J&J owes $344M for false mesh marketing, judge rules

A California judge ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $344 million in damages for deceptive marketing practices involving its pelvic mesh implants, The New York Times reported. 

The lawsuit against J&J, filed by California's attorney general in 2016, claimed the pelvic mesh implants used to treat organ prolapse caused bleeding, searing pain and painful sex for tens of thousands of women in California. 

California had asked for $800 million in damages. The $344 million was more than twice the size of a $117 million settlement J&J reached to resolve similar deceptive marketing claims from 41 states and Washington D.C. over its pelvic mesh products, the Times reported. 

"Johnson & Johnson knew the danger of its mesh products but put profits ahead of the health of millions of women," California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said. 

In the decision statement, Judge Eddie Sturgeon of San Diego Superior Court wrote that J&J had abused its trust by "depriving physicians of the ability to properly counsel” patients about the risks of the pelvic mesh implants, according to the Times

J&J said it will appeal the decision, arguing it complied with federal regulations. The company also said in a statement to the Times that it "empathizes with women who suffer from pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence," but added that "millions of patients" benefited from the implants and that it had "responsibly communicated" the risks to physicians and patients. 

Read the full article here.

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