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Faulty medical device leads to $1.2 million lawsuit

Pharmaceutical heavy hitter Johnson & Johnson is in the hot seat after a state court ordered the company to pay out $1.2 million in damages to a woman who claimed injury from one of its medical products. The faulty medical device in question, West Virginia residents may be interested to know, was a mesh sling commonly used to treat incontinence in adults. The state court ruled in her favor the week of April 2.

According to the lawsuit, the 64-year-old woman had a transvaginal mesh sling implanted in her body to help her manage stress-urinary incontinence. However, the sling apparently eroded while inside her body, causing extreme pain and damage to the surrounding tissue. The defective device had been manufactured by J&J's Ethicon unit.

A jury found that the device was defective after it was revealed it was based on an existing unit meant to treat hernias. Unfortunately, the new device had not been sufficiently tested on humans for the FDA to fully sign off on the product -- they ordered J&J to conduct more tests as of Jan. 2012, due to rising concerns about the product. The court found in favor of the plaintiff, and J&J is now required to pay out the $1.2 million in damages.

A faulty medical device can cause unforeseen medical problems for the individual using it, which can lead to long-term damage and health problems. West Virginia residents understand how much of an impact this could have on an individual's day-to-day life. It is important to seek medical attention if a device appears to be malfunctioning and, if it has, to seek out information about what legal recourse is available.

Source: drugwatch.com, "Johnson & Johnson Must Pay Woman $1.2 Million in Vaginal Mesh Case", Michelle Llamas, April 9, 2014

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