$7.76 Million Punitive Damages Award in Prolift Vaginal Mesh Case Indicative of Jury’s Mindset, Rottenstein Law Group’s Principal Says
The New Jersey Superior Court jury’s verdict finding that Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit should pay $7.76 million in punitive damages to a victim of Prolift vaginal mesh injuries indicates that the jury determined that Ethicon is not only responsible, but highly culpable, for claimant Linda Gross’s injuries, says Rochelle Rottenstein, principal of the Rottenstein Law Group, a law firm that represents hundreds of vaginal mesh claimants.
Commenting on the $7.76 million in punitive damages awarded to Linda Gross on Feb. 28 in her case against Ethicon Inc., the manufacturer of Prolift vaginal mesh, Rottenstein told the Associated Press that—even if the award is overturned or reduced on appeal—it “should give vaginal mesh manufacturers an idea of the jury’s mindset,” and that should encourage manufacturers to settle with the thousands of women who’ve filed claims against them for vaginal mesh injuries. (Gross v. Gynecare Inc., Atl-L-6966-10, Superior Court of Atlantic County, New Jersey)
The $7.76 million punitive damages award is on top of a $3.35 million compensatory damages award that the jury found Ethicon liable for earlier this week. Totalling $11.1 million, the damages are based on the jury’s finding that Ethicon failed to provide an adequate warning to Gross’s implanting surgeon, and on the jury’s finding that the Prolift’s instructions for use and marketing materials fraudulently misrepresented the product’s risks.