Manufacturers of transvaginal mesh used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence are being sued by tens of thousands of women who claim defective mesh caused internal injuries and left many in constant pain. Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reclassified transvaginal mesh as a high-risk device earlier this year, acknowledging more than 1,500 reports of problems, these numbers are only likely to increase.
According to the FDA, reported complications from the transvaginal placement of the surgical mesh include erosion of the mesh into the vaginal tissue, organ perforation, pain, infection, painful intercourse, and urinary and fecal incontinence. Often women require surgery to remove the mesh, sometimes multiple surgeries, which doesn’t guarantee successful removal of the mesh.
Lawyers are working on behalf of the women who are making these claims to bring these cases before juries or to reach settlements. C.R. Bard, the first jury trial in the seven multidistrict litigation (MDL) suits, was found liable in August 2013 with a $2 million verdict in favor of the plaintiff.
Law360 reports that a Philadelphia-based firm seeks to move 72 cases that it has against Bard from the MDL in West Virginia to Pennsylvania federal court.
The firm told U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin that after attempting negotiations with Bard they are still not close to resolution and their concern is that being a part of the MDL will continue to slow down settlement for the women represented in each of these cases. Last year the same firm requested a move out of the New Jersey MDL to Pennsylvania federal court for not only 155 of its cases against Bard, but also hundreds of its cases against Johnson and Johnson unit Ethicon.
There are around 10,000 lawsuits against Bard in the MDL. There are currently around 70,000 cases pending in the seven separate West Virginia MDLs, including the suits against C.R. Bard, Boston Scientific, and Ethicon which is facing about 23,000 suits.