Transvaginal mesh is a permanent surgical implant designed to reinforce a weak vaginal wall and to repair pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or to support the urethra to treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI). In July 2011, the FDA issued updated warnings regarding the serious complications associated with transvaginal mesh for repair of POP and SUI. In 2012, the FDA ordered the manufacturers to conduct postmarket surveillance studies (522 studies) about the rates of organ damage and complications linked to the implants. More than 1 million women have received transvaginal mesh inserts during the past 15 years.
Erosion of mesh through the vagina is the most commonly reported mesh-related complication. Mesh erosion can require multiple surgeries to repair and can be debilitating. In some cases, even multiple surgeries will not resolve the complication. Another reported complication is mesh contraction (shrinkage), which is associated with vaginal shortening, tightening, and pain. Both mesh erosion and mesh contraction may lead to severe pelvic pain and/or painful sexual intercourse.
In the last few years, a wave of lawsuits have been filed in federal and state courts involving pelvic mesh products. Johnson & Johnson (J&J) alone faces more than 12,000 lawsuits, many of which have been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in a West Virginia federal court: In Re Ethicon Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, 12-MD-02327, U.S. District Court, S.D. of West Virginia (Charleston). Other manufacturer-defendants that have had their cases consolidated in the MDL proceedings include Boston Scientific, Coloplast, Cook Medical, C.R. Bard, and Endo Health Solutions. In March 2014 Coloplast agreed to pay $16 million to settle some of the lawsuits, while officials from Boston Scientific, Endo, and C.R. Bard are reportedly continuing settlement discussions. J&J has not publicly commented on its position.
While the federal MDL information gathering proceeds, state court juries are beginning to return verdicts.
If you have had a pelvic mesh implant and would like to know more about pending litigation contact us. Statutes of Limitations limit the time you have to file a legal claim.
If you have experienced adverse events or side effects from a surgical mesh product find help here.
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Statutes of Limitations limit the time period that plaintiffs have to file a legal claim. These time limits vary from state to state, but generally range from 2-6 years. In product liability cases, the statute of limitations usually begins when the injury occurs, but in some cases may not start until the affected person discovers, or should have discovered, that the product caused their injury.