Lawsuits, Settlements and Claims
Injured women who have suffered as a result of faulty pelvic mesh devices have filed thousands of lawsuits in state and federal courts nationwide. These women and their families feel duped by the mesh companies that advertised their products as safe when they were not.
History of Problems
Commonly called transvaginal or vaginal mesh, pelvic mesh is used in pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence surgeries. Doctors use these sling-shaped devices to hoist fallen organs into their original positions to prevent further pain and discomfort.
Instead, what these patients have found was the mesh disintegrates once inserted through the vagina. This crumbling mesh forms sharp shards that injure internal organs, cause infections and ongoing pain.
When doctors try to remove the mesh, they find the mesh is nearly impossible to remove completely. Instead, many patients must suffer through multiple revision surgeries before the device is removed entirely.
The problems have been so profound that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reversed its previous decision that problems with the device were rare and, instead, issued a public-health notification.
Pelvic Mesh Lawsuits
Today, nearly 17,500 cases have been filed in federal court alone. Thousands more are located in state courts nationwide. The federal cases have been combined into several multidistrict litigations (MDLs), located in the Southern District of West Virginia. These allow all of the cases to be consolidated for some pretrial events, including discovery. Then each case is heard before a judge individually, allowing for distinct jury awards or settlements. As of April 2013, there are five MDLs established:
- American Medical Systems – With 5,573 cases, the litigation against AMS is the largest of the pelvic mesh MDLs.
- Johnson & Johnson Ethicon –A close second, Ethicon faces 5,445 MDL cases.
- Boston Scientific – The company faces 3,307 cases.
- C.R. Bard -- The company faces 2,840 cases.
- Coloplast – The company faces 313 cases.
Pelvic Mesh Awards and Settlements
Already two women have battled against pelvic mesh manufacturers in state courts and won.
- In July 2012, a 53-year-old California woman and her husband were awarded $5.5 million after they sued C.R. Bard for injuries caused by its Avaulta Plus mesh device. After having the device implanted in 2008, the woman had severe complications including colon perforation. She underwent nearly two-dozen surgeries and procedures to have it removed. C.R. Bard later pulled the device from the shelves.
- In February 2013, a New Jersey jury awarded a South Dakota nurse $11.1 million after she suffered injuries as a result of Johnson & Johnson’s Gynecare Prolift. The woman had the device implanted to repair her pelvic organ prolapse. She subsequently went through 18 surgeries to remove it.
The first bellwether, or test, trial in the federal MDL cases is set to begin in July 2013. This bellwether case, with C.R. Bard as the defendant, is aimed at estimating the eventual outcome of all of the future federal cases.
Seek Help Now
Pelvic mesh victims are encouraged to seek legal representation immediately to discuss options. Pelvic mesh manufacturers used a dangerous product with little to no testing. Only a qualified pelvic mesh attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.