The surgical application of vaginal mesh implants has recently become the subject of increasing criticism within the healthcare community. Unfortunately for those who have received one, their placement has become synonymous with the development of severe, life-threatening complications that range from irritation to fatal infections. Of significant concern, however, is the increased propensity for erosion that may coincide with the surgical implantation of such a device. Due to the rate and severity in which these incidents occur, hundreds of vaginal mesh lawsuits are currently pending in court systems across the nation. One recipient in particular, however, was recently awarded a multi-million dollar settlement for the injuries she had sustained after receiving a vaginal mesh implant.
As a metallic or polymeric screen, mesh products are ideal for both treating and reinforcing compromised soft tissue or bone. For decades, they assisted in the treatment of abdominal hernia repairs. Most recently, surgical mesh has transitioned into what the healthcare community knows as vaginal mesh. Vaginal mesh is intended to assist in the treatment of compromised vaginal tissue that has sustained a traumatic injury from a number of complications such as stress urinary incontinence (SUI), pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and childbirth.
The surgical application of vaginal mesh acts as a reinforcement to the compromised pelvic tissue. Therefore, in being added to the damaged area, transvaginal mesh acts as a reinforcement that prevents the further displacement of tissue and organs. Of significant concern, however, is the association that has been established between vaginal mesh and the development of serious complications.
According to the Manufacturer and User Device Experience (MAUDE) database, between 2005 and 2010, there were approximately 3,979 incidents of injury, death, and malfunctioning transvaginal mesh products. Subsequently, 2,874 were reported as recently as 2008, and included 1,503 cases related to POP repairs and 1,371 associated with SUI repairs. Frequently reported complications included references to pain, dyspareunia, infection, urinary complications, bleeding, and organ perforation. Of significant concern, however, were the deaths of seven women who had reportedly experienced transvaginal mesh failure.
One recipient, however, is all too familiar with the complications that may accompany the surgical implantation of these devices. Christine Scott received a vaginal mesh implant approximately four years ago to assist in the treatment of a leaky bladder, otherwise known as stress urinary incontinence (SUI). However, Scott soon began to experience significant pain and discomfort when the device began perforating localized tissue on her colon. Furthermore, the organ perforation was followed by the subsequent erosion of the mesh into the colon itself. Following the onset of both pain and discomfort, Scott became the unlucky recipient of eight subsequent revision surgeries. Each of which were intended to reduce the pain inflicted by the implanted vaginal mesh device. “I don’t know if I’ll have ten surgeries now. I don’t know if I’ll have one. I don’t know if I’ll have 100. The doctors cannot tell me,” Scott said in June.
Accordingly, Scott then filed a vaginal mesh lawsuit against Bard, the maker of the device she had implanted. After an agonizing process, jurors at a Kern County Superior Courthouse in California concluded that Scott deserved $5 million in compensation because of the injuries caused by Bards Avaulta Plus vaginal mesh implant. In addition to the $5 million, Scott’s husband was awarded an additional $500,000 because he claimed the device ruined their love life.
The landmark trial marked the first time a plaintiff was awarded compensation from a vaginal mesh manufacturer, claiming they knew the product was unsafe. Accordingly, the panel found Bard officials to be negligent in their handling of the devices.
“The hardest part, I will tell you, through this whole thing, is having to keep quiet, watching women still get hurt. But, I was legally not able to get out there and tell and that, I’m sorry,” said Scott holding back tears. “And, that every day I was like please be over so I can talk. So, when I got that verdict it was like ‘Thank you God.’ Now we can do something.”
Scott’s vaginal mesh lawsuit is the first to go to trial among hundreds of cases alleging that these devices have cause significant organ damage. Accordingly, the securities and Exchange Commission acknowledged that 47,000 women have had the mesh implanted, and 650 vaginal mesh lawsuits are currently pending.
The outcome of Scott’s vaginal mesh lawsuit will, most likely, have an overwhelming affect on the consolidated suits that are to follow. Representatives “view this verdict s a promising outcome that underscores the compelling case against the mesh makers and promoters.”
Do I Have a Vaginal Mesh Lawsuit?
The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in vaginal mesh lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a vaginal mesh, you may be entitled to financial compensation. For a free case review, please click the link below or call toll free 24 hrs/day 1-(949) 557-5800.