Thursday, May 26, 2016
State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Johnson / Johnson, accusing the company of knowingly concealing the risks associated with a surgical mesh designed to treat pelvic floor conditions in women.
As a result of Johnson and Johnson’s deception, thousands of Washington women face urinary and defecatory dysfunction, loss of sexual function, chronic inflammation, chronic pain, and risk of chronic infection.
These complications can crop up years after the surgery, and are in many cases irreversible. Removal of the mesh is nearly impossible.
“It’s difficult to put into words the horrific injuries and pain many women are still suffering as a result of Johnson & Johnson’s deception,” Ferguson said. “They believed they were making informed medical decisions, but that was impossible when Johnson / Johnson was spreading inaccurate information about its products’ risks, essentially duping doctors into using their own patients as clinical trials. This is an unacceptable way of doing business, and I will hold the company accountable.”
The lawsuit alleges thousands of violations of the Washington Consumer Protection Act, due to deceptive informational and marketing materials distributed to consumers and doctors. The attorney general will ask the court to prohibit Johnson / Johnson’s misleading marketing, find the company violated the CPA, and impose the maximum $2,000 civil penalty per violation, in addition to costs, fees and restitution.
The state alleges tens of thousands of violations of the CPA, potentially placing penalties well into the millions of dollars.
More information here