Stark & Stark Wins $20 Million Verdict Against Johnson & Johnson

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Stark & Stark, a law practice based here, announced that a Pennsylvania state jury has awarded a New Jersey woman a $20 million verdict for injuries she suffered after receiving a pelvic mesh implant made by Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

Peggy Engleman of Cinnaminson, NJ, was awarded $2.5 million compensatory damages and $17.5 million in punitive damages, following a three-week trial in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court. Stark & Stark filed the complaint for Ms. Engleman and co-counseled with other firms to prosecute the case.

Originally filed by Stark & Stark in 2013, the suit claimed that a TVT-Secur device manufactured by Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, was defective and that the companies failed to warn users of the risks. Ms. Engleman had the device implanted in 2007 to relieve stress urinary incontinence, but said the device failed within a month and her condition returned.  She began to experience pain and discomfort as the mesh started to erode inside her body and had multiple surgeries as a result. However, physicians were unable to remove all the shards of mesh in her abdomen.

The pelvic mesh litigation still has 183 cases pending, with the next one scheduled to go on trial May 22. Two earlier pelvic-mesh verdicts in Philadelphia against Johnson & Johnson/Ethicon resulted in awards of $12.5 million and $13.5 million. Johnson & Johnson also faces tens of thousands of additional lawsuits around the country regarding pelvic mesh implants.

Martin P. Schrama and Stefanie Colella-Walsh, both partners with Stark & Stark, filed the complaint of behalf of Peggy Engleman and worked with a team of attorneys on the case.

“Through this stunning verdict, the jury has unequivocally shown that Johnson & Johnson will have to pay a high price if their products are defective and harmful as well as their marketing practices unethical,” said Mr. Schrama.

Ms. Colella-Walsh added, “We are proud to bring justice for Peggy Engleman, who suffered incredible anguish and suffering, and hope to win additional verdicts for others experiencing unexpected consequences as a result of pelvic mesh implant failure.”

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