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$3.35 Million Awarded In First Surgical Mesh Lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson/Ethicon


ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (February 25, 2013) - In a landmark women's health case, after five days of deliberations a New Jersey Superior Court jury today awarded $3.35 million in compensatory damages on behalf of plaintiffs Linda Gross, RN and her husband, Jeff Gross. The jury found that Johnson & Johnson and its Ethicon subsidiary are responsible for Ms. Gross's severe, chronic pain and unconscionable suffering resulting from their now discontinued, defective pelvic surgical synthetic mesh. Ms. Gross, who testified at the six-week trial, described her life following the initial vaginal surgery and 18 subsequent unsuccessful revision procedures, as a "living hell," and that she and thousands of other women were used as "guinea pigs". She said the jury verdict is a resounding victory for her and the tens of thousands of women seeking justice from the makers and marketers of the polypropylene mesh that was sold under the brand name Prolift.

Trial counsel for Linda and Jeff Gross are Adam Slater and his partner, David Mazie of the Mazie Slater firm, Roseland, NJ, Ben Anderson of Anderson Law Offices, Cleveland, Ohio, and Jeff Grand of Bernstein Liebhard, NY, NY.

Attorney Adam Slater commented after the verdict, "We are gratified that the jury worked so hard and made such a strong statement to Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon. We are ready to continue the fight for all of the other injured women who need to be spoken for."

Co-lead trial counsel, David Mazie commended Ms. Gross for her courage and hailed the verdict as a triumph for all of her co-plaintiffs around the United States. "Sadly, Linda Gross will never get back the quality of life she enjoyed prior to 2006," said Mazie, who served as co-lead counsel on the case.

Ms. Gross filed her Complaint ((Pelvic Mesh/Gynecare Litigation, Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, Docket No.: ATL-6341-10, Case Number 291) seeking to hold the defendants accountable for their actions and responsible for her well-documented injuries. She contended that the device maker knew - and never warned prospective patients - based on its own studies that the product was prone to failure and still aggressively marketed its use to physicians. According to attorney Jeff Grand, "the punitive phase of the trial will now begin and the jury will determine whether punitive damages should be assessed against Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon. If the jury determines punitive damages are warranted, it is to take into consideration the defendants' sizeable income and assets."

There are approximately 1800 related cases against Johnson & Johnson pending in New Jersey and tens of thousands against them and other mesh manufacturers being filed nationwide in state and Federal courts around the country.

According to Attorney Ben Anderson, "This may be the most significant women's health litigation in American history by the time all of the cases have been decided." Mr. Anderson further stated, "The medical and scientific evidence at trial in support of the claims was clear, compelling, and largely unchallenged by the defendants." It was documented that the mesh was never subjected to FDA clinical trials. The synthetic material was widely used, as in Ms. Gross's instance, to repair pelvic organ prolapse. In other cases, it was used for the treatment of certain chronic female bladder conditions, including stress urinary incontinence.

Adam Slater - 973.228.9898 (aslater@mskf.net)
Ben Anderson - 216.513.8755 (ben@andersonlawoffices.net)

Steph Rosenfeld - 215.514.4101 (steph@idadvisors.com)
(for counsel)

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