What is "vaginal mesh"? Although the term has recently appeared in the news in relation to a series of lawsuits, many people have little idea as to what this concept means.
Surgery done on the pelvic area is usually done through two areas: the vagina or the abdomen. After the surgery, the surgeon usually stitches the area or uses surgical mesh for external support. Using mesh has historically resulted in greater complications. In fact . . .
The legal landscape
Over 30,000 federal lawsuits have been filed in the Southern District of West Virginia against various manufacturers of pelvic mesh devices on behalf of women who allegedly suffered infection, pain, scarring, mesh erosion and other medical complications following the surgical use of mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence. The women may be entitled to compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Currently, there are six vaginal mesh manufacturers-American Medical System, Bard, Boston Scientific, Coloplast, Ethicon and Cook Medical-facing lawsuits in the West Virginia federal court. Another manufacturer, Mentor Corp., is facing thousands of lawsuits in the U.S. District Court of Georgia.
Regardless of the individual differences among the defendants, all of the cases have similar allegations, that is, that the mesh-sling manufacturer:
- Failed to adequately test the devices before marketing them.
- Marketed the slings as safe and effective, despite knowing that there were serious risks associated therewith.
- Failed to warn users about potential serious health complications they could develop as a result of using the slings.
In addition, the Bard lawsuits allege that the manufacturer voluntarily recalled its slings in July 2012, allegedly due to serious risks associated with the devices and the fact that the FDA had ordered the company to perform additional safety testing.
The legal solution
It is important for women to realize if they had complications after the implantation of vaginal mesh they may be entitled to compensation against the manufacturer who failed to educate them about the dangers and risks involved. They should immediately seek out an experienced personal injury attorney to aid them in determining the medical and legal problems and solutions involved in their case.
Timely filing a lawsuit is important because there are legal restrictions (for example, a statute of limitations) that apply. If you wait too long your claim is barred, regardless of whether it has merit.