A class action seven years in the making has delivered "justice for thousands" after Shine Lawyers (ASX: SHJ) defeated Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson in the Federal Court today.
The two medical implant giants have been found liable in negligence and for breaches of the Trade Practices Act and the Competition and Consumer Act after victims suffered from the dodgy implants.
The class action, which was commenced in 2012, with a trial from July 2017 until February 2018, was brought by Shine Lawyers on behalf of the group of victims.
The victims claimed that they suffered from complications from defective medical devices, including vaginal mesh and tape implants, manufactured by Ethicon and sold in Australia by Johnson & Johnson.
Shine head of litigation and loss recovery Jan Saddler says the Federal Court's decision paves the way to secure damages for all group members represented by the Applicants in the coming months.
"This decision will deliver justice for thousands of women who have been left with life altering complications from Johnson & Johnson/Ethicon implants," says Saddler.
"No amount of compensation can ever replace what our clients have lost, but this outcome provides accountability by vindication for their claims."
The implants in question were designed to fix pelvic floor damage, but caused women to experience symptoms such as stress, urinary incontinence, and prolapse.
At the beginning of the trail in July 2017 Shine Lawyers special counsel Rebecca Jancauskas said that these implants had significant and painful complications for the women that received them surgically.
"The complications that Australian women are suffering include the mesh or tape eroding through, and into, surrounding tissue and organs, as well as incontinence, infection and chronic pain," said Jancauskas.
"Australian women have had their lives changed forever by these products. Many now live in excruciating pain, suffering terrible side effects that impact all aspects of their lives."
"None of these products have been recalled and some remain on the market today. This class action is about righting the wrong against these women, who will suffer pain and complications for the rest of their lives,"
In Australia it was estimated that around 8,000 women received these implants, but that number balloons looking internationally where Shine estimates more than 100,000 women in the United States were implanted with the J&J devices.
Shares in Shine are up 9.6 per cent to $0.97 per share at 2.26pm AEDT.
Business News Australia
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