The Australian class action against companies owned by Johnson & Johnson – watched closely across the world – was won on behalf of 1,350 women who had mesh and tape products implanted to treat pelvic prolapse or stress urinary incontinence, both common complications of childbirth.The devices all but ruined the lives of many. Women have been left in severe, debilitating and chronic pain, and often unable to have intercourse. The vast majority also suffered a significant psychological toll.
Internal emails revealed a doctor enlisted to trial the products warned he would “not like my wife to undergo this procedure” and did not think he would be “alone” in that view. The doctor is now earning royalties from their use, the court heard.
Separate emails placed before the court showed a callous and disturbing attitude among some French gynaecologists involved with the company. One suggested doctors advise women to try anal intercourse if they experienced pain during sex.