Judge Orders Top Execs To Testify In Transvaginal Mesh Case

Last month, Honorable Judge Carol Higbee of the New Jersey Superior Court ruled that three high level executives at Johnson & Johnson will have to testify in the controversial transvaginal mesh lawsuits. Higbee is in charge of more than a thousand transvaginal cases, which have been merged for litigation.

The three top executives of Johnson & Johnson are Alex Gorsky who is the Chief Executive Officer, Sheri McCoy who is the for Vice Chairman of the company and Gary Pruden who is the leader of the company's Ethicon franchise. Judge Higbee ordered all three executives to be prepared to give videotaped depositions.

In their depositions, they must explain what part they took in the production of the harmful mesh products that have caused injury to many people. The former Chief Executive Officer of Johnson & Johnson, Bill Weldon, may also be made to give a deposition if it is proven that he had prior knowledge that the mesh implants were a risk to patients.

Adam M. Slater, who is one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs, released a statement saying he is eager to question the executives about their knowledge of the defective mesh products. In addition, Slater said he hopes the truth will be revealed in the depositions.

In another ruling, Judge Higbee has said that the computers of the executives may be searched for evidence related to the case. Also, she said the computer searches must be conducted before the depositions are taken. In addition, Judge Higbee ordered that the plaintiffs will be informed of the results.

In defense of their clients, the defendant's lawyers argued to Judge Higbee that their clients have limited knowledge about the transvaginal mesh products because of their high level positions in the company. Judge Higbee did not agree with this assessment.

Johnson & Johnson agreed to remove the transvaginal products from shelves back in June after the FDA said they wanted to examine the products for their safety. Johnson & Johnson still claims their products are safe and effective and said they only removed the products due to public pressure.

The FDA has issued numerous alerts about the safety of transvaginal mesh products and has warned consumers about complications such as the corrosion of the mesh in the pelvic area. Surgeries to correct this problem have not always been successful. Many women suffer from various harmful side effects that include chronic pain and sexual dysfunction that could last for the remainder of their lives.