News

Role of SCC staff in landmark class action over transvaginal mesh implants, Johnson & Johnson, and Ethicon.

Expert Witness

Professor Ian Gordon provides evidence in landmark case

A team of statisticians provided expert analysis in a class action over the use of mesh implants.


On 21 November 2019, the Federal Court handed down a judgment in a long-running and large class action over the use of transvaginal mesh implants. Shine Lawyers acted on behalf of 1,350 women against Johnson & Johnson, and Ethicon. Federal Court judge, Anna Katzmann, deliberated for over a year and considered a huge amount of evidence amounting to more than 5,500 documents, including statistical analyses and epidemiological research. Professor Ian Gordon was engaged by Shine Lawyers, and acted as an expert witness, appeared in court and was cross-examined.  His written and oral evidence was cited extensively in the judge’s 1500-page judgement.  Ian, in collaboration with Dr. Sandy Clarke, Dr. Sue Finch and Ms. Rachel Sore, from the Statistical Consulting Centre, carried out meta-analyses of evidence from 438 studies of stress urinary incontinence and 130 studies of pelvic organ prolapse, and provided expert opinion on evidence, including commentary on evidence of other experts. The judge ruled in favour of the women and against the companies who sold the mesh products.


The Sydney Morning Herald

The Guardian

The New York Times

Hazelwood fire

Expert witness

Hazelwood mine fire inquiry

Professor Ian Gordon appeared as an expert witness at the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry in September 2015, in Morwell. Ian Gordon said “It has been re-established to address a new term of reference: did the fire contribute to an increase in deaths? As usual in these contexts, much need for careful statistical communication, in the two days of examination and cross-examination. Among everything else, I was obliged to explain the P-value and confidence intervals.” He contributed substantially to the Inquiry as an expert. Some of his analyses are explicitly included in the report, and he is quoted directly in places. Click here to go the Hazelwood inquiry report 2015/2016