Surgical mesh implants have been used to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). What the mesh does is it strengthens or repairs the weakened muscles to treat POP, or it supports the pelvic muscles surrounding the urethra or bladder to repair SUI. When mesh is used to treat SUI, it is commonly known as a bladder sling.
While mesh implants were seen as safe and conventional treatments, in 2011, the FDA issued its first warning against vaginal mesh implants for POP. The FDA noted adverse effects such as mesh erosion and mesh contraction (shrinkage). Both mesh erosion and mesh contraction can cause severe pelvic pain and pain during sexual intercourse. Mesh erosion and mesh contraction require multiple surgeries to repair the problem. To make matters worse, it s not as if the FDA issued its warning against a certain brand or type of mesh, but these adverse effects were seen with all mesh implants.2013 VAGINAL MESH CLAIM UPDATE
In 2012, the FDA updated its warning again. Based on reports received by the FDA citing adverse effects of mesh implants and evaluation of published research and studies, the FDA was considering reclassification of surgical mesh from Class II to Class III. Class III products are those that present the greatest risks and require greater regulation from the FDA. The FDA ordered studies from manufacturers of surgical mesh devices for POP and SUI. The FDA’s assessments are still ongoing.
It is important to remember though that women with mesh implants for POP or SUI may suffer other adverse effects that the FDA did not mention. Along with pelvic pain, transvaginal mesh injuries can also affect simple daily activities, like sitting or walking. It can also take a toll on a woman’s physical and emotional well-being, professional life, and relationships with family, friends, or partner.Plaintiff's Get Good Rulings
There have been two recent developments for plaintiffs in 2013. First, the judge is coming down hard on defendants who are trying to find creative ways to stop plaintiffs' counsel from getting to the truth. The court ruled that American Medical Systems, on of the defendants, must provide two former employees to plaintiffs' lawyers for deposition. Why does this matter? Former employees are the first to speak the real truth. In another ruling Ethicon/Johnson & Johnson was required to make a witness available to speak to the J&J's procedures and practices related to all five of their products at issue.AMS Settles Some Cases
There have also been some more settlements. Endo Health/American Medical Systems will pay $54.5 million to settle some of these claims. Not all of the cases will fall into this settlement, and it is expected that this small manufacturer will still have to pay out another $100 million. At least.Big Verdict
The other big development this year was the big verdict back in February of $11.1 million. This verdict will have a big impact on the amount of money paid to settle these claims in the long run. Because is said the jury not only find liability, it was mad. This means something both regarding dollars and cents and in terms of public relations for these companies.The Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits
There are several lawsuits pending around the country because of the pain and suffering caused by mesh implants. In the first case that went to trial over a mesh implant was in California in 2012. The jury decided that C.R. Bard. Inc, the manufacturer of the Avaulta mesh implant product [more on Avaulta cases], and a doctor would pay $5.5 million in damages to a woman whose vaginal mesh implant left her incontinent and suffering chronic pain. This case is hopefully an indicator of how the thousands of pending cases may turn out.
Because so many cases involving mesh implants were being filed against manufacturers, thousands of cases were consolidated into separate multidistrict litigation groups [what is an MDL?] before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. The first trial date for about 600 cases against Avaulta was set for February 5, 2013 in West Virginia. A fifth MDL, involving hundreds of lawsuits over the defective Mentor ObTape (a vaginal sling product from Johnson and Johnson), was assigned to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia and is also making headway. Most recently in the Mentor ObTape MDL, the plaintiffs gained a victory when the judge denied the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. In state court, New Jersey is currently hearing its first trial out of more than 1,900 cases filed against Johnson and Johnson’s Ethicon brand.
These first cases to go to trial will shed light on the extent of pain and suffering caused by mesh devices and will also highlight how manufacturers failed to adequately test their products for safety and failed to research the risks involved.Types of Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits
We are looking at potential lawsuits for the following transvaginal mesh manufacturers:
- Bard Avaulta Support System
- Elevate Prolapse Repair
- Apogee Vault Suspension
- Monarc Sling System
- Sparc Sling System
- Boston Scientific
- Pinnacle Pelvic Floor Repair Kit
- Boston Scientific Uphold Vaginal Support
- Ethicon Gynecare (Johnson & Johnson)
- Prolene Soft Mesh
- Prolift Pelvic Floor Repair System
- TVT Transvaginal Sling
- Mentor OB Tape
- UGYTEX Dual Knit Mesh
- Covidien IVS Tunneler Sling
If you have experienced transvaginal mesh side effects and feel you may be entitled to money damages for your injuries, fill out our free case review form or call us at 800-553-8082. Again, this may be just getting information; it is not a decision to bring a claim or file a lawsuit.More Vaginal Implant Lawsuit Information