Month: September 2013

Transvaginal Mesh Verdicts and Settlements Against Manufacturers

During the past decade, juries have returned numerous verdicts against transvaginal mesh manufacturers. Plaintiffs have received millions of dollars in compensation for medical bills, injuries and emotional damage after fighting their cases in court. Transvaginal mesh makers have settled thousands of legal claims for roughly $8 billion.

The first transvaginal mesh lawsuits went to trial in 2012 and 2013. Since then, multiple transvaginal mesh producers have lost multimillion-dollar lawsuits. Many companies have agreed to large legal settlements to avoid facing plaintiffs in courtrooms, but others have delayed proceedings and settlements.

Juries have sided with numerous plaintiffs who accused companies of designing defective products, fraudulently promoting the safety of the devices and failing to warn of potential complications. Despite multiple settlements, thousands of lawsuits are still pending in federal and state courts. It’s unclear whether companies will try to resolve remaining claims or fight them.

“(Settlements are) hard to predict,” lawyer Laura Yaeger told Drugwatch. “It depends on a number of factors, including the pace of litigation, the type of cases – stress urinary incontinence (SUI) versus pelvic organ prolapse – and the strategy the defense takes.”

C.R. Bard was the first manufacturer to lose a transvaginal mesh lawsuit. The company withdrew its Avaulta Plus vaginal mesh from the market in July 2012, weeks before losing a $3.6 million verdict to a woman who experienced complications from the company’s device.

Essure Birth Control Device Blamed for Years of Pain

Some women who have a permanent birth control device called Essure say it has ravaged their reproductive systems, leaving them with scars, pain and years of unexplained symptoms.

The Essure system consists of a pair of metal coils designed to be implanted in a woman’s fallopian tubes. After several months, scar tissue that naturally builds up around the coils creates a permanent barrier to sperm, preventing pregnancy by a method similar to an intrauterine device, commonly called an IUD.

The problem, according to those who complain about Essure, is that the coils can cause pain, irritation, and much worse, long after they are implanted. However, there have been few complications reported to the Food and Drug Administration.

Seven women from New York, Boston and Baltimore described complications after their Essure procedures. Some cried as they recalled years of symptoms that they did not initially connect to the coils.

“One of the coils migrated. It pierced my fallopian tube, my ureter and my bowel,” said Tina Carey, who had the Essure procedure in 2008. In addition to pain associated with the punctured organs, Carey said her symptoms include hives, kidney pain, urinary tract infections and gastrointestinal problems.

Kimberly Hock, who also had the Essure procedure, decided to have a full hysterectomy two years later, to eliminate the constant discomfort. Several other Essure patients are opting for full removal of their uteruses as well.

“My body was giving out,” Hock said. “I would have migraines at least four days a week.”

Hock believes Essure is also responsible for severe mood swings she experienced while the metal coils were blocking her fallopian tubes. She says all the symptoms went away after the hysterectomy.

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