Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of transvaginal mesh manufacturer Ethicon, has agreed to settle four mesh implant injury lawsuits. These are the first of many settlements filed against the J & J unit involving claims alleging that its mesh medical device caused injury to thousands of women. There are about 23,000 transvaginal mesh cases pending against the company right now.
The terms of the settlements reached are confidential. However, J & J was clear to note that the resolutions are not an admission of wrongdoing related to the making or marketing of the mesh implant devices.
Tens of thousands of women have filed transvaginal mesh cases claiming the devices caused them serious injuries. The devices are designed to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, which are known to especially affect women after childbirth or a hysterectomy or during menopause. The device is surgically implanted abdominally or transvaginally.
Unfortunately, the health complications that have been reported by women who received a mesh implant device have proven to be more serious than the benefits, including: severe pain, nerve damage, infection, vaginal scarring, recurring SUI or POP, vaginal shrinkage, painful intercourse, bleeding, neuro-muscular issues, and organ perforation. The mesh devices have been known to erode in the body. This has been a cause of many of the disturbing side effects.
Because mesh implants are designed to stay in the body indefinitely, removing them can be very difficult, especially when tissue and blood vessels end up growing around the device. Revision surgery, sometimes more than one, may be warranted. In certain cases it has proven impossible to remove the mesh implant completely. In Massachusetts, you want to speak with an experienced Boston transvaginal mesh implant law firm that can help you explore your legal options.
Meantime, in West Virginia, U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin is asking seven transvaginal mesh makers and the women suing them to work harder to settle the over 70,000 defective medical device lawsuits pending in his court. Ethicon is one of the defendants, as are C.R. Bard, and Boston Scientific. Warning that it could take decades to bring the transvaginal mesh cases to trial, and that the process would likely be costly and uncertain, the judge warned that if settlements are not reached soon he will push for the litigation to go to court. Already, some of the medical device manufacturers have had to deal with multimillion-dollar verdicts against them.
In 2014, Endo International Plc subsidiary American Medical Systems put aside $1.6 billion to resolve 20,000 transvaginal mesh cases plus other unfiled claims. Coloplast A/S also has settled a substantial number of the close to 2,000 mesh implant cases.
U.S. judge urges settlement in transvaginal mesh lawsuits, Reuters, February 5, 2015
Johnson & Johnson to settle four cases over vaginal-mesh implants, Los Angeles Times, January 22, 2015
More Blog Posts:
Boston Scientific Must Pay $73M Vaginal Mesh Injury Verdict, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, September 10, 2014
$18.5M Transvaginal Mesh Verdict Awarded to Four Women, November 26, 2014
NYC’s DEP Liable for $3 Million in Damages After Worker Injured, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog, January 31, 2015