Federal transvaginal mesh litigation is moving forward, and the first bellwether trial will begin June 11, 2013.

A bellwether trial is the first case among a group of similar cases to be tried. Typically, it sets a trend as to how the others are decided.

Transvaginal mesh is a medical device designed to support organs in women’s pelvic area that have shifted due to stretched muscles—a common result of childbirth. There are thousands of lawsuits pending against transvaginal mesh manufacturers, which include C.R. Bard, American Medical Systems Inc., Boston Scientific Corp. and Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Inc.

Claims against these manufacturers include allegations that transvaginal mesh causes infection, incontinence, and pain in the abdomen, pelvis and vagina, and death. One Canadian woman compared her transvaginal mesh implant to a “cheese grater,” complaining that every time she moved, the device tore tissue from her internal organs.

Jury Awards $11 Million to Mesh Victim

In March 2013, the country’s first trial involving Ethicon Inc.’s mesh product resulted in a jury awarding more than $11 million to the plaintiff, including $7.76 million in punitive damages. Nine jurors concluded that Ethicon had misrepresented the device. Ethicon is appealing the verdict; however, the case is not the first to award millions in damages to a transvaginal mesh recipient. A California woman received $5.5 million in July 2012 after suffering severe complications that required eight revision surgeries with the prospect of more to come. The case was the first transvaginal mesh litigation in the nation and brought the plight of the more than 75,000 women implanted with the device since 2011 to international attention.

FDA Safety Warnings

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received more than 4,000 reports of complications occurring from transvaginal mesh use. The reports document additional surgeries, medical bills, pain, and missed work. The most frequent complications reported to the FDA include “mesh erosion through the vagina (also called exposure, extrusion or protrusion), pain, infection, bleeding, pain during sexual intercourse (dyspareunia), organ perforation, and urinary problems. There were also reports of recurrent prolapse, neuro-muscular problems, vaginal scarring/shrinkage, and emotional problems.”

The FDA has issued two safety warnings about the product. The first, in 2008, alerted the public to “rare” occurrences of such complications. However, the second, in 2011, recognized a proliferation of hazards associated with its use.

Transvaginal Mesh Brands:

  • American Medical Systems (AMS)
  • Avaulta
  • Bard
  • Boston Scientfic
  • Tyco
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Sofradim
  • Mentor
  • Gynecare
  • Uretex

Don’t Wait to File your Claim

The FDA approved transvaginal mesh products without sufficient testing. As counsel for the plaintiff in the $5.5-million California awards case put it, “[C.R. Bard Medical] tested this on 16 rats, 12 rabbits, four sheep and, by their own researcher’s admission, the next living being this product went into was women.”

When is this atrocious and unconscionable disregard for consumer safety going to stop? At Estey & Bomberger, we consider ourselves champions of the consumers who are victimized by the heinous negligence medical device manufacturers and the FDA practice. We are nationally recognized for our success in defective products cases, and we have recovered millions in compensation for our clients.

We are outraged by the suffering women implanted with transvaginal mesh devices are enduring, and we want to help. Please call us toll-free at: 1-888-602-4228 to speak with us about your case. Take advantage of the high-profile these cases are currently receiving and of our free consultation and contingency-fee service. We won’t charge you a penny until we win your case.