According to Fox News, more than 75,000 women had surgical procedures with vaginal mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapse in 2011 and another 200,000 had mesh implanted to treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI). These numbers are similar each year, and hundreds-of-thousands of women have had surgical mesh inserted into their bodies. Unfortunately, the Food and Drug Administration has estimated that the mesh will begin eroding within one year of implantation for around 10 percent of women.
Erosion of the mesh is a serious complication and can result in infection and significant pain for women. Problems with vaginal mesh have caused scarring, vaginal bleeding, painful intercourse, infection, recurrent pelvic organ prolapse, and other health issues. Many of the victims of these defective mesh devices are taking legal action against manufacturers. Carey, Danis & Lowe can help if you are one of the women affected and you wish to pursue a damage claim.
Multidistrict Litigation in Transvaginal Mesh Cases
When many thousands of people are harmed by the same product, it does not make sense for every one of these individual plaintiffs to go before a different judge in the state or federal court where they live. This is a waste of time and court resources. Instead, mass tort actions allow for claims to be resolved in a more timely and effective way.
Many people are familiar with class actions, but this is only one type of mass tort litigation. With class actions, a representative plaintiff or a group of plaintiffs will file a case and other similarly-situated victims will join the class. Most of the people who are part of the class don’t really have any say in how the case is handled and just have to accept the outcome and any payout or settlement that results. The case is just one big case, with the representative plaintiff and attorneys making the decisions.
A multidistrict litigation, on the other hand, moves lots of separate individual claims before one judge. That one judge is able to answer questions of law that are common to all of the pending cases. For example, the judge would be able to rule just one time on whether certain evidence is admissible against a mesh manufacturer. This saves a lot of time.
Many transvaginal mesh cases have become part of multidistrict litigation that is ongoing in West Virginia. The cases are before Judge Joseph Goodwin and as of November 2013 they included:
- 11,376 pending claims against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon for the Gynecare Mesh product
- 11,369 pending claims against American Medical Systems
- 7,131 pending claims against Boston Scientific
- 5,275 pending claims against C.R. Bard for a mesh product called Avaulta
- 1,101 pending claims against Coloplast for the company’s bladder sling
- 133 pending claims against Cook Medical
If you were harmed by vaginal mesh made by one of these manufacturers, you could potentially join the multidistrict litigation. You could also pursue a separate legal action. An experienced attorney at Carey, Danis & Lowe can represent you and advise you of the best way to recover compensation for vaginal mesh problems. Call today to speak with a St. Louis defective drug lawyer to learn more.