Johnson & Johnson Execs Must Testify in Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits

A New Jersey Superior Court Judge presiding over pelvic mesh litigation against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon, Inc., has ordered three of the company’s top executives to testify in depositions. The judge also ruled that searches of the executive’s computers should be conducted before any depositions are conducted.

Defense attorneys for Johnson & Johnson sought to block the depositions on the grounds that the executives were too high up in the food chain, and therefore would have little relevant knowledge of the process that went into the approval of the vaginal mesh devices. An attorney for the plaintiffs said he was able to show the judge that the executives were involved and therefore their testimony should be part of the ongoing litigation process.

Although the former Chief Executive of J&J was not ordered to testify, the judge left that door open, saying that if any relevant documents were found on his computer then he would also be compelled to give a deposition. So far, the current J&J CEO, the former J&J Vice Chairman, and the Ethicon franchise leader have been told they must testify.

“We look forward to questioning the most senior J&J executives in order to find out what was known at the highest levels, and to gain an understanding for why these pelvic mesh products have been marketed to patients despite the company’s knowledge of serious safety problems from the outset,” an attorney associated with the litigation said in a prepared statement.

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