Largest women’s health class action decision upheld – Lawyers Weekly

A landmark decision from November 2019 has been upheld, delivering findings in favour of thousands of women whose “lives were destroyed”.

In November 2019, Justice Anna Katzmann of the Federal Court of Australia found in favour of women impacted by pelvic mesh implants sold by Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon which were “not fit for purpose”. The class action – “the largest women’s health class action in Australia’s history”, according to Shine – commenced in October 2012 and culminated in a trial that ran over seven months starting in July 2017.

It was a win, the firm said, for “the brave women who spoke out about their suffering”, after pelvic mesh implants left them in “chronic and debilitating pain”.

In March 2020, Justice Katzmann ruled that the three lead applicants – Kathryn Gill, Diane Dawson and Ann Sanders, who represented the class – were to be awarded damages of $1,276,113.00, $555,555.000 and $757,372.00, respectively.

In April of last year, Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson confirmed it would appeal the Federal Court decision, with proceedings taking place in February 2021.

Justices Jayne Jagot, Bernard Murphy and Michael Lee – who heard the appeal in NSW – expedited their judgment and, on Friday, 5 March, delivered findings in favour of 10,000 women “whose lives were destroyed by defective prolapse mesh and incontinence tape implants”, Shine said.

The remaining members of the class, Shine noted, can now bring individual claims for compensation which will be assessed by the Federal Court.

Source: Largest women’s health class action decision upheld – Lawyers Weekly

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