This page will explain what the vaginal mesh or pelvic mesh lawsuits are about and who qualifies to file a vaginal mesh lawsuit. We will discuss the eligibility criteria that our lawyers use to screen these cases and we will look at the primary injuries involve in the litigation.
About the Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits
Vaginal mesh, (also referred to as transvaginal mesh or pelvic mesh), is a specialized surgical mesh implant designed to reinforce and strengthen weakened or damaged tissue during surgical procedures, particularly in female pelvic reconstructive surgeries. These surgeries are used to treat conditions like pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, which stem from weakened pelvic muscles causing organs like the uterus, bladder, or rectum to descend into the vaginal area. The goal of surgical intervention with vaginal mesh is to repair and bolster these weakened muscles.
The use of vaginal mesh in pelvic organ prolapse surgeries dates back to the 1970s. By the 1990s, surgeons expanded its application to include the management of stress urinary incontinence. The use of these implants really took offer after 1996, when transvaginal mesh implant products gained FDA approval via the expedited 501(k) process, streamlining approval without the requirement for clinical trials. This led to the proliferation of competing vaginal mesh products from various medical device companies.
Ever since vaginal mesh implants became widely used, however, reports of various issues and post-implant complications associated with vaginal mesh products have emerged from both patients and medical practitioners. These complications include post-surgery erosion and migration of the mesh implant.
Vaginal mesh product liability lawsuits began in 2009 after the FDA issued a public safety warning. Over the subsequent decade, numerous women filed lawsuits against several medical device companies manufacturing vaginal mesh products, including Johnson & Johnson (Ethicon), C.R. Bard, Boston Scientific, American Medical Systems (AMS), and Coloplast, among others.
The transvaginal mesh lawsuits assert that vaginal mesh products are inherently flawed in design and that manufacturers failed to adequately inform doctors and patients about potential risks and complications associated with the implants.
By 2012, the number of vaginal mesh lawsuits filed across the country had started to grow rapidly and the vaginal mesh lawsuits were consolidated into several class action MDLs (each for a different manufacturer). While these MDLs have been resolved through global settlements, new cases can still be initiated. Despite the conclusion of MDLs, the litigation surrounding vaginal mesh remains active, with thousands of lawsuits awaiting resolution. While most manufacturers have established settlement programs, certain companies continue to litigate these cases.
Who Qualifies for a Vaginal Mesh Lawsuit?
In order to be eligible for participation in a vaginal mesh lawsuit, prospective plaintiffs must satisfy specific eligibility criteria. The criteria employed by our firm when screening potential vaginal mesh injury cases are outlined as follows:
Vaginal Mesh Implantation: Initially, the plaintiff must demonstrate that they underwent a surgical procedure involving the implantation of a vaginal mesh or pelvic mesh implant.
Vaginal Mesh Complications: Plaintiffs are required to show that their vaginal mesh implant led to one of the various complications associated with defective vaginal mesh products. These complications encompass issues such as erosion, migration, and infection.
Onset of Injuries Within the Past 2 Years: Lastly, plaintiffs must establish that the complications arising from their vaginal mesh implant resulted in tangible physical injuries within the preceding two-year period.
Primary Injuries in Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits
Outlined below are the primary injuries and complications commonly associated with vaginal mesh implants and being alleged in the lawsuits:
Vaginal mesh erosion is a potential complication with vaginal mesh implants in women. In certain instances, the mesh may deteriorate or protrude into nearby tissues, resulting in various complications.
When vaginal mesh erosion occurs, the mesh material may penetrate the vaginal wall or adjacent structures. This can trigger various symptoms including pain, discomfort, bleeding, infection, and discomfort during sexual intercourse. Surgical intervention may be necessary to address the erosion.
Vaginal mesh erosion is the most commonly occurring complication alleged in mesh lawsuits. Plaintiffs in these cases claim that the mesh manufacturers failed to give adequate warning regarding the risks and complications, such as erosion, occurred. The occurrence of mesh erosion can precipitate severe health issues and complications.
Certain vaginal mesh products pose an increased risk of bacterial or other microbial infections due to design flaws in the materials used. The mesh material may create an environment conducive to bacterial growth, causing chronic infection. Symptoms of infections associated with vaginal mesh can include pain, swelling, redness, unusual discharge with an odor, fever, and discomfort during sexual intercourse.
Infections may occur if bacteria enter the surgical site during mesh implantation or if the mesh erodes into nearby tissues, creating a pathway for bacterial proliferation. Many internal infections linked to vaginal mesh implants manifest years after surgery. Once again, lawsuits surrounding vaginal mesh allege that manufacturers were aware of this issue but failed to provide adequate warning.
Vaginal scarring involves the formation of scar tissue within the vaginal region. Studies indicate that vaginal mesh implants can trigger the development of vaginal scar tissue in a high percentage of implant patients. When vaginal scarring occurs, normal vaginal tissue is replaced by fibrous tissue as part of the body’s natural healing process. This scar tissue can alter the structure and flexibility of the vaginal walls, potentially leading to symptoms such as pain, discomfort, and complications like sexual dysfunction or difficulties with intercourse.
In the context of vaginal mesh implants, scarring may result from the body’s reaction to the presence of the mesh material. Inadequate healing or excessive scarring can contribute to complications and negative outcomes.
Organ perforation stemming from vaginal mesh implants is a very dangerous complication wherein the mesh material punctures or penetrates neighboring organs or tissues. Defective vaginal mesh implants, through erosion or migration, frequently lead to organ perforation. Organs such as the bladder, bowel, or blood vessels may be subject to perforation by this mesh material.
The consequences of organ perforation from vaginal mesh can include intense pain, bleeding, infection, and various other complications. Surgical intervention is typically necessary to rectify the perforation, involving the removal or repositioning of the mesh. The severity of complications hinges on factors such as the extent of the perforation and the organs involved.
Contact Us About Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits
If you were injured by a defective vaginal mesh implant, contact us today for a free consultation. Call us at 888-322-3010 or contact us online.