Statistics by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation suggest that as of July 2014, approximately 60,000 transvaginal mesh cases—involving seven manufacturers—were pending in the United States. These medical devices are used in urogynecologic procedures treating conditions like pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or stress urinary incontinence in women (SUI).
POP occurs when a woman’s pelvic muscles are significantly weakened, causing her pelvic organs—i.e. the cervix, uterus, bladder, urethra, rectum and/or vagina—to drop from their natural position. Transvaginal mesh is used in these cases to provide reinforcement to the pelvic floor in an effort to keep the woman’s organs in place.
WHAT PROMPTS THE HIGH NUMBER OF TRANSVAGINAL MESH CASES?
Many women have experienced serious complications following a transvaginal mesh implant. Possible problems resulting from the procedure include mesh erosion, bleeding, bladder perforation, and pain during sexual activity. In some cases, the complications have been so severe that one or more subsequent surgeries were needed to remove the implant.
In addition to suffering injuries caused by the devices, plaintiffs also commonly contend that the manufacturers failed to sufficiently warn patients of possible health risks, and neglected to conduct adequate testing to ensure the implants are safe.
In 2008, and again three years later in 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warnings in response to numerous reports of injuries resulting from transvaginal mesh implants. In April 2014, the agency asked that the implants be reclassified from moderate-risk to high-risk devices.
WHAT TYPE OF ATTORNEY HANDLES TRANSVAGINAL MESH CASES?
Women who have suffered injuries or complications from these medical devices may want to consider consulting with a defective product lawyer, also called a product liability lawyer, to protect their rights. When choosing an attorney, it is important to select one who is well versed and experienced in battling the manufacturers of medical devices to optimize the chances of a successful outcome in the case.
The attorney may first attempt to reach a settlement with the defendant(s). If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, however, the claim will be presented to the courts. A judge or jury would then decide whether the plaintiff is entitled to damages and, if so, the amount thereof. The attorney will fight to obtain monetary compensation for the client to help cover past and future medical expenses related to the implant, pain and suffering, time lost at work, loss of quality of life and/or spousal consortium, and more.
Women who undergo a medical procedure in good faith do not deserve to suffer potentially lifelong consequences due to a faulty design, insufficient testing, or misleading information associated with a medical device. A defective product attorney can help protect the client’s rights and alleviate the financial burden.