June 21, 2012 — In response to hundreds of additional transvaginal mesh lawsuits filed in the last few months, a federal judge has ordered that the discovery process resume. It had been halted earlier this year. Chief District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin is currently overseeing four different Multi-District Litigations (MDLs), which are consolidations of individual transvaginal mesh lawsuits regarding products created by C.R. Bard, Ethicon, American Medical Systems, and Boston Scientific.
Judge Goodwin issued the order on June 14, which will allow all parties to continue collecting evidence, exchanging information, and preparing documents for the first cases going to trial. No parties objected to the judge’s order or showed good cause why discovery should not be resumed.
In the last four months, at least 600 additional transvaginal mesh lawsuits have been filed. The MDLs against Boston Scientific, Ethicon, and American Medical Systems were initially filed on February 7, 2012, and there were only 136 total lawsuits. Hundreds of women continue to come forward seeking damages for injuries caused by transvaginal mesh.
- American Medical Systems was initially faced with 80 lawsuits. At least 253 new lawsuits have been filed since then.
- Boston Scientific was initially faced with 21 lawsuits. At least 152 new lawsuits have been filed since then.
- Ethicon was initially faced with 35 lawsuits. At least 218 new lawsuits have bee filed since then.
- C.R. Bard was faced with 21 lawsuits when the MDL began in October 2010. At least 390 new cases have been filed since then.
In all, there are at least 1,180 transvaginal mesh lawsuits pending against the four manufacturers of these products. The growing litigation could be due to the fact that more and more women are becoming aware of the severe side effects, complications, and safety hazards of transvaginal mesh. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued numerous public safety warnings. In June 2012, Johnson & Johnson / Ethicon voluntarily withdrew four of its transvaginal mesh products from the global marketplace.
Transvaginal Mesh is a medical device designed to help women with Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) or Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP). These disorders occur when muscles in a woman’s pelvic wall become weakened, leading to incontinence or organs bulging into the vagina. These disorders are common complications of pregnancy. Transvaginal mesh is a sling-like device intended to reinforce pelvic muscles. Unfortunately, severe side effects are not rare. These side effects can severely harm a woman’s quality of life, and include chronic pain, sever scarring that interferes with sexual intercourse, erosion of the device into the vagina, organ perforation, infection, and more.
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