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Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits

Thousands of women who had a vaginal mesh device implanted have suffered serious injuries due to defects in the vaginal mesh product. Women who have been injured by defective transvaginal mesh implants are now filing vaginal mesh lawsuits against the manufacturers of these devices and getting financial compensation. Our firm is currently seeking vaginal mesh injury cases from anyone who have a vaginal mesh device implanted and subsequently experienced serious complications related to that mesh implant.

March 22, 2023: Johnson & Johnson has agreed to a $9.9 million settlement with the state of Kentucky. This settlement addresses allegations that the company inadequately disclosed the risks associated with its vaginal mesh products. These products, designed for supporting sagging organs and treating incontinence in women, have been a subject of controversy and litigation.

This Kentucky settlement adds to the over $125 million Johnson & Johnson has already committed to resolving state-level claims regarding its marketing of mesh products. Notably, the U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to review a $302 million judgment against J&J for misrepresenting vaginal-mesh implant risks to consumers in California.

About Transvaginal Mesh

Transvaginal (or vaginal) mesh is surgical mesh implant product that can be used to help strengthen, support and reinforce tissue and muscle in surgical procedures. Surgical mesh implants are very common and come in a variety of types. Vaginal mesh implants are intended for use in pelvic reconstruction surgery in women.

Pelvic reconstructive surgery in women is typically done to treat pelvic organ prolapse and/or stress urinary incontinence. These are chronic conditions that occur due to excessive weakening of a woman’s pelvic muscles. When the pelvic muscles weaken, organs such as the bladder, uterus, or rectum can drop down into the vagina causing a host of issues. Pelvic surgery aims to restore these pelvic muscles to reverse this process and vaginal mesh is used to reinforce the muscle walls as part of that procedure.

Vaginal mesh implants have been around since the late 1970s, but their design had changed significantly. The widespread use of vaginal mesh implants began in the late 1990s after the FDA allowed various vaginal mesh products to be approved through the expedited 501(k) approval process.

Vaginal Mesh Problems

Not long after the use of transvaginal mesh implants became more common in the late 1990s and early 2000s, a growing number of women who had the mesh devices implanted began to experience major issues and post-implantation complications. These complications arise from problems with the material that the mesh products are made out of.

Most vaginal mesh products are comprised of non-absorbable, synthetic, monofilament polypropylene mesh and/or collagen. Despite claims that polypropylene mesh is inert, scientific studies have shown that this material is biologically incompatible with human tissue and when used for pelvic floor repair, polypropylene and other surgical polymers promote a severe foreign body reaction and chronic inflammatory response in a large percentage of women.

This “host defense response” by a woman’s pelvic tissues causes chronic inflammation of the pelvic tissue, shrinkage or contraction of the mesh leading to nerve entrapment, further inflammation, chronic infectious response and chronic pain. It also can cause new-onset painful sexual relations, significant urinary dysfunction, vaginal shortening and anatomic deformation, and can contribute to the formation of severe adverse reactions to the mesh.

Complications Related to Vaginal Mesh

The internal problems and complications caused by the defective design of the vaginal mesh products can be grouped in the following categories:

  • Infection: Infection, including chronic urinary tract infections, is another common complication that has been associated with vaginal mesh implants.
  • Mesh Erosion: Mesh erosion is the most commonly reported vaginal mesh implant problem. Erosion happens when the mesh material of the product erodes through and into the surrounding vaginal tissue or organs. This can cause severe pain and require corrective surgery.
  • Organ Perforation: In many cases, vaginal mesh implants have actually migrated and punctured nearby organs such as the bowel or bladder. In other cases, they have punctured blood vessels. These complications are very serious and potentially life-threatening.
  • Vaginal Shrinkage or Scarring: Vaginal mesh implants have been known to cause scarring and contraction or shrinkage of the vaginal tissue. This complication usually causes pain during sex.

FDA Safety Warnings About Vaginal Mesh

In the early 2000s, the growing number of vaginal mesh complications and injuries began to get the attention of the FDA. In 2008, the FDA finally took action by issuing a Public Health Notification informing patients and doctors about the problems with vaginal mesh implants.

In 2011, the FDA issued an updated safety communication about continued evidence of serious complications associated with vaginal mesh products. This time, the FDA went as far as to conclude that there was no evidence to show that using vaginal mesh implants was even beneficial. This prompted widespread national attention and was the primary spark that led to the explosion of the vaginal mesh lawsuits.

Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits

Transvaginal mesh lawsuits started getting filed in large numbers after the FDA safety communication in 2011. Over the following 10 years, thousands of women filed vaginal mesh lawsuits against a collection of different medical device companies who made vaginal mesh products. Medical device manufacturers who made or make transvaginal mesh implants include:

  • R. Bard (Beckton Dickson)
  • Boston Scientific
  • Ethicon (a J&J Subsidiary)
  • Coloplast
  • Neomedic

The vaginal mesh lawsuits allege that the vaginal mesh products contained design defects. They also accused the device manufacturers of negligently failing to warn doctors and patients about the risk of complications associated with these implants.

Vaginal Mesh Class Actions

Back in 2011, all of the vaginal mesh lawsuits in federal courts were consolidated into a group of 7 different class action MDLs. Each MDL focused on claims against a specific vaginal mesh manufacturer. All 7 of the class action MDLs were assigned to a judge in the Southern District of West Virginia. Between 2012 and 2014 bellwether test trials were held in many of the vaginal mesh MDLs.

The trials consistently ended in plaintiff victories with verdicts ranging from $3,000,000 to $80,000,000.

2012 C.R. Bard $3.6 million verdict
2013 Ethicon (J&J) $11.1 million verdict
2014 Boston Scientific $26.7 million verdict
2015 Ethicon (J&J) $12,500,000 verdict
2017 Ethicon (J&J) $20,000,000 verdict
2018 Ethicon (J&J) $35,000,000 verdict
2019 Ethicon (J&J) $80,500,000 verdict

Following the bellwether trial results, most of the vaginal mesh defendants entered into global settlement deals to resolve the cases in the MDLs. However, at least 2 more vaginal mesh lawsuits went to trial in New Jersey state courts resulting in verdicts of $33 million (2014) and $57.1 million (2016).

Current Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits

As of 2023, the litigation surrounding vaginal mesh remains ongoing, with numerous lawsuits awaiting resolution. While many manufacturers have initiated settlement programs to address vaginal mesh claims, certain companies are actively engaging in litigation regarding these cases. New individuals experiencing complications from vaginal mesh continue to file product liability lawsuits.

Since the commencement of the litigation, over 100,000 lawsuits related to vaginal mesh have been filed. Reports indicate that more than 90% of these cases have already reached complete resolution through settlements, leading to the deactivation of the MDLs (Multidistrict Litigations). However, the possibility of filing a vaginal mesh lawsuit still exists. Presently, a considerable number of vaginal mesh lawsuits are being filed, though they are no longer being managed within the MDLs.

Who Is Eligible to File a Vaginal Mesh Lawsuit?

It is still possible to file a new vaginal mesh lawsuit. Presently, the primary plaintiffs in vaginal mesh cases are women who underwent a transvaginal mesh implant and experienced complications or injuries directly associated with the implant within recent years. To qualify for a lawsuit, however, the vaginal mesh complication must have occurred within the last few years. If the complication happened more than 5 years ago, it may likely be too late to pursue a claim.

For individuals considering filing a vaginal mesh lawsuit in 2023, a significant concern is whether the statute of limitations (SOL) applicable to their claim has expired. Each state establishes its own SOL for personal injury cases, typically ranging between 2 to 3 years. The countdown for the SOL period begins at the time of the initial occurrence of your vaginal mesh injury or complication. If your vaginal mesh complications arose within the last 1 or 2 years, you will likely not encounter issues with the statute of limitations.

Potential Settlement Value of Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits

Unlike many other mass torts, we have a pretty good idea of what the potential settlement value of a good vaginal mesh case could be. This estimate is based on prior settlements and verdicts in earlier vaginal mesh lawsuits and in the class action MDL settlements,. Our lawyers estimate that a successful vaginal mesh injury lawsuit in 2023 would have a settlement payout value of around $150,000 to $450,000.  How much your vaginal mesh case is worth and where it falls in this settlement range would depend on various factors including the severity of the physical injuries and the age of the plaintiff.

Hire a Vaginal Mesh Lawyer

Our vaginal mesh lawyers are currently accepting new vaginal mesh lawsuits from women who suffered complications and injuries related to a vaginal, transvaginal, or pelvic mesh implant. Contact us at 800-553-8083 or contact us online.

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Client Reviews
They quite literally worked as hard as if not harder than the doctors to save our lives. Terry Waldron
Ron helped me find a clear path that ended with my foot healing and a settlement that was much more than I hope for. Aaron Johnson
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The last case I referred to them settled for $1.2 million. John Selinger
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The entire team from the intake Samantha to the lawyer himself (Ron Miller) has been really approachable. Suzette Allen
The case settled and I got a lot more money than I expected. Ron even fought to reduce how much I owed in medical bills so I could get an even larger settlement. Nchedo Idahosa