Then plaintiffs in the upcoming transvaginal mesh bellwether lawsuit (an important lawsuit that portends the outcome of future suits) alleged that Ethicon’s employees purposefully destroyed or lost key documents related to the development and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the company’s Gynecare Prolift vaginal mesh (In Re Ethicon Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, 12-MD-02327, U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia, Charleston). These allegations were thoroughly laid out in a 26-page motion filed in West Virginia on December 2.
So how could things get even worse? Well, Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of Ethicon, says they ordered Ethicon to preserve all documents related to the development and regulatory approval of the mesh inserts. So this little mishap was, uhum, not their fault.
To be clear, Johnson & Johnson maintains that their vaginal mesh products are safe and were carefully studied and regulated. So then why were so many documents lost or destroyed? Surely this begs the question: Did Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon always know that the mesh implants were not safe or even effective?
Documents indicate that, currently, Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson are allegedly facing over 12,000 federally filed lawsuits and 4,000 claims in a multicounty proceeding in New Jersey Superior Court.
And it’s just beginning.
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