Published on:

Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits

Numerous women have brought lawsuits concerning vaginal mesh against multiple medical device firms due to injuries stemming from flawed transvaginal mesh implants. This article aims to outline the issues linked with vaginal mesh implants and their role in precipitating one of the most substantial mass litigation cases in history. Additionally, it will provide updates on the ongoing vaginal mesh class action lawsuit and offer insights into potential eligibility for individuals considering initiating their own legal action concerning vaginal mesh complications.

About Vaginal Mesh Implants

Vaginal mesh, also known as transvaginal mesh, represents a specific type of surgical mesh implant utilized to reinforce and bolster weakened or injured tissue during surgical procedures. These mesh products are tailored for female pelvic reconstructive surgeries, commonly performed to address pelvic organ prolapse and/or stress urinary incontinence. These conditions arise due to the weakening of pelvic muscles, allowing organs such as the uterus, bladder, or rectum to descend into the vaginal area. Surgical intervention aims to repair and fortify these weakened pelvic muscles.

The utilization of vaginal mesh in pelvic organ prolapse surgeries dates back to the 1970s. Subsequently, in the 1990s, surgeons extended the application of vaginal mesh implants to include the surgical management of stress urinary incontinence. Notably, in 1996, transvaginal mesh implant products gained eligibility for FDA approval through the expedited 501(k) process, allowing approval without necessitating clinical trials. This decision opened the floodgates to a plethora of competing vaginal mesh products manufactured by various medical device companies.

Issues With Vaginal Mesh

In the years following the widespread adoption of vaginal mesh products starting in the 1990s, both patients and medical practitioners began reporting various prevalent issues and post-implant complications linked to these implants. The complications associated with vaginal mesh products fall into several categories:

Mesh Erosion: The most frequently encountered problem leading to complications with vaginal mesh implants is mesh erosion. This occurs when the mesh material of the product erodes through and penetrates the surrounding vaginal tissue or organs, often resulting in severe pain and necessitating corrective surgery.

Infection: Another common complication associated with vaginal mesh implants is infection, including persistent urinary tract infections.

Organ Perforation: In numerous instances, vaginal mesh implants have migrated and punctured adjacent organs such as the bowel or bladder. Additionally, there have been cases where they have pierced blood vessels, leading to severe and potentially life-threatening complications.

Vaginal Shrinkage or Scarring: Vaginal mesh implants have been identified as culprits for causing scarring and constriction or shrinkage of the vaginal tissue. This complication typically results in painful sexual intercourse.

FDA Warnings About Vaginal Mesh

During the early 2000s, the escalating instances of complications and injuries linked to vaginal mesh garnered the FDA’s attention. It wasn’t until 2008 that the FDA took decisive action, issuing a Public Health Notification to alert patients and healthcare providers about the issues associated with vaginal mesh implants.

Three years later, the FDA released an updated safety communication highlighting ongoing evidence of severe complications related to vaginal mesh products. This time, the FDA went a step further, concluding that there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate the beneficial effects of using vaginal mesh implants. This declaration captured widespread national attention and served as the primary catalyst for the surge in vaginal mesh lawsuits.

Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits

Vaginal mesh lawsuits emerged in 2009 following the initial FDA safety warning. Subsequently, over the following decade, numerous women filed lawsuits against multiple medical device companies responsible for manufacturing vaginal mesh products. Among these companies were Johnson & Johnson (Ethicon), C.R. Bard, Boston Scientific, American Medical Systems (AMS), Coloplast, and various others.

The lawsuits concerning vaginal mesh assert claims that the products were inherently flawed in design. Furthermore, they accuse the device manufacturers of negligence for not adequately informing doctors and patients about the potential risks and complications associated with these implants.

Vaginal Mesh Class Action

In 2012, the federal courts consolidated vaginal mesh lawsuits into a class action, subsequently divided into seven distinct MDLs (multidistrict litigations). Each MDL specifically encompassed all claims against a separate manufacturer of mesh implants: C.R. Bard, Inc., American Medical Systems, Inc., Boston Scientific Corp., Ethicon, Inc., Coloplast Corp., Cook Medical, Inc., and Neomedic.

Collectively, these seven vaginal mesh class action MDLs aggregated over 100,000 individual plaintiffs, marking the vaginal mesh litigation as one of the most substantial mass tort cases in history. These MDLs were overseen by a federal judge in the Southern District of West Virginia. Between 2012 and 2014, pivotal bellwether trials were conducted within several vaginal mesh MDLs. These trials consistently concluded with significant verdicts in favor of the plaintiffs.

Current Status of Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits

The litigation surrounding vaginal mesh persists today, with thousands of lawsuits awaiting resolution. Although most manufacturers have instituted settlement programs to address vaginal mesh claims, certain mesh companies are actively engaged in litigating these cases. Presently, new individuals affected by vaginal mesh complications continue to initiate product liability lawsuits.

Since the commencement of this legal battle, over 100,000 vaginal mesh lawsuits have been filed. It’s been reported that more than 90% of these cases have reached full resolution through settlements, resulting in the deactivation of the MDLs. However, this doesn’t preclude the possibility of filing a vaginal mesh lawsuit. A considerable volume of these lawsuits is still being filed now, albeit outside the purview of the MDLs.

Are You Eligible to File a Vaginal Mesh Lawsuit?

There’s still an opportunity to file a vaginal mesh lawsuit. Current plaintiffs mainly consist of women who underwent transvaginal mesh implantation and suffered complications or injuries directly associated with the implant within the recent few years. To qualify for a lawsuit, your vaginal mesh complication should have arisen within this limited timeframe. If the complication occurred more than 5 years ago, it’s likely too late to pursue a claim.

For individuals considering filing a lawsuit in 2023, a key concern is whether the statute of limitations (SOL) pertinent to their claim has expired. The SOL for personal injury cases varies by state, typically spanning around 2-3 years. Importantly, the SOL countdown begins from the date of the initial occurrence of your vaginal mesh injury or complication. If your complications emerged within the last 1 or 2 years, it’s probable that the statute of limitations won’t pose a barrier to filing your claim.

Settlement Value of Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits

Drawing from previous settlements and verdicts in past vaginal mesh lawsuits, including those in the class action MDL settlements, we have gained insight into the potential settlement value of a viable vaginal mesh case. Our legal experts approximate that a successful lawsuit related to vaginal mesh injuries in 2024 could result in a settlement payout ranging from approximately $150,000 to $450,000.

The precise worth of your vaginal mesh case within this settlement range relies on multiple factors, such as the extent of physical injuries and the age of the plaintiff. These elements play a significant role in determining the specific value and placement of your case within this estimated settlement range.

Contact Us About a Vaginal Mesh Lawsuit

Our national product liability lawyers are currently accepting new vaginal mesh lawsuits from women who suffered complications and injuries related to a vaginal, transvaginal, or pelvic mesh implant. Contact us at 800-322-3010 or get a free online consultation.