Transvaginal mesh is an implant typically manufactured with a plastic material called polypropylene. The product was created to repair conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. The mesh is inserted through the vagina in order to provide support for the pelvic organs in the case of pelvic organ prolapse, the vagina in the case of a hysterectomy, and/or the urethra in the case of stress urinary incontinence.
According to court documents, more than 50,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits are not pending in several cases in U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia. Manufacturers facing these mounting lawsuits include American Medical Systems, Boston Scientific, C.R. Bard, Cook Medical, Ethicon, Inc. and Coloplast. Endo International, PLC, without admitting fault or liability, agreed last month to pay $830 million to resolve legal claims of approximately 20,000 women who have been injured by transvaginal mesh devices.
Many of these lawsuits claim, among other things, that the transvaginal mesh products are defective in both their design and manufacture which has resulted in side effects such as mesh erosion, severe pain, infection and scarring. In many cases, the spouses of women who have experienced these complications are also bringing claims for loss of consortium.
Less than two weeks ago, two studies were presented at the American Urological Association’s annual meeting. These studies suggested that even when a woman has undergone surgical removal of a transvaginal mesh device, the injuries allegedly caused by these devices may be permanent. (medicalxpress.com/news/2014-05-faulty-mesh-incontinence-women-symptoms.html, HealthDay News, May 19, 2014). The first of these studies followed 123 women who had the devices surgically removed due to chronic pain. Only 67% of these women reported being pain free after recovering from their surgeries. The second study reported that of the 214 women surveyed three years after surgical removal of their transvaginal mesh devices, more than a third continued to suffer moderate-to-severe pain. Similarly, more than a quarter of these patients reported urine leakage at least once a day.
Bahe Cook Cantley & Nefzger is currently reviewing and accepting on behalf of women injured by transvaginal mesh.