In one of the first cases to go to trial among hundreds of lawsuits against medical device makers over their transvaginal mesh products, a couple has been awarded $5.5 million for injuries arising from Bard’s Avaulta Plus implant. The damages are to compensate the couple for medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages that resulted after the mesh was implanted in 2008. The plaintiff in that case required nine subsequent surgeries because of complications with the device.
Vaginal mesh is used to treat a condition known as pelvic organ prolapse which occurs when pelvic organs slip out of place causing pain and other complications. Allegations in lawsuits filed across the country claim that the mesh can erode and protrude into the vagina. In some instances, the mesh will also perforate the bowel or bladder.
In August 2011, after reviewing reports of side effects of the products from 2008-2010, the FDA issued a report stating that vaginal-mesh products posed a high risk to patients. The FDA’s panel on Obstetrics and Gynecology found that the benefits of such devices were outweighed by the risks associated with their use. The FDA still must decide on whether or not to adopt the panel’s recommendations.
Recently, Johnson & Johnson agreed to voluntarily stop selling 4 of its brands of transvaginal mesh because of growing negative publicity and not because of litigation. Hundreds of lawsuits that have been filed across the country against a number of manufacturers of pelvic mesh products, including Johnson and Johnson, have been consolidated in federal court in West Virginia. U.S. District Court Judge Joseph R. Goodwin, in Charleston, will supervise the cases against J&J, as well as Bard, Boston Scientific and American Medical Systems. These cases have been grouped together to make the legal process more efficient and allow all of the plaintiffs to benefit from discovery conducted by attorneys for victims of these products. More trials are scheduled to being in West Virginia early next year.
The attorneys at the law firm of Thomas and Lyon is currently representing dozens of women injured as the result of transvaginal mesh products. Contact us for your free consultation.