According to recent reports, a California judge has decided to remand a lawsuit filed against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon to California state court. The complaint originally was set to be transferred to an MDL that is currently underway in West Virginia. However, the federal judge overseeing that U.S. District Court has sent the case back to state court instead.
The claim was filed over Ethicon’s Gynecare TVT Abbrevo Sling system, which is a form of vaginal mesh implant device. The plaintiffs are Colleen and Patrick Perry. In Colleen’s complaint, she says that she received the implant in 2011 and has suffered serious complications, which include “persistent pain, difficulty urinating and continued incontinence.” Colleen’s husband is suing for loss of consortium.
The vaginal mesh devices are used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Both of the conditions are caused by childbirth and menopause. All of the devices used for this purpose are causing thousands of women to file lawsuits against the manufacturers. Some of the other manufacturers being sued over their vaginal mesh devices include CR Bard, American Medical System (AMS), Boston Scientific and Coloplast. The complications being cited in the lawsuits over the vaginal mesh devices include erosion, infection, vaginal scarring, bleeding and painful intercourse.
The American regulatory agency, the FDA, is in agreement with the dangers associated with vaginal mesh devices, which could aid the plaintiffs in their lawsuits. In fact, on July 13, 2011 in a safety memo, the FDA issued a warning that stated that “serious complications associated with surgical mesh for transvaginal repair of POP are not rare.” So far, of the lawsuits filed against the manufacturers, only two of them have been resolved. Both of those cases resulted in awards for the plaintiffs that were in the millions. It is expected that future lawsuits will likely result in other awards against the makers of all other vaginal mesh devices.