Washington, California sue over pelvic mesh implants

AP logo
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

SEATTLE -- Washington state and California are suing Johnson & Johnson, saying for more than a decade the company misrepresented the risks of vaginal mesh implants it sold.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Tuesday his office filed the consumer protection lawsuit in King County Superior Court. He said the company sold nearly 12,000 of the devices in Washington, and thousands of women in the state have faced complications that include urinary dysfunction and constipation.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris also announced a lawsuit, saying her state helped lead an investigation by 46 states and the District of Columbia into the product.

The devices are used to treat pelvic organ prolapse, a condition that involves organs such as the bladder, bowel and uterus shifting, often after childbirth, a hysterectomy or menopause. Early this year the U.S. Food and Drug Administration re-labeled the mesh high risk instead of moderate.

Johnson & Johnson did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.