A resident of New York has filed a vaginal mesh lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia after she says she suffered from serious side effects from two of the manufacturer’s vaginal mesh devices.
This new lawsuit was added to the federal multi-district litigation that is currently underway in West Virginia. Both Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon were named as defendants in the suit. The woman is accusing the defendants of having “falsely represented the safety of these devices to the public and to domestic health regulators.” Her lawsuit is claiming that the woman was implanted with both Prolift and the Gynemesh PS transvaginal mesh as a means of treating her stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
The plaintiff’s claim states that the devices were defective and put her at risk for serious complications. Some of those complications include erosion of the mesh (which causes the mesh to move or tear the vaginal tissue). If the mesh erodes, it can cause bleeding, painful intercourse, neuromuscular problems and vaginal scarring. This often can’t be resolved without surgery to remove the vaginal mesh implant. These complications have caused numerous plaintiffs to file lawsuits against the devices’ manufacturers. Other makers of the vaginal mesh that have been sued include Boston Scientific, Coloplast, C.R. Bard and American Medical Systems (AMS).
This MDL is being presided over by Judge Joseph R. Goodwin, who is also overseeing other MDLs focusing on the vaginal mesh implants. A status conference that was held on December 6, 2012 has revealed that the trials which involve three different manufacturers of the implants including those involving Boston Scientific, AMS and Coloplast will begin in December 2013. Those MDLs continue to add plaintiffs regularly, and their numbers are expected to keep rising in the future. The MDLs were erected to help push the cases through the courts faster, and are also being viewed as test cases.