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Johnson & Johnson officials destroyed or misplaced documents related to its vaginal-mesh implants and should be barred from relying on some defenses in planned trials over the devices, patients’ lawyers said.

Officials of J&J’s Ethicon unit, which made the company’s Gynecare Prolift implant, lost or disposed of potentially hundreds of thousands of documents over a decade even though they were ordered by executives to preserve them, attorneys for women who blame the devices for their injuries said in a court filing in West Virginia Dec. 2.

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