South Carolina will receive $4M in Johnson & Johnson ‘deceptive marketing’ settlement


COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina will receive $4 million as part of a multi-state settlement against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon, Inc. for deceptive marketing of transvaginal surgical mesh devices.

The money is part of a wide settlement among 40 other states and the District of Columbia, who all together, will receive $116.9 million, according to Attorney General Alan Wilson.

A multistate investigation found the companies violated state consumer protection laws by misrepresenting the safety and effectiveness of the devices and failing to sufficiently disclose risks associated with their use.

“Women in South Carolina and across the country were injured by the deceptive marketing of this product when they trusted that they were being helped,” said Attorney General Wilson. “This settlement holds the companies accountable for violating state law and will prevent this deception from continuing.”

Transvaginal surgical mesh is a synthetic material that is surgically implanted through the vagina to support the pelvic organs of women who suffer from stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse.

AG Wilson’s office said the investigation found the companies misrepresented or failed to adequately disclose the products’ possible side effects, including the risk of chronic pain and inflammation, mesh erosion through the vagina, incontinence developing after surgery, painful sexual relations, and vaginal scarring. 

Evidence shows the companies were aware of the possibility for serious medical complications but did not provide sufficient warnings to consumers or surgeons who implanted the devices.

South Carolina will receive $4,097,718.60 under the settlement.

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