Seemingly countless women have filed transvaginal mesh lawsuits against manufacturers of these products after the had to undergo surgery to remove the mesh. Vaginal mesh is often used to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, but many women have experienced serious complications as a result including mesh erosion, organ damage, chronic pain and other issues.
Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Inc. is one such manufacturer of mesh devices, and the company is facing numerous lawsuits. In U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia, cases continue to move forward in a federal litigation.
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Court will convene for a pretrial conference, for the second round of TVM bellwether trials litigation according to a new order that was issued on August 4, 2014. This is scheduled for August 13, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. The second bellwether trial will start on August 25, 2014, and jury selection begins on August 22.
A bellwether trial is used to indicate future trends in specific cases, and they are often used when there’s a large groups of plaintiffs who filed filed lawsuits regarding the same claim.
According to court documents, there are almost 20,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits filed against Ethicon in the federal litigation. All of the cases state similar claims – that the vaginal mesh caused women to suffer major complications, many of which led to the need for removal surgery. Additionally, women allege that the devices were designed defectively and were not sufficiently tested. They also claim that Ethicon did not provide physicians and patients with adequate warnings regarding the risks associated with the mesh.
Cases against transvaginal mesh manufacturers have been building since October 2008 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration explained the serious risks linked to the mesh. In July 2011, the FDA released a second warning after the organization received thousands of injury reports because of TVM, and in April 2014 the FDA proposed reclassifying mesh devices to high-risk. This means that the products would be subjected to more intense regulatory scrutiny.
If you have needed mesh removal surgery and want to file your own lawsuit against a manufacturer, it’s best to contact an advocate or attorney who specializes in mass tort cases. A lawyer will have the background knowledge you need regarding the companies and the products to help you structure your case and present it in front of a judge.
Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.