CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has reached a $3.9 million settlement to resolve allegations that Johnson & Johnson and two of its specialty corporations engaged in unlawful, unfair and deceptive conduct in the marketing of surgical mesh devices and hip replacement systems.
The multifaceted settlement resolves allegations brought in a September 2019, surgical mesh 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,” Attorney General 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.”
West Virginia received significantly more funds by bringing the claims individually rather than joining multistate lawsuits.
Furthermore, the Attorney General negotiated a 5-percent cap on attorney fees for outside counsel as it relates to the surgical mesh lawsuit – itself a significantly lower percentage than set forth in his outside counsel policy. That policy, now state law, has saved the state more than $11.9 million since its enactment.
The Attorney General’s lawsuit claimed Johnson & Johnson, 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.
The Attorney General alleged informational and marketing materials for the companies’ surgical mesh devices consistently omitted or concealed complications.
In a similar fashion, 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.
Johnson & Johnson and its specialty corporations denied the state’s allegations. All sides agreed to the settlement to avoid the delay, inconvenience and expense of litigation.
Surgical mesh is used in the treatment of conditions caused by weakened or damaged tissues and muscles in the pelvic floor area, leading to what is commonly called a pelvic floor collapse. These conditions affect approximately one-third to one-half of women.
Read a copy of the settlement agreement at https://bit.ly/2L0dg5A.