Defective Surgical Product Lawsuits Filed Against Johnson & Johnson

Sixteen lawsuits charge that mesh continues to be used despite risk of grave injuries

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.--()--Johnson & Johnson has been accused of knowingly developing and marketing a defective medical device known as Prolene® mesh used in hernia surgery in a series of lawsuits filed in New Jersey Superior Court. The latest, Jacky Pettigrew v. Johnson & Johnson et al., was filed today, according to plaintiffs’ co-counsel Theodore J. Leopold of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.

The 16 lawsuits further allege that Johnson & Johnson continues to market the defective mesh to physicians, despite the known risk of dangerous and permanent injuries, and the introduction of superior products into the market.

Thirteen of the 16 plaintiffs are represented by Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, PLLC; Kelley Uustal, PLC; and Williams Cuker Berezofsky, LLC.

“The proliferation of defective medical devices has a grave impact on patients who don't have the luxury of simply returning it for a refund but rather are forced to live with the long-term health consequences,” said Leopold, of Cohen Milstein’s Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., office.

Heavyweight polypropylene mesh has been used in contemporary hernia surgery since the 1960s and has remained virtually unchanged. The lawsuit alleges that when implanted, the mesh can cause an inflammatory response in the body. In response to the body’s inflammatory reaction, the Prolene mesh shrinks, oxidizes and becomes brittle and sharp. Further, Johnson & Johnson has engineered and currently markets newer, more effective products that are less likely to be rejected, yet they also continue to market the defective Prolene mesh.

In the latest lawsuit involving Ada, Okla., resident Jacky Pettigrew, Prolene mesh was implanted during surgery to repair a bilateral inguinal hernia. Following the surgery, Pettigrew continued to experience pain, difficulty walking and other physical symptoms consistent with the Prolene mesh defects. In March 2014, he had to undergo another procedure to fix the left side mesh.

According to the Pettigrew and other complaints, Johnson & Johnson never provided adequate warnings or information concerning the risks associated with the mesh to the doctors who implant the product or to the patients into whom the product is implanted. Adverse effects include an unreasonably high rate of erosion, infection, extrusion, perforation, chronic pain and abscess.

The individual lawsuits, which were filed between Feb. 28 and Sept. 29, 2014, seek to address the significant harm that the mesh product causes individuals. The 13 plaintiffs represented by Cohen Milstein, Kelley Uustal, and Williams Cuker Berezofsky are six men and seven women who range in age from 24 to 67. Five reside in Florida, three in Texas, two in California, and one each in Oklahoma, Oregon and North Carolina. In addition to these lawsuits, additional similar claims will be filed in the New Jersey Court.

“Johnson & Johnson’s negligent conduct has caused permanent injury to countless suffering individuals from across the country,” said Leopold. “Through litigation, we hope to bring a full measure of justice for our clients, and ensure that this defective product will no longer be used to harm individuals.”

For more information about the Johnson & Johnson Prolene lawsuits, visit

About Cohen Milstein

Founded in 1969, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC is a national leader in plaintiff class action lawsuits and litigation. As one of the premier firms in the country handling major complex cases, Cohen Milstein, with 80 attorneys, has offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and Denver, Colo. For more information, visit or call 202-408-4600.

About Kelley/Uustal

With law offices in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and the Florida Keys, the law firm of Kelley/Uustal is a leading personal injury and trial law practice serving clients throughout the state of Florida. The firm has earned significant jury verdicts and legal settlements in the areas of tobacco litigation, automobile accident, workplace injuries, product liability and health-related cases. For more information, visit or call 954-522-6601.

About Williams Cuker Berezofsky, LLC.

With law offices in Philadelphia, Penn., and Cherry Hill, N.J., Williams Cuker Berezofsky has been committed to protecting the personal, civil and consumer rights of individuals locally and nationally since 1985. In addition to safeguarding the environment at home and in the workplace, making offenders accountable to victims of pollution, the firm has upheld the rights of people injured by the negligence of professionals, including those in the medical and pharmaceutical industries; advanced the rights of consumers to get what they paid for; defended the rights of employee whistleblowers; and worked to protect citizens from police brutality and government abuse. For more information about Williams Cuker Berezofsky, visit, or call 856-667-0500.

EDITORS’ NOTE: Plaintiffs Reside in Florida, Texas, California, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Oregon.
Copies of the complaints are available.


Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC
Pamela Avery, 402-305-0799


Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC
Pamela Avery, 402-305-0799