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Australian court orders J&J to pay millions over mesh implants

Pelvic mesh implants were sold by Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries around the world to surgically treat stress urinary incontinence and organ prolapse. Only after many women had been treated did it come to public light these implants could cause serious problems including bleeding, severe pain during intercourse and chronic pain.

Last November, an Australian court ruled that J&J subsidiary Ethicon misled doctors about the gravity of the risks and negligently failed to fully test the implants before selling them. The judge found the information Ethicon included with the implants was, on the whole, misleading. She also found the company's post-market evaluation of the products was deficient. Knowing the substantial risks to patients, Ethicon failed to act.

Now, Ethicon has been ordered to pay millions to the patients in this class action, which includes three lead plaintiffs and over 1,350 women potentially included in the class. The court ordered Ethicon to pay the three lead plaintiffs A$2.6 million, or $1.7 million in U.S. dollars. Exact damages for the class plaintiffs will be determined in the coming days, according to Reuters.

Once the standards are set out for compensating the class plaintiffs, Ethicon has 28 days to file an appeal.

Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries have faced similar lawsuits in the U.S., Canada and Europe. In the U.S., J&J agreed to settle claims in 41 states and the District of Columbia for $117 million. Based on this Australian court's assessment, J&J may have settled those earlier American claims for bargain rates.

Have you been injured by a pelvic mesh implant?

You may have received a pelvic mesh implant to correct stress incontinence or organ prolapse. If you did, you may have suffered serious pain, painful intercourse or bleeding after it was implanted, or you may have needed revision surgery.

If so, you may have a product liability claim against Johnson & Johnson. Discuss your situation with an experienced attorney who can explain your legal options.

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