Status Conference Over Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits Scheduled in West Virginia MDL
Lawsuits filed over transvaginal mesh device implants are finally starting to reach courtrooms, and that number includes the federal MDLs that are currently underway in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia.
A January 23, 2013 Case Management Order states that the next joint status conference is to be held on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. This vaginal mesh MDL covers lawsuits that have been filed against various manufacturers of the implant, which include American Medical Systems, Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon and C.R. Bard.
“We look forward to these litigations moving forward in the coming year, especially the first trial in the C.R. Bard proceeding, which is scheduled to begin next month,” says Bernstein Liebhard, whose law firm represents some of the plaintiffs.
Transvaginal mesh device implants are used to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Some of the complications listed in the West Virginia MDL include infections, vaginal scarring, painful intercourse and erosion. Both POPS and SUI are caused by childbirth and menopause. This MDL is only one of many that have been filed against the manufacturers of the implants. Most often, the vaginal mesh devices require surgical removal to correct the complications. Sometimes more than one surgery has to be performed, and even then, many patients end up with a lifetime of pain.
In July 2011, the FDA gave a warning that the amount of complications suffered from vaginal mesh implants had increased by five. The agency even went so far as to state that the complications listed with the devices aren’t even that rare. For the women who have had the device implants, this information from the FDA is for many too little, too late since it was the FDA that granted approval of so many devices in the first place under the (510)k process. This process basically allows devices that are similar to those that are already to approved to be distributed even before clinical testing has been done. This rule is meant to make the approval process faster, but all it really does is harm patients. This is one factor in why so many product liability lawsuits end up being filed.