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Free & Goss Attorneys

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DALLAS, TEXAS – On April 3, a 12-person jury awarded $1.2 million to a Texas woman injured by a defective plastic transvaginal mesh sling made by Johnson & Johnson. J & J’s Ethicon division made the TVT-O sling that had been implanted into Linda Batiste for stress urinary incontinence. Freese & Goss of Dallas represented Ms. Batiste, along with Matthews & Associates, based in Houston, and Kansas City law firm Cartmell & Associates.  The case has since been featured in on TV with CBS News in Dallas and San Antonio, and in print with the Dallas Observer and Texas Lawyer magazine.

As lead litigators for Ms. Batiste, Rich Freese and Tom Cartmell presented evidence that Johnson & Johnson knew it had a safer, better sling product, yet the company continued to make and market the inferior mesh that was used on Ms. Batiste. J & J’s own documents showed the company recognized that it had developed a better product – laser as opposed to machine cut mesh – but did not take the inferior product off the market. Inside emails showed Ethicon executives and marketers worried that removing the inferior product from the market meant the company would lose years of safety data – a valuable marketing tool – which it had accumulated for its machine cut mesh. Removing the product (which is still marketed today) could also show the company to be making a tacit admission that the machine cut mesh was inferior and even defective and should have been removed earlier.

Meanwhile, J & J continues to stonewall — as evidenced in its own internal documents – against any charges that its machine cut mesh is not as safe and effective as its laser cut mesh. Ethicon continues to use and defend its machine cut mesh in its TVT and TVT-O products.