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Ethicon was aware of possible pelvic mesh problems

Ethicon, a division of Johnson and Johnson, was aware of potential complications related to a pelvic mesh product before its launch in 2005

November 30, 2017

A series of internal emails suggest that the company was aware of potential problems. Some changes were suggested but rejected due to “commercial limitations”.

In the years that followed, doctors reported problems with patients who were implanted with one of the mesh devices.

For example, one email from a doctor read that “this patient will have a permanently destroyed vagina, and I am only hoping to get her out of this without more morbidity”.

Ethicon said that it weighs the risks and benefits in determining whether to keep a product on the market.

However, a doctor working for the company suggested a warning in a 2005 email:

“WARNING: Early clinical experience has shown that the use of mesh though a vaginal approach can occasionally/uncommonly lead to complications such as vaginal erosion and retraction, which can result in an anatomical distortion of the vaginal cavity that can interfere with sexual intercourse. Clinical data suggest the risk of such a complication is increased in case of associated hysterectomy. This must be taken in consideration when the procedure is planned in a sexually active woman.”

This proposed warning were rejected as not ‘absolutely necessary’.

The attorneys at are proud to represent women with vaginal mesh as well as those with defective hernia mesh products. As these cases progress, more and more evidence of liability emerges.

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