There were a few more indications last month that at least some transvaginal lawsuit defendants may face criminal charges. A few months ago, the consumer advocate organization Corporate Action Network called upon U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to initiate a criminal investigation into allegations that Johnson & Johnson, parent company of mesh manufacturer Ethicon, engaged in obstruction of justice when documents relating to its products went missing.
In a related development, a Texas-based women's advocacy group, the Mesh Warrior Foundation for the Injured, has called upon that state's attorney general Greg Abbot to “pursue legal action” against the mesh manufacturer. A spokeswoman for the Foundation told the Texas Tribune that Jonhson & Johnson, once the “most trusted brand in America,” had engaged in “deceptive business practices” in violation of Texas law, allegedly having had knowledge of potential complications.
A spokesman for the Texas A.G.'s office says that its consumer protection division has been leading an investigation since 2012 in cooperation with several other states that include Florida, Washington and California.
Because the nature of government investigations are such that they are typically closed to the public eye, right now it is somewhat difficult for the public to tell whether or not these criminal investigations are going to proceed to a result that is fair and just in the eyes of those victimized by defective transvaginal mesh products.
Over the past two years, transvaginal mesh lawsuit plaintiffs have gotten mixed results. Jury trial results have landed anywhere from astounding million-dollar verdicts to complete zero-verdict losses and/or defense wins. Boston Scientific, manufacturer of the Pinnacle, recently prevailed after a Massachusetts jury ruled in the defendant's favor. However, two weeks earlier however, Judge Carol Higbee of the Atlantic County (New Jersey) Superior Court rejected Ethicon's motion to throw out an $11 million judgment in a transvaginal mesh lawsuit against that company. More trials often mean more “data” on where settlement figures may land in the context of settlement negotiations. After all, most lawsuits end in settlement, and if the transvaginal mesh lawsuits are to resolve any time in the next decade (over 70,000 lawsuits are now part of the system); then the resolution will most likely need to be a fair and balanced settlement agreement.