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Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits

The tens of thousands of women hurt by transvaginal mesh may have a lot in common – the pain caused by complications from surgical mesh erosion, the embarrassment related to urinary incontinence, the confusion in wondering where to turn for help. But the transvaginal mesh attorneys at Eisbrouch & Marsh know that each case and each client is different. They can help women explore their legal options for compensation, which may involve filing a transvaginal mesh lawsuit against the manufacturers.

Transvaginal Mesh graphicIn the past year, the first transvaginal mesh lawsuits have headed to trial, resulting in multi-million dollar verdicts for injured plaintiffs and settlement deals in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Settlement amounts are intended to compensate mesh victims for the pain and suffering they experience, as well as the medical bills associated with revision surgery and other necessary medical treatment.

Product liability lawyers at Eisbrouch & Marsh understand the pain and confusion that mesh victims are going through. We have been practicing for 25 years in New Jersey and New York and know how product liability cases are won. Our expertise is matched by our compassion in helping transvaginal mesh victims receive compensation for their injuries.

What is transvaginal mesh?

Transvaginal mesh is a surgical polypropylene mesh. It has many uses, including repairing hernias, but is also used to repair pelvic organ prolapse.

A woman suffers from a pelvic organ prolapse when her internal support structure fails, often as the result of childbirth or a hysterectomy. When this happens, organs like the bladder, uterus, and rectum drop into the vagina. This can be repaired either through the abdomen or the vagina, with stitches or with surgical mesh. When the prolapse is repaired through the vagina, using surgical mesh, the mesh is referred to as “transvaginal.”

Some surgeons have described a vaginal prolapse repair as one of the most complicated surgeries performed. If not done correctly, the repair can fail. It was initially thought that prolapse repairs could more often and easily be done correctly using surgical mesh, and the vaginal insertion was quicker and less invasive than abdominal surgery. But it has become obvious that the complications of transvaginal mesh outweigh the benefits.

Further complicating matters, recent studies show that removing the mesh is risky and revision surgery does not always remedy the complications.

Injuries associated with transvaginal mesh

The FDA has warned that the risks of transvaginal mesh outweigh the benefits. It has emphasized that surgical mesh is not, in and of itself, risky, but the specific use of it to repair vaginal prolapse is. It has also recommended that vaginal mesh be reclassified from a moderate-risk device to a high-risk device.

Women all around the country have brought transvaginal mesh lawsuits linking their injuries to the prolapse repair surgery. They contend that the mesh can shrink and erode over time, causing pain and other complications.

The complications associated with transvaginal mesh include:

  • Infection
  • Incontinence
  • Vaginal pain during intercourse
  • Bleeding
  • Nerve damage
  • Perforation of nearby organs

Current transvaginal mesh litigation

Tens of thousands of women across the country have filed vaginal mesh lawsuits. When there are this many plaintiffs focused on a small number of defendants who make the same type of product, the cases will often be consolidated in a single court for the pretrial and discovery processes in what is referred to as multi-district litigation. These cases will be sent back to their original court of origin for trial if settlements are not negotiated beforehand.

More than 50,000 lawsuits against the major manufacturers of surgical mesh have been referred to federal multi-district litigation. The majority of the federal cases are proceeding in four groups, each against a different manufacturer, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. Cases against another manufacturer are consolidated in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia.

Still more cases have been filed in state courts and have been consolidated in a similar way under state rules. For example, in Pennsylvania, state transvaginal mesh cases have been consolidated across counties and are going forward in a Philadelphia court.

Status of transvaginal mesh litigation

The transvaginal mesh manufacturers named in product liability lawsuits include:

  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Boston Scientific Corp.
  • Endo Health Solutions Inc.
  • C.R. Bard Inc.

Legal and medical experts are watching the initial rounds of transvaginal mesh trials – the outcomes of these “bellwether” trials will affect how the parties and courts handle future claims and trials.

In August 2013, in the first of the bellwether trials, a federal West Virginia jury awarded a woman $2 million in a verdict against C.R. Bard. The woman sued Bard for defective design and failure to warn after she developed serious complications from transvaginal surgical mesh. Bard was scheduled to start the second bellwether trial a week later but settled it on the first day of trial.

Johnson & Johnson, facing more than 12,000 mesh lawsuits, won its first bellwether lawsuit in February 2014 without the case ever reaching the jury. The judge in that case granted the manufacturer’s motion for judgment before the trial ended.

Endo announced in the beginning of April 2014 that it was going to pay $830 million to settle most of the mesh-relate claims pending against it. Endo was faced with more than 25,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits.

What a mesh lawyer can do for you

There are certain things that a plaintiff needs to prove in order to receive compensation in a transvaginal mesh lawsuit. They must be able to prove to a judge and jury that the product was defective and that it caused her injuries.

A transvaginal mesh lawyer at Eisbrouch & Marsh can help victims prove their claim by:

  • Obtaining and reviewing medical records for proof of causation
  • Staying knowledgeable about medical literature showing causation
  • Working with experts who can explain complicated medical concepts to a jury
  • Being available to answer questions from clients who have not been through the court process before

Eisbrouch & Marsh attorneys have the experience to fight for mesh victims

For the past 25 years, the New Jersey-based personal injury attorneys at Eisbrouch & Marsh have been fighting for the rights of those harmed by dangerous medical devices like transvaginal mesh. We have the experience to go up against the device manufacturers’ teams of highly-paid lawyers, as well as the compassion to treat you the way you deserve to be treated, like an individual.

If you think you may have been injured by transvaginal mesh, call 201-342-5545 for a free consultation.

  1. WebMD, FDA: Repairing Pelvic Organ Prolapse with Mesh Risky, http://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/news/20110713/fda-surgical-mesh-for-pelvic-prolapse-risky-unnecessary
  2. FDA, FDA issues proposals to address risks associated with surgical mesh for transvaginal repair of pelvic organ prolapse, http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm395192.htm
  3. Bloomberg, Endo to Pay $830 Million to Resolve Vaginal-Mesh Suits, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-30/endo-pays-830-million-to-resolve-vaginal-mesh-suits.html