W.Va., Johnson & Johnson reach $3.9M settlement in surgical-mesh lawsuit

Published: May. 4, 2020 at 1:18 PM EDT
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West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said he reached a $3.9 million settlement agreement to resolve allegations that Johnson & Johnson, along with two of its specialty corporations, engaged in unlawful conduct in the marketing of surgical mesh devices and hip- replacement systems.

According to a news release from the attorney general's office, the settlement resolves allegations brought in a September 2019 lawsuit and avoids litigation of similar claims related to hip products.

“The improper marketing of medical products can put the health of consumers at risk,” Morrisey said. “This settlement demonstrates our office’s commitment to hold accountable corporations who ignore potential risks and side effects or omit such crucial details from the materials provided to doctors and patients.”

The attorney general's office says West Virginia has received more funds by bringing the claims individually rather than joining multistage lawsuits.

The lawsuit claimed Johnson & Johnson, along with along with subsidiaries Ethicon Inc. and Ethicon US LLC, misrepresented the effectiveness, properties, risks and safety history of the surgical mesh products in marketing and educational materials provided to patients and doctors, in personal meetings and in published medical articles.

Morrisey alleged informational and marketing materials for the companies' surgical mesh devices omitted or concealed complications.

"The settlement resolves allegations that Johnson & Johnson and Medical Device Services Inc., formerly known as Depuy Inc. and Depuy Orthopedics, deceptively and unlawfully marketed, promoted and sold the ASR XL, Acetabular, ASR Hip Resurfacing and Pinnacle Ultamet metal-on-metal hip replacement systems," the attorney general's office said.

Johnson & Johnson and its specialty corporations denied the allegations, according to the attorney general's office. All sides agreed to the settlement to avoid the delay, inconvenience and expense of litigation.