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Johnson and Johnson Hurts Women

Demand an Investigation

Plenty of corporations put profits over people, but few more egregiously than Johnson & Johnson, which continues to sell pelvic mesh – the most dangerous product on the market for women – despite the tens of thousands of injuries their product has caused.

With a document hold in place as close to 100,000 defective product lawsuits amassed across the U.S. and the globe, Johnson & Johnson lost and destroyed documents that may have been related to the safety and efficacy of their pelvic mesh products. Moreover, they were fraudulently marketing one particularly egregious mesh kit before even seeking any FDA approval.

We’ve already worked with mesh survivors in almost every state to deliver letters to their state Attorneys General requesting investigations into Johnson & Johnson’s document destruction and fraud. Now, we’re renewing our call for US Attorney General Eric Holder to expedite an investigation in light of new evidence discovered at a recent trial in West Virginia. Add your name to show your support.

Here’s the full text of our most recent letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder:

The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530

Dear Attorney General Holder,

We are following up on a letter we sent to your office on March 26, 2014 concerning Johnson and Johnson (J&J). That letter requested an investigation by the Department of Justice into J&J for two possible criminal violations: obstruction of a criminal investigation of health care offenses in apparent violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 1518; and for destruction of documents in apparent violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 1519.

We understand your Department has our request under review.

If you are not aware, on Monday, August 25, 2014, J&J went on trial in the US District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. The company faced charges that one of its pelvic mesh devices, the TVT-O, was defective and that the company was negligent and fraudulent in its representation of the product. On Friday, September 5, 2014, the jury delivered a verdict in favor of the plaintiff, awarding $3.27 million in compensatory damages.

On the first day of the trial, a missing box of documents related to its mesh devices was miraculously produced by J&J. The company had previously acknowledged it had lost or destroyed hundreds of thousands of pages of documents under a litigation hold imposed in preparation for product liability cases involving injuries from pelvic mesh (now up to at least 33,000).  

The box is significant because it contained details about the special added ingredients that make J&J’s polypropylene mesh different from that of other manufacturers, such as C.R. Bard or Boston Scientific. No details were offered on how this box of documents previously requested in discovery was produced or where it had been.

Given that the company faces tens of thousands of lawsuits related to pelvic mesh and allegations that J&J’s pelvic mesh devices are unsafe have been made for than a decade, it is very troubling that such a discovery can be made at this point. How can consumers feel safe if J&J is not totally transparent with these records?

This is not just a problem of the past, but continues to affect patients. Approximately 10-30% of women who undergo transvaginal procedures to implant a pelvic mesh device may require a second operation to treat problems in the future. The FDA has documented thousands of injuries and malfunctions, and even death, from the urogynecologic use of surgical mesh.

How long can J&J escape accountability on this matter? We deeply believe their actions merit an investigation by your department. Without the federal government taking a proactive approach, other important documents may remain hidden. J&J’s history does not inspire confidence.

As a global leader in medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and consumer goods, we want to expect better from J&J. However, they continue to disappoint. We urge the Department of Justice to give serious consideration to launching an investigation into this matter. Pelvic mesh survivors deserve nothing less.