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Media Release

Settlement reached in mesh class actions

11 September 2022

Class Actions

Shine Lawyers today welcomed a $300 million in-principle settlement agreement in two class actions brought against Johnson & Johnson Medical and Ethicon which sought damages on behalf of Australian women who received pelvic mesh implants. 

The proposed settlement was reached on 9 September 2022 is the largest settlement in a product liability class action in Australian history, and is subject to approval by the Federal Court. 

The first class action was filed in the Federal Court on 15 October 2012, and ran to trial over seven months between July 2017 and February 2018. 

Judgment was delivered in the applicants’ favour in November 2019. 

Johnson & Johnson Medical and Ethicon appealed to the Full Court of the Federal Court, which dismissed the appeal in March 2021. 

In November 2021 the High Court dismissed Johnson & Johnson Medical’s application for special leave to appeal. 

The second class action was filed in April 2021 on behalf of women who received their implants on or after 4 July 2017 and were not eligible to join the first class action. 

Shine Lawyers’ Class Actions Practice Leader Rebecca Jancauskas said the proposed settlement will help support women’s treatment needs. 

“We welcome the proposed settlement which brings the litigation to an end. If the Federal Court approves the settlement our focus will shift to the important task of distributing the settlement to group members,” she said. 

Women implanted with one or more of the below devices in Australia up to 30 June 2020 who suffered one or more complications as a result may be eligible for compensation. 

The implants included in the proceedings are: 

  • Gynecare Prolift Pelvic Floor Repair Systems (Anterior, Posterior and Total); 

  • Gynecare Prosima Pelvic Floor Repair Systems (Anterior, Posterior and Combined); 

  • Gynecare Prolift+M Pelvic Floor Repair Systems (Anterior, Posterior and Total); 

  • Gynecare TVT; 

  • Gynecare TVT Abbrevo; 

  • Gynecare TVT Secur; 

  • Gynecare TVT Exact; 

  • Gynecare TVT Obturator; and 

  • Gynecare Gynemesh PS Nonabsorbable Polypropylene Mesh. 

The complications which can result from the implants includes erosion of the mesh into surrounding organs, chronic pain, painful sexual intercourse and incontinence. “Women who believe they may be eligible to receive compensation should contact Shine Lawyers at prolapsemesh@shine.com.au.” About the class action 

  • Shine Lawyers filed two class actions against Ethicon Sarl, Ethicon Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Medical Pty Ltd (the respondents) on behalf of Australian women who suffered complications after receiving one or more Gynecare prolapse mesh and incontinence tape implants. 

  • The trial in the first class action began in the Federal Court in Sydney on 4 July 2017, and concluded in February 2018. Judgment was handed down in the applicants’ favour in November 2019. The decision was appealed by the respondents and the Full Court of the Federal Court dismissed the appeal on Friday 5 March, 2021. On 5 November 2021 the High Court dismissed the respondents’ application for special leave to appeal. 

  • In April 2021, Shine Lawyers filed a second class action against the respondents in the Federal Court on behalf of women implanted with one or more of the Gynecare prolapse mesh and incontinence tape implants from July 2017 to include those women who had not been eligible to join the first class action which was filed in 2012. 

  • Shine Lawyers funded these two actions.

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