Pelvic mesh class actions settle for $300m

·2-min read

Two class actions over defective pelvic mesh products have settled for $300 million in what is thought to be the largest ever legal win of its type.

In an announcement Monday, Shine Lawyers revealed the mammoth settlement which will go towards women injured by being implanted with Johnson & Johnson's pelvic mesh and vaginal tape devices.

"We welcome this settlement which brings the litigation to an end. If the Federal Court approves the settlement our focus will shift to the important task of distributing the settlement to group members," said Shine class actions practice leader Rebecca Jancauskas.

The first class action was launched almost 10 years ago and was heavily contested by Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon, which stood by the claimed safety of the medical products.

After a seven-month trial which ran from July 2017 to Febuary 2018 in the Federal Court, Justice Anna Katzmann ruled against the medical company.

In November 2019, the judge found the company acted negligently and concealed the true extent of complications from the devices.

Challenges to this decision went all the way to the High Court, which dismissed the appeal in November last year.

A second class action was filed on April 2021 for women who were not eligible to participate in the first class action against Johnson & Johnson because they received their implants after July 2017.

Women who were implanted with Gynecare Prolift, Prosima, TVT or Gynemesh devices up until June 30, 2020 may get a slice of the $300 million settlement if it is approved by the Federal Court.

Complications from these products included erosion into organs, chronic pain, pain during sexual intercourse and incontinence.

Shine is also funding two separate but ongoing class actions against Astora Women's Health and Boston Scientific over similar pelvic mesh products. These cases have yet to settle.

AAP has contacted Johnson and Johnson for comment.