Johnson & Johnson loses pelvic mesh class action in Australia

Last Updated: Nov 21 2019 19:41
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Over  1,350 Australian women have won a long-running class-action lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) over vaginal mesh implants.

Australia's Federal Court found that J&J subsidiary Ethicon failed to warn patients and surgeons about the "risks" posed by the products.

The implants were commonly used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence after childbirth.

Some patients said they had suffered chronic pain, bleeding and severe discomfort during sexual intercourse after having the mesh surgically implanted.

Judge Anna Katzmann ruled that much of the information the company provided about the products was "inaccurate" and at times made "false representations".

"The risks were known, not insignificant and on Ethicon's own admission, serious harm could ensue if they eventuated," Katzmann said in her ruling.

In a statement, Ethicon defended its record and said it would consider an appeal.

"Ethicon believes that the company acted ethically and responsibly in the research, development and supply of these products," the company said.

Julie Davis, the original claimant in the case, welcomed the decision.

"They have treated women essentially like guinea pigs, lied about it and done nothing to help," she told reporters outside the court in Sydney.