Johnson & Johnsons settles West Virginia pelvic mesh lawsuit

FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2019, file photo, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey speaks at a news conference in Martinsburg, W.Va. The West Virginia Supreme Court on Tuesday, April 21, 2020, upheld a so-called right-to-work law, overturning a lower court ruling that had sided with labor unions. Morrisey called the latest decision a major victory for worker choice. (Matthew Umstead/The Herald-Mail via AP, FIle)
FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2019, file photo, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey speaks at a news conference in Martinsburg, W.Va. The West Virginia Supreme Court on Tuesday, April 21, 2020, upheld a so-called right-to-work law, overturning a lower court ruling that had sided with labor unions. Morrisey called the latest decision a major victory for worker choice. (Matthew Umstead/The Herald-Mail via AP, FIle)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia has reached a $3.9 million settlement with Johnson & Johnson in a lawsuit over the company's marketing of a surgical mesh used to treat pelvic conditions in women, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Monday.

Morrisey filed a consumer protection case against the company in September, saying it misrepresented the risks and effectiveness of the medical implant.

The federal Food and Drug Administration stopped sales of the synthetic mesh in April 2019 after years of injury reports as well as tens of thousands of lawsuits from women who said they had bleeding, severe pain and infection from the products, also called transvaginal mesh. Several major manufacturers, including Johnson & Johnson, had previously stopped making the implants.

The suit in West Virginia accused Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries of sending out misleading information about the mesh, sometimes using studies written by paid consultants.

“The improper marketing of medical products can put the health of consumers at risk,” Morrisey said. “This settlement demonstrates our office’s commitment to hold accountable corporations who ignore potential risks and side effects or omit such crucial details from the materials provided to doctors and patients.”

The settlement also resolved allegations against Johnson & Johnson that deceptive marketing practices were used involving metal-on-metal hip replacement systems.

A spokeswoman for New Brunswick, New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment on the settlement.

In January, a judge in San Diego ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay nearly $344 million in penalties over the marketing of the pelvic mesh devices in a lawsuit brought by California. The company in October also agreed to a $117 million settlement involving similar allegations with 41 others states and the District of Columbia.