Vaginal Mesh Lawsuit Filed Against Cook Medical
With over 40 lawsuits already filed against Cook Medical over vaginal mesh complications because of the company's Surgisis and Stratasis products, the case filed on April 2, 2013 by a Georgia resident did not come as much of a surprise.
The complaint accuses the company’s vaginal slings of causing her “nerve damage, chronic infection, and other pelvic mesh complications.” This newest lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and may join the MDL currently underway in West Virginia. Back in February, a group of plaintiffs filed a petition to request that all federal Cook Surgisis vaginal mesh litigation be coordinated as multidistrict litigation (MDL). The petition asked to let the cases be consolidated West Virginia district court.
Cook Medical isn’t the only company to be sued over vaginal mesh complications. Other companies being sued in different lawsuits include devices made by Boston Scientific, Coloplast, American Medical Systems, C.R. Bard and Johnson & Johnson's subsidiary Ethicon. The vaginal mesh devices are used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence — both conditions caused by childbirth and menopause. Complications linked to vaginal mesh devices include erosion, infections, vaginal scarring and painful intercourse.
So far, only two of the cases that have actually gone to trial resulted in an award for the plaintiff. The case against Ethicon (over the Gynecare Prolift vaginal mesh) resulted in an $11.1 million award for the plaintiff, and the case against Bard Avaulta resulted in a $5.5 million award. This helps to give pending plaintiffs hope in receiving awards of their own. Should that be the case, the manufacturers may decide to follow Bayer’s lead and start negotiating settlements just to keep payouts a little bit lower in the long term. That sounds great on the surface, but generally manufacturers use the settlements to get out of paying what is truly owed to the plaintiffs. Of course, something is always better than nothing in the long run.