A group of Scottish women has received compensation from Johnson & Johnson for injuries caused by vaginal mesh in an out of court settlement, following similar awards in the United States.
Over the last decade, there have been significant concerns about the safety of synthetic meshes used for prolapse and incontinence surgery. In July 2018, the NHS implemented a temporary ban on the use of vaginal mesh, unless it was considered absolutely necessary. This ban was extended in March 2019.
The complications arising from mesh implanted during surgery can include persistent pain, sexual problems, mesh exposure through vaginal tissues and injury to the bladder and/or bowel. Until recently, there has been a lack of comprehensive data on these complications.
Johnson & Johnson is one of the main manufacturers of vaginal mesh. The group of women from Scotland brought a claim against the corporation, alleging that the mesh was faulty and as a result had caused them injury.
Prior to a court hearing, Johnson & Johnson’s legal representatives flew to Edinburgh to discuss the settlement, and it is understood that it has agreed to pay approximately £100,000 to each individual participating in the claim. Johnson & Johnson has been keen to stress that liability has not been admitted as part of the deal.
Elise Bevan, a senior associate in the clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches Cooper, said: “We act for a number of patients who have suffered complications from vaginal mesh and who were not adequately warned about the possible consequences before surgery. While this settlement will be a relief for the many women participating in the group action claim against Johnson & Johnson, it will not give them back their previous quality of life, nor the time they have spent in pain as a result of this mesh.”
Penningtons Manches Cooper has a dedicated team of solicitors who specialise in vaginal mesh claims and who are able to provide initial advice on a free and informal basis.