First federal trial set in lawsuits over vaginal mesh injuries

Surgical mesh implants are used to repair pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence in women. However, it was discovered in recent years that the medical devices can lead to serious complications. As we have discussed in past posts, faulty vaginal mesh products have resulted in hundreds of personal injury lawsuits throughout the nation.

About 600 federal lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of vaginal mesh products after they caused dangerous side effects, including infection. Recently, it was reported that the first trial in the heap of cases against manufacturer C.R. Bard Inc. has been set for Feb. 5, 2013.

C.R. Bard Inc. makes the Avaulta brand of vaginal mesh devices. Johnson & Johnson, Boston Scientific Corp. and Endo Pharmaceutical Holdings Inc. have also all been named as defendants in the federal lawsuits, which were consolidated in February by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.

The judge overseeing the federal lawsuits said that the order of trials will be determined after pretrial information is exchanged between the parties. Other personal injury claims against the defendants were filed and consolidated in state court. The first trial among those cases is scheduled for Nov. 5.

Following a review of side-effects reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration between January 2008 and February 2010, the FDA issued a report classifying vaginal mesh products as high risk. Since then, health regulators in the United States and the United Kingdom have asked for more research to be conducted on the products.

Although, to the dismay of many women’s groups, the devices were not recalled, and still more than 75,000 women per year have vaginal mesh products implanted. Unfortunately, this means that there are still many American women who could be at risk because of the vaginal mesh products.

Source: Bloomberg, “Bard Faces First Federal Trial Over Vaginal Mesh Next Year,” Jet Feeley and David Voreacos, May 2, 2012