Settlement reached in second federal trial for lawsuits regarding Avaulta transvaginal mesh implant

by Michael Heygood

Transvaginal surgical mesh is a net-like implant usually made of plastic. The term “transvaginal” refers to surgical technique used to implant the mesh, i.e., through the vagina. Transvaginal mesh was created to fix pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, conditions that can affect women after a hysterectomy, menopause or childbirth. Transvaginal mesh is also used to treat various health conditions cause by weakened pelvic muscles.

In July 2011, the FDA reported it had received nearly 4,000 complaints of injury, death or malfunction associated with transvaginal surgical mesh products. Complications and complaints associated with transvaginal mesh have included: mesh erosion into the vagina, bladder, intestines and uterus, infection, urinary problems, dyspareunia (pain with sexual relations), fistulas and recurrence of prolapsed organs and neuropathic pain. Many women who received mesh have had to undergo multiple revision surgeries to attempt to address these problems.

Thousands of women have filed lawsuits against the device manufacturers. Many transvaginal mesh lawsuits have been consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia under Chief Judge Joseph R. Goodwin. There are also thousands of such lawsuits pending in state courts around the country.

The manufacturer of the transvaginal mesh implant Avaulta, C.R. Bard Inc., faces more than faces more than 8,000 claims from women alleging the device can cause organ damage and make sexual intercourse painful when the devices erode. Johnson & Johnson, Endo Health Solutions Inc. and Boston Scientific Corp. face similar claims.

Attorneys for Wanda Queen of North Carolina recently notified the court that they have settled her claims that Bard’s Avaulta insert caused her pain and forced her to have six surgeries. The settlement terms were not disclosed.

The settlement was announced shortly after Bard lost its first Avaulta transvaginal mesh trial. In that case, a jury awarded Donna Cisson $2 million in compensatory and punitive damages after determining that Bard had failed to warn of the defect in its transvaginal mesh devices. Cisson underwent several surgeries to remove the implant and endured painful side effects, including bleeding, constant intractable pain and bladder spasms.

A third case is scheduled for trial before Judge Goodwin on October 8, and a fourth trial is scheduled to take place on November 4. There are over 20,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits pending against the six manufacturers in the federal MDL.

If you or a loved one was treated with transvaginal surgical mesh and have suffered complications from this product, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. For more information and to find out if you are eligible to file a case, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-447-9001 or by completing the free case evaluation form located on this page.

by Michael Heygood

Michael Heygood is a licensed attorney and partner at HO&P who focuses on insurance and corporate litigation, and other civil arenas. Michael has been named multiple times to the Super Lawyers List.