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Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits

About Transvaginal Mesh

Transvaginal mesh is a synthetic, net-like material that is used to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in women. It is typically implanted through the vagina, and its main purpose is to provide support to the pelvic organs and surrounding tissue.

However, transvaginal mesh has been linked to a number of serious complications, including organ perforation, infection, urinary problems, and chronic pain. As a result, thousands of women have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of transvaginal mesh products. In this blog post, we will provide an overview of the current status of transvaginal mesh lawsuits in the United States.

Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits

In 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about the potential risks associated with transvaginal mesh, and since then, the number of lawsuits has been on the rise. The first transvaginal mesh lawsuit was filed in 2005. Since then, the number of transvaginal mesh lawsuits has grown exponentially. In 2012, there were more than 2,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits pending in state and federal courts across the United States. By 2013, that number had increased to more than 5,000.

And as of August 2018, there were more than 100,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits pending in state and federal courts across the United States. The vast majority of these lawsuits have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceedings in order to streamline pretrial proceedings. 

These lawsuits have been brought by women from all 50 states who have suffered serious complications as a result of using transvaginal mesh products. Many of these women have had to undergo multiple surgeries to correct the problems caused by the transvaginal mesh. Some women have even had their transvaginal mesh products removed entirely. In some cases, the damage caused by the transvaginal mesh is irreversible.

The vast majority of transvaginal mesh lawsuits are pending in federal court. In December 2012, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia established a centralized MDL docket for all federal transvaginal mesh lawsuits. As of August 2018, there were more than 75,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits pending in this MDL. The MDL is currently overseen by U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin. Judge Goodwin has set deadlines for the various stages of this MDL, including deadlines for fact discovery and expert discovery.

There are currently four federal MDLs pending: 

• In re: C.R. Bard, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation (2:12-md-02441) 

• In re:: Boston Scientific Corp., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation (1:12-md-02326) 

• In re:: Ethicon Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation (3:12-md-02440) 

• In re:: Coloplast Corp., Pelvic Support Systems Products Liability Litigation (3:17-md-02785) 

In addition to the federal MDLs, there are also several state court MDLs pending in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. 

To date, there have been several bellwether trials in the federal MDLs. A bellwether trial is a “test” case that is selected to go to trial first in order to gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and arguments that will be presented in other cases within the MDL. While the results of bellwether trials are not binding on other cases within the MDL, they can be helpful in settlement negotiations. 

So far, juries have sided with both plaintiffs and defendants in bellwether trials involving transvaginal mesh products. In July 2019, a jury in the C.R. Bard MDL awarded $5.5 million to a plaintiff who alleged that she was injured by Bard’s Avaulta Plus transvaginal mesh product. However, just one month later, a different jury in the same MDL acquitted Bard of all liability in another case involving its Align transvaginal mesh product. And in March 2019, a jury awarded $26 million to a plaintiff who alleged that she was injured by Ethicon’s Gynecare TVT Obturator transvaginal mesh product; however, that verdict was later overturned on appeal. Perhaps these contradictory results suggest that there is no clear “winner” or “loser” in these cases, and that each case will turn on its own unique set of facts and circumstances. 

Because of the complex nature of these cases, it is likely that it will be several years before all of the pending transvaginal mesh lawsuits are resolved. Resolution in mass torts cases generally means a single settlement incorporating a large number of plaintiffs.

One thing that is certain, however, is that these lawsuits have brought attention to the serious risks associated with transvagimal mesh implants. These risks include erosion of the mesh, pain, infection, organ perforation, and urinary problems.

We recommend that individuals injured by a transvaginal mesh complete our settlement form, and we can connect you with a leading, experienced attorney as soon as possible to discuss legal options. 

In Closing

Transvaginal mesh is a synthetic material used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and related conditions; however, it has been linked to a number serious complications—including organ perforation and chronic pain—and has resulted in thousands of women filing lawsuits against manufacturers of these products all across the United States. The federal government has consolidated many of these lawsuits into multidistrict litigation proceedings; however—to date—there is no clear “winner” or “loser” as juries have sided with both plaintiffs and defendants alike depending on the particular facts and circumstances at play in each individual case… meaning it may be several years before all claims are resolved.” If you have been injured by a transvaginal mesh product you should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.”