Washington Sues Johnson & Johnson
Yesterday I posted a blog stating that California has filed against J & J and I woke up this morning to find that Washington State has done it too. Why am I so pleased? Well the women of America do not have the funds to file individually against a company for all that has happened to them and instead are forced to rely on tort lawsuits which are no more than a tiny slap on the wrist for these companies. Then they continue on, doing business as usual and will ruin thousands more women’s lives. The States in America should UNITE against EVERY mesh manufacturing company and I will tell you why.
Women are the backbones of the family and when they are broken, families are broken too. When a woman can no longer have sex, she feels worthless and is often treated that way by her partner. Women have also endured adult children who believe what the doctors say, that she has mental issues and there is nothing wrong with her. Not only that but many women can no longer work to support themselves and this adds a financial strain on everyone, including every State in America when they have to ask for assistance to feed themselves and get medical attention. So how can this change?
Well WE can’t change it, but by uniting together, EVERY State can do something to stop the tide of injured women. This is the ONLY way the FDA will finally stop the flow of injured women by changing the status of mesh being used without thought as to what it does to a woman’s body. The financial burden of these injuries MUST be placed squarely on the shoulders of those who are manufacturing these products and causing the damage. So here is part of the complaint for conjunctive and other relief.
KING COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT STATE OF WASHINGTON STATE OF WASHINGTON,
JOHNSON & JOHNSON, a New Jersey Corporation; ETHICON, INC., a New Jersey Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of JOHNSON & JOHNSON; ETHICON US, LLC, a New Jersey Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of JOHNSON & JOHNSON; and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive,
1.1 Plaintiff, the State of Washington (the State), by and through Attorney General
Robert W. Ferguson, Senior Counsel Elizabeth J. Erwin, and Assistant Attorneys General
Andrea Alegrett and Leilani Fisher, brings this action against Defendants Johnson & Johnson,
Ethicon, Inc., Ethicon US, LLC, and DOES 1 through 100 (“Defendants”) for violations of the
Consumer Protection Act, RCW 19.86 (“CPA”). The CPA declares unlawful and prohibits
unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce. RCW 19.86.020.
1.2 Defendants manufacture, market, and sell surgical mesh medical devices
designed to treat common pelvic floor conditions in women, specifically pelvic organ prolapse
COMPLAINT FOR INJUNCTIVE AND ATTORNEY GENERAL OF WASHINGTON OTHER RELIEF – 1 Consumer Protection Division 800 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2000 Seattle, WA 98104-3188 (206)464-7745
COMPLAINT FOR INJUNCTIVE AND OTHER RELIEF
I and stress urinary incontinence. These are conditions that one-third to one-half of all women
2 will face in their lifetime. Defendants’ surgical mesh is composed of woven synthetic
3 polypropylene (plastic) threads that are used to prop up organs that have dropped down or
4 protruded into the vagina. The mesh is inserted into the body through the vagina, pulled
5 through an incision in the vaginal canal, and then anchored permanently in the body.
6 Defendants sold almost 12,000 mesh devices in the State of Washington between 2005 and
8 1.3 Defendants marketed their products to doctors as a “new and revolutionary”
9 product that would reduce time in the operating room and increase profits. Defendants made
10 these representations without disclosing to doctors the serious complications their mesh can
11 cause women. Defendants also marketed their mesh products as improvements over traditional
12 repair methods (i.e. native tissue repair) when they knew such claims were inaccurate.
13 1.4 Defendants knew at all relevant times that the presence of polypropylene in the
14 body and the process of implanting mesh through the vagina could cause severe and
15 unavoidable complications. These unavoidable lifelong complications include for example,
16 permanent loss of sexual function, painful sexual intercourse, near impossibility of removal of
17 the device when complications arise, permanent urinary dysfunction, lifelong risk of infection,
18 and chronic pelvic pain. Defendants knew these complications are caused by the design and
19 placement of the mesh and cannot be avoided by good surgical technique alone.
20 1.5 Due to the severity and type of complications associated with surgical mesh
21 devices, the impact on a woman’s quality of life can be devastating. Some women become
22 permanently disabled or require accommodations from their employers. Women and their
23 partners have suffered loss of physical intimacy. One mesh patient’s complaint to Defendants
24 from August 2008, is illustrative of the toll that surgical mesh has taken on people’s lives:
[I] had all kinds of problems with chronic pain, bleeding, 26 dyspareunia [painful sexual intercourse] (even my husband
COMPLAINT FOR INJUNCTIVE AND OTHER RELIEF – 2
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF WASHINGTON Consumer Protection Division 800 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2000 Seattle, WA 98104-3188 (206)464-7745
complained of scraping and poking) . . . The pelvic pain was keeping me awake at night, and the only relief was to sit on a tennis ball. The thought living like that, sitting on a ball, wearing a diaper, splinting my perineum to have a bowel movement, having infrequent and miserable sex, and marital problems was almost more than I could bear.
In August 2011, another woman informed Defendants:
I experienced excruciating pain from day one. I felt as though my urethra was being strangled, I couldn’t pee, walking was out of the question, sitting was agony, & I couldn’t lie on my left side due to severe pain … Over the course of the next 14 weeks I visited/was admitted to the [hospital] 10 times … I had no quality of life. My consultant likened the mesh removal as to trying to remove chewing gum from hair.
There is a lot more and you can download this document by Googling.
We women have all been told to remain silent. To sit back and we will be compensated for our injuries. But that is not happening for the thousands of women who have never been to trial. Instead we are left to figure out how to help ourselves. We are left to sell things we own to travel for surgery in hopes of some kind of relief. But the damage is done… We are then left relying on those who truly love us to care for us without true compensation to pay for carers.
Why has our Government allowed this travesty knowing that American tax payers are picking up the burden of what mesh does to women? When women can’t take care of themselves and be the productive women they want to be, they have to beg to go on disability. This is NOT RIGHT. Not only that but Medicare wants their money back out of women’s meager compensation, when they have refused to deal with this problem BEFORE it became a gigantic mess.
I don’t know how you feel when you read this, but if you are like me, disabled and living in pain, I am sure you are cheering and saying YES, YES, Yes…
Time for the tides to change. Time to stop this from happening to thousands more who unwittingly believe in their doctor’s. Time to stop this before it’s too late…..