During a status conference held on December 6, 2012, concerning the vaginal mesh MDLs in West Virginia, it was decided that the first of the cases will begin in December 2013. The lawsuits all focus on the side effects linked to the transvaginal mesh implants.
These lawsuits will be held in federal court with the Honorable Judge Joseph R. Goodwin presiding. Goodwin is actually overseeing multiple MDLs focusing on the side effects linked to the vaginal mesh implants. The lawsuits that Goodwin is overseeing have been filed against numerous defendants, including Boston Scientific, American Medical Systems (AMS), Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon, C.R. Bard and Coloplast. Goodwin was handed his first vaginal mesh litigation in 2010, and was given subsequent lawsuits in both February and August of 2012. It was in August that the cases involving Coloplast vaginal mesh were centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
The focus of all of the vaginal mesh lawsuits is centered on the side effects of the implants. Some of those side effects include erosion of the mesh (causes mesh to move or tear the vaginal tissue). If the mesh erodes, it can cause bleeding, painful intercourse, neuromuscular problems and vaginal scarring. This often can’t be resolved without surgery to remove the vaginal mesh implant. Plaintiffs are all alleging that the manufacturers of these implants did not properly warn them of the dangers before they had the devices implanted.
Vaginal mesh is usually surgically implanted in women experiencing pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incompetence (SUI). Both of those condition are caused by the weakening of pelvic muscles that is linked to menopause and childbirth. Since many experts believe that the vaginal mesh implants don’t correct the conditions they are used to treat, it is a wonder that the devices are still being used. However, the growing number of lawsuits against the manufacturers may force the devices to stop being used.