Australian court upholds legal action against Johnson & Johnson

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Sydney | An Australian court on Friday confirmed the merits of a class action against Johnson & Johnson for “negligence” in the marketing of pelvic implants.

At the end of this court decision, the American laboratory should be ordered to pay significant damages to thousands of women.

Johnson & Johnson had appealed a court ruling which, in 2019, found him guilty of “negligence” and “deceptive practices” in marketing pelvic implants to treat organ descent and urinary incontinence in women.

These devices, a sort of synthetic mesh or net, are put in place during a surgical operation to treat genital prolapse (fall of an organ or part of an organ) or urinary incontinence.

The complainants reported dire side effects, including incontinence, infections and severe and chronic pain.

“The risks were known, not insignificant, and by the defendants’ own admission, they could cause significant and serious damage,” the judge said in his first decision.

Three Federal Court judges on Friday dismissed the appeal made by the American firm, which “confirms that these women have the right to be compensated for the complications and damage caused by these implants,” said Rebecca Jancasukas, a lawyer for the complainants.

Shine Lawyers, who conducted the class action lawsuit, said it now intends to seek compensation that could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.

At the end of the 2019 trial, three women had received compensation ranging from 556,000 to 1.28 million Australian dollars (359,000 to 825,000 euros).

The other plaintiffs, who have joined this action, will now be able to make their own individual claims in court.

In response to Friday’s ruling, Johnson & Johnson said they “empathize with all women who suffer from medical complications” but said they are reconsidering the court ruling and “studying their options.”

Globally, it is estimated that more than two million women are carriers of these devices.

In January 2020, Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a California judge to pay $ 344 million for misleading and false advertising in the marketing of these implants used by thousands of patients in that state.

The company has been the subject of similar claims in Washington state for $ 9.9 million, and a coalition of 42 other states for $ 117 million.