Transvaginal mesh litigation is considered one of the most prolific of product litigation lawsuits in US tort law history. There are more than 60,000 claims already filed with the courts, and another 50,000 plaintiffs are expected to file suit. This prompted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to level up the product from moderate to high risk classification for the treatment of women with pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or urinary incontinence.
Transvaginal mesh multi-district litigation (MDL) is currently pending in the Southern District of West Virginia naming seven defendants including C.R. Bard Inc, American Medical Systems, Inc. (a subsidiary of Endo International Plc.), Ethicon Inc. (a division of Johnson & Johnson), and Boston Scientific, all manufacturers of transvaginal mesh products.
The claims against these defendants include defective design and manufacture of the product which resulted in serious injury or harm to those who were implanted. Furthermore, plaintiffs claimed that they were not given adequate warning about the dangers associated with using the product which included mesh erosion, infection, and organ damage. Many of the plaintiffs had to undergo revision surgery to remove the mesh and repair the damage done, and in some cases the mesh was beyond recovery or the damage was too severe to be repaired.
Twenty thousand lawsuits had been filed against American Medical Systems, a major mesh manufacturer. The company was quick to announce that it would settle many of the claims from a $1.2 billion fund provided by Endo for that purpose, but has not admitted to any liability. Ethicon, on the other hand, is not giving way to the 30,000 claims made against them and both sides are preparing for the third bellwether trial set for early December 2014, despite its defeat in September when the jury awarded $3.27 million in damages to plaintiff Jo Huskey for injuries sustained with using the TVT-O pelvic mesh sling device. The verdict is currently being appealed.
Avaulta transvaginal mesh manufacturer C.R. Bard chose to settle some of the lawsuits against them, agreeing to pay about $43,000 for each of 500 cases when the federal court directed them to prepare for trial in those 500 cases. But there are more out there; in excess of 9,000 cases have so far been filed against the mesh manufacturer. Boston Scientific was ordered by a Texas state court to pay $73 million in damages (reduced to $43 million in compliance with Texas law) to Martha Salazar for her injuries caused by the Obtryx sling. More than 14,000 plaintiffs are asking for compensation from Boston Scientific.
If you sustained serious injuries from using a transvaginal mesh product, you are definitely not alone, nor should you sustain the financial consequences on your own. Contact a personal injury in your area for legal advice.