Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Johnson & Johnson Ordered to Pay $344 Million for Deceptively Marketing Pelvic Mesh Product

By Mark Prvulovic - Jan 31, 2020 at 4:50PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The company was found guilty of putting profits ahead of consumer safety.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ 0.09%) was hit with a $344 million fine by a California state court for deceptively marketing regarding its pelvic mesh products. This ruling brought together thousands of separate, individual lawsuits of patients who claimed that the surgically implanted meshes eroded within their bodies and caused significant harm.

Pelvis meshes, also referred to as transvaginal meshes, are a type of woven synthetic netting that's implanted inside the vagina for women whose pelvic organs (which include the bladder, uterus, cervix, rectum, and vagina) have begun to sag. While these meshes are supposed to help support the pelvic organs, patients involved in the lawsuit claim that Johnson & Johnson didn't provide information about many of the potential risks. These include chronic pain in the pelvic area as well as problems urinating and defecating.

Hammer and gavel sitting on a table alongside four law books.

Image source: Getty Images.

"Johnson & Johnson intentionally concealed the risks of its pelvic mesh implant devices," said Attorney General Xavier Becerra in light of the ruling. "Johnson & Johnson knew the danger of its mesh products but put profits ahead of the health of millions of women."

Further details

Johnson & Johnson apparently sold over 470,000 pelvic mesh products across the country between 2008 and 2014, with at least 30,000 of them sold in California. Although the healthcare giant has stated that it plans to appeal the decision, a process that will take years, it questionable whether Johnson & Johnson will end up succeeding in this effort.

Back in October, the company ended up settling a separate collection of lawsuits, agreeing to pay $117 million to resolve all claims of deceptively marketing its mesh products. However, the settlement only resolved claims in 41 states and the District of Columbia, with California, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Mississippi lawsuits remaining unaffected.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Johnson & Johnson Stock Quote
Johnson & Johnson
$178.30 (0.09%) $0.16

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 07/07/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.