Complications from Vaginal Mesh and Associated Lawsuits

Contrary to popular belief, there was no recall for vaginal mesh either by the FDA or manufacturers. But companies such as Johnson & Johnson discontinued the distribution of many bladder mesh and sling products following an FDA warning released in 2011 calling complications stemming from transvaginal mesh "not rare", with more than 1,500 cases cited in a span of two years.

It was also widely announced that complications were not only common, but difficult to fix and sometimes irreparable still even after multiple corrective surgeries. On June 5, 2012 Johnson and Johnson asked to discontinue distribution of many of their vaginal mesh products, citing reasons such as the "commercial viability of the product", and not complications. This was following an FDA order in January for manufacturers of mesh products to research further in to complications stemming from the pelvic mesh implants.

The vaginal mesh, or pelvic sling was created to help women with urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse (POP) strengthen the side of the bladder wall if it had weakened. In the 1950's the polypropylene mesh was originally created to treat hernias, and was never tested in the vaginal area with that unique body tissue. It is no surprise then that complications from mesh implants and pelvic slings are frequent and extensive.

Common transvaginal mesh complications include:

  • Painful sex
  • Vaginal bleeding / spotting or discharge
  • Chronic pain in the groin and vaginal area
  • Recurrence of condition
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Recurrent UTI

Women across the country are currently taking on lawsuits against the manufacturers of vaginal mesh, citing injuries such as an inability to copulate, chronic pain and multiple correctional surgeries. The majority of vaginal mesh lawsuits are taken on a contingency fee basis- meaning there is no upfront cost unless your attorney is able to secure a settlement for you. Due to the extensive amount of cases pending against mesh manufacturers, many attorneys will handle these on a mass tort basis. Not to be confused with class action lawsuits that only cover minor injuries with a universal and usually more modest settlement, mass tort cases are handled at one time but each settlement is unique and commensurate with the client's injuries. The settlement will seek to cover: lost past and future wages, pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses as well as the loss of copulation (or inability to have sex with your partner) when appropriate.

It is important to note that each state has statutory limits on when you can receive a personal injury settlement for your complications from vaginal mesh. In California and many other states, the limit is two years from discovery of injury with some states offering as little as one year. These cases can be handled nationwide, so it is best to choose an attorney who is experienced in vaginal mesh lawsuits with a history of winning product liability cases, and not necessarily one immediately near you. When pursuing large companies such as Johnson & Johnson or Boston Scientific for compensation, having the right attorney on your side can help you secure the settlement you deserve.

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