“Right! This calls for immediate discussion!”
- John Cleese in Life of Brian
At this point in time, anyone attuned to the news surrounding transvaginal mesh lawsuits has heard of several large verdicts surrounding Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) mesh kit litigation.
However, in 2014, there are multiple trials set for the mass of TVM cases out there – the Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) sling meshes (also known as “Bladder Slings”). The question for most people involved in a transvaginal mesh lawsuit is “what is going to happen with the SUI Sling/Bladder Sling cases?”
For every woman who has filed a transvaginal mesh lawsuit, some vindication may be on its way.
Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed new restrictions on the use of vaginal meshes for the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse. These more stringent safety regulations would move such use of transvaginal meshes from the moderate risk (class 2) to the high-risk category (class 3).
The Texas woman who identified herself only as “Barbara” hasn't had it has bad as some women. For many vaginal mesh lawsuit plaintiffs, there have been numerous revision surgeries, disabling pain and complete inability to engage in the sex act.
“Barbara” had her first vaginal mesh implanted in 1996 to treat urinary stress incontinence. She was informed that the procedure would help her deal with the problem for ten years before another surgery would be necessary. She experienced mild discomfort over that time, but says it was “nothing I couldn't live with.”
If a medical device is implanted in a patient, and afterward, someone at the company determines there are defects and issues a written memo suggesting improvements, can those memos constitute evidence against the company in a lawsuit for that patient's pain, suffering and medical expenses?
The media recently marked a grim milestone. The number of plaintiffs who have filed a vaginal mesh lawsuit has passed the thirty thousand mark. Approximately one third of these are scheduled to be heard in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia. Vaginal mesh lawsuit cases currently involve six (6) separate Multidistrict Litigation dockets pertaining to six manufacturers: American Medical Systems, Boston Scientific, Coloplast, Ethicon, Cook Medical and C.R. Bard.
It should come as no surprise.
The first civil lawsuit against medical device maker C.R. Bard, manufacturer of the Avaulta Transvaginal Mesh, had been going on for little more than a week when it was revealed that the supplier of the plastic material used to manufacture the device had warned the company that their product – polypropylene – was unsuitable for use in the human body.
Those are the words of one Dr. David Grimes, who in July 2011, speaking to an NBC news reporter about the problems with pelvic meshes, added that “...we have a long history of accepting things without critical appraisal.”
LP attorneys Troy Rafferty and Robert Price write about the serious injuries resulting from medical mesh products in the latest issue of the Journal of the Florida Justice Association.
Learn more about Pelvic mesh lawsuits
In January 2013, yet another (!) lawsuit was filed in a Minnesota district court on behalf of a woman who received a pelvic mesh implant manufactured by Boston Scientific. This by itself is hardly news; litigation over pelvic slings has just gotten started. It's worth looking at the specific grounds of her lawsuit, however.
The complaint alleges negligence, failure to warn and defective design – as well as breach of “express” and “implied” warranties.