Johnson & Johnson Fails In Final Bid To Appeal Defective Pelvic Mesh Class Action Ruling

On Friday, Australia’s High Court denied to hear an appeal that Johnson & Johnson sought to overturn a ruling by the federal court that its subsidiary Ethicon sold defective pelvic mesh implants.

According to Shine Lawyers, who led the class action, the matter will now return to the Federal Court to set up a process to determine payments to over 11,000 claimants in what is Australia’s largest product liability class action. In a statement, Johnson & Johnson said, “Ethicon is disappointed that it has not been successful in its application for special leave to appeal.”

Kathryn Gill, Diane Dawson, and Ann Sanders, who are the three lead members of the class action, are now eligible to receive the 1.276 million Australian dollars, 555,555 million Australian dollars, and 757,372 million Australian dollars they were respectively awarded. The claims of the remaining members will be separately assessed. 

Johnson & Johnson had wanted to appeal a ruling from March by the Federal Court of Australia that upheld a November 2019 decision by a federal court judge. The judge had found that Ethicon had sold implants for urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse without warning surgeons or the patients of the risks involved, and had failed to complete proper testing before bringing the products onto the market. 

In April, Shine Lawyers filed a second class action against Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson in the Federal Court on behalf of patients implanted with a defective mesh product from July 2017 to include patients who had not been eligible to join a first class action filed in 2012. According to Shine Lawyers, the allegations in the second class action are almost the same as those in the first class action. 

Johnson & Johnson has faced similar suits regarding its pelvic mesh products in Europe, Canada, and the United States. 

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