Over 108 thousand lawsuits have been made against the manufacturers of transvaginal mesh, also known as a pelvic mesh. These devices, which are surgical implants designed to treat issues such as pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence have been alleged to cause a wide range of issues, including pain, bleeding, organ damage, perforation, infection, autoimmune problems and more.
Some of the manufacturers who have faced lawsuits related to transvaginal mesh injuries include Ethicon (and parent company Johnson & Johnson), C.R. Bard, Boston Scientific, Neomedic International and Caldera Medical. Already, tens of thousands of cases have already been filed and settled, but there are thousands still in the courts, and more expected to be raised in future.
About Transvaginal Mesh
Also known as vagina mesh or pelvic mesh products, these are surgically implanted devices used to treat issues like pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. By providing additional support to weakened tissue, the mesh is supposed to improve symptoms related to these issues.
However, medical studies found that transvaginal mesh products had a much higher rate of complications than previously understood. This was specifically related to the fact that the mesh is at a risk of erosion and failure, who can then lead to a variety of injuries.
Products that may be affected include Gynecare, Gynemesh, Ethicon, Avaulta, Pelvicol, Pelvisoft, Spar, Monarc, Perigee, Elevat, Mentor-Aris, Suspend, T-Sling, Novasilk, and Restorelle. Reports of failure and resulting injury have come in for all of the above products and many more. If you or a loved one have had a transvaginal mesh implanted and suffered injury as a result, you could be eligible for a claim.
The Health Risks of Transvaginal Mesh
Technically, any patient who has been implanted with a transvaginal mesh that has since proven to have serious health risks could potentially have a legal claim. However, claims with specific damages are more likely to be more successful at court.
Previously successful transvaginal mesh lawsuits have shown that the devices can cause organ damage, such as perforation of the bowel, infection of the site where the implant is, pain during intercourse, vaginal scarring, urinary problems, recurrence of vaginal prolapse, and more besides.
The symptoms of these issues can be bleeding, severe pain, infection, autoimmune issues, incontinence, and much more. These health issues can be severe, especially in the cases of infection, which have a chance of spreading to the whole body and of becoming fatal.
Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit Allegations
Many of the allegations against the manufacturers of transvaginal mesh products charge them with providing false and misleading information about the safety of the devices, failing their legal duty to ensure their effectiveness.
The manufacturers have been accused of misleading the FDA, or the US Food and Drug Administration, their medical industry customers, patients, and the public about the safety of the product. Other allegations have been made about failing to test products, failing to test side effects and risk, as well as failing to create safe methods of removing the devices.
Examples of Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits
Ethicon, and parent company Johnson & Johnson, have faced more vaginal mesh lawsuits than any of the other manufacturers. The highest grossing individual lawsuit was $57.1 million in 2017, awarded by a Philadelphia jury to Ella Ebaugh, who experienced chronic pain and urinary incontinence after two Ethicon pelvic mesh implants eroded into her urethra and she had to have three surgeries to remove the mesh.
Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson agreed to a settlement of $120 million to between 2000 and 3000 claimants in January 2016. This is still only a portion of the cases facing the company, however.
C.R. Bard has settled many cases, as well, including paying $68 million to one claimant, and settling over 3000 cases for a combined $200 million. As of their last settlement, C.R. Bard still face over 10,000 unresolved cases.
Boston Scientific faces over 20,000 mesh lawsuits, currently, and had awarded $100 million to one woman fitted with their Pinnacle and Advantage Fit mesh products, in May 2015. This is the largest single verdict to have been paid out in a transvaginal mesh lawsuit thus far.
There are still thousands of cases that have yet to be settled in court, and studies say that it’s significantly more likely that more people will come forth with injuries caused by transvaginal mesh in the future. As it stands, over $5 billion has been paid out in total to claimants. We could only name a few examples, but many more companies, including Neomedic Coloplast, and Endo/American Medical Systems have had to pay out millions to patients who had been fitted with their transvaginal mesh products.
Are Transvaginal Mesh Products Still on the Market?
As of April 16, 2019, there are no new transvaginal mesh products being sold on the market. This is the date when the FDA ordered Boston Scientific and Coloplast to immediately stop putting their products to market, and ordered them to withdraw all the remaining products from the market, as well.
As such, there are no transvaginal mesh products available legally on the market. However, there may still be thousands of women who have had these products implanted but have yet to suffer any adverse side effects. If anyone with a transvaginal mesh is injured by them in future, they will be eligible to file a suit against the manufacturers.
The Latest with Transvaginal Mesh Products
Though no manufacturers are still legally selling or marketing transvaginal mesh products in the US, there are still many patients who have had such products implanted. Everyone who has a transvaginal mesh should be acutely aware of the health risks they pose and consider seeing their doctor at the slightest sign of pain, incontinence, bleeding, or any of the other symptoms associated with these products.
All women with transvaginal meshes are eligible to file a lawsuit against their manufacturer, but it can be harder to file a suit successfully without specific damages to cite.