer followed that by saying: “That was a good idea. Study it. Get these complication rates way down before we even think about selling it. They never did it.”
Reading another excerpt from the French researcher’s report, the plaintiff’s lawyer said, “We have to assess more precisely functional and sexual outcomes before extend[ing] the indications of Prolift to young women or to primary prolapse repair.”
The lawyer then went on to explain what the excerpt meant by telling the jury that the French researchers studied the Prolift vaginal mesh device kit for their own purposes and wrote the comments down because they didn’t want the kit to be used on women in the plaintiff’s demographic. The lawyer went on to point out that the mesh was implanted too quickly since Gross’s implant occurred only two months before the device was deemed unsafe. Complications of the Prolift vaginal mesh device that are common with various vaginal mesh devices like the Prolift device mentioned in this lawsuit 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.