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$57 million award made in products liability lawsuit

When patients in Kentucky choose to undergo surgery, they anticipate they will receive the best possible care and products used during and after an operation. Unfortunately, companies are not always aware of all the potential risks their products could pose to patients, or they may choose not to adequately inform patients of all potential risks. A jury in another state recently determined that a company that sold pelvic mesh was negligent in the  design of the product and failed to inform patients of known potential risks. The woman was awarded $57 million in the products liability lawsuit.

In addition to raising a family and working, the woman was an active softball player. More than 10 years ago, she was diagnosed with urinary incontinence, which can be brought on by stress, exercise and coughing. Because the incontinence was interfering with her enjoyment of life, she chose to have pelvic mesh implants to help correct the problem. The implants were made by a company called Ethicon, whose parent company was Johnson & Johnson.

Instead of improving her life, the implants resulted in severe pelvic pain. She had to undergo a second surgery to have them removed because they had shifted internally and invaded other parts of her body, resulting in her pain. Her enjoyment of life has been significantly reduced; for instance, she has been forced to indefinitely wear diapers, which limits her activity and intimacy. In the trial, email evidence was presented that Johnson & Johnson was aware the mesh held potential risk to patients. Not only was the company accused of withholding important information from physicians, but the product was deemed to be a negligent defective design.

Kentucky patients are responsible for understanding any potential risks of an elective surgery or a medical treatment, but adequate informed decisions cannot be made if all information is not made available. Any patient who has suffered unexpected risks or complications due to a product could benefit from speaking with an attorney. The lawyer will examine the evidence to assess whether a products liability lawsuit is an option.

Source:, "York Co. woman awarded millions in lawsuit to live with pain 'rest of my life'", Gordon Rogo, Sept. 9, 2017

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