US jury awards mesh victim almost £30m over ‘unreasonably dangerous’ implant which has been used in Scotland

Mesh campaigner Elaine Holmes (Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament)

A US jury has awarded a mesh victim almost £30million over what was described in court as an “unreasonably dangerous” implant that was used in Scotland.

A federal jury in Indiana awarded Barbara Kaiser and her husband Anton the damages on Friday over injuries they claimed were caused by the Prolift mesh implant.

The plastic polypropylene implant, developed by Johnson & Johnson firm Ethicon, was used in Scottish hospitals to treat pelvic organ prolapse.

Barbara was implanted with mesh in January 2009, in Minster Community Hospital, and went on to suffer the same painful side effects thousands of other victims have reported around the world.

In evidence, the surgeon who operated on Mrs Kaiser said that he may not have started using the device had he known of the complications.

The Kaiser’s lawyer Thomas Plouff said: “Ethicon defended an indefensible product and the jury stood up for Barbara Kaiser.

“They were asked to send a message to Ethicon to deter future wrongdoing, and they did.”

The jury awarded almost £8 million in damages, and a further £20 million in punitive damages against Ethicon.

J&J intends appealing the verdict and spokeswoman Mindy Tinsley said: “We believe it contradicts the evidence that the product was properly designed and that the company appropriately informed surgeons of pertinent complications.”

Scottish Mesh Survivor Elaine Holmes said last night: “The world is waking up to the reality that mesh causes life changing injuries.”

Thanks to campaigners, mesh is no longer to be used to treat pelvic organ prolapse in Scotland.