The first of the vaginal mesh bellwether trials against manufacturer C.R. Bard will begin on September 23, 2013. The complaints were filed in New Jersey’s Atlantic County Supreme Court. The vaginal mesh device that is the focus of these trials is used to treat pelvic organ prolapse, a condition that is caused by childbirth and menopause.
“We are looking forward to the start of bellwether trials for the C.R. Bard transvaginal mesh lawsuits. We regularly hear from women who suffered significant harm, allegedly due to pelvic mesh devices manufactured by C.R. Bard and other manufacturers,” says the law firm representing the plaintiffs in the case.
C.R. Bard isn’t the only manufacturer being sued by plaintiffs over their transvaginal mesh device implants. In fact, four other manufacturers of similar devices are being sued by thousands of women over the complications linked with the implant. Companies like Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon, American Medical Systems, Coloplast, Cook Medical and Boston Scientific are also dealing with numerous lawsuits against them. Complications linked to the devices include erosion, infections, painful intercourse, vaginal scarring and more. Most of the time, these complications can’t be corrected without surgical removal of the implant.
So far, only two of the cases that have actually gone to trial resulted in an award for the plaintiff. The case against Ethicon (over the Gynecare Prolift vaginal mesh) resulted in an $11.1 million award for the plaintiff, and the case against Bard Avaulta resulted in a $5.5 million award. While these vaginal mesh devices have been proven dangerous, many women are still getting the implants. However, in July 2011, the FDA decided to issue warnings against vaginal mesh devices by telling the public that the devices’ chances of causing women to suffer from these complications were increased by five-fold and that complications linked to the use of these devices were by no means a rarity.