Transvaginal Mesh - Consumer Drug Report
Judge mandates separate MDLs for vaginal mesh lawsuits

On Tuesday February 7, 2012 the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued an order mandating that all vaginal mesh lawsuits, filed against manufacturers American Medical Systems, Inc., Boston Scientific Corp., and Ethicon, Inc., be separated during multidistrict litigation (MDL).

A number of lawsuits have been filed in recent months claiming vaginal mesh complications. Vaginal mesh is a surgical mesh implanted in women that have pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence.

Women who have had vaginal mesh surgically implanted reported that the side effects caused by the mesh are painful and debilitating. The complaints filed against the manufacturers of vaginal mesh claim that injuries such as mesh erosion, damage to the pelvic floor, infection, inflammation, and much more were caused by the mesh.

The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning regarding the dangers of surgical mesh in 2011. In this warning, the health agency advises that health professionals seek all other treatments for pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence first before considering surgical mesh.

In 2011, the FDA also revealed that there was not sufficient evidence to suggest that there are any major benefits to surgical mesh for the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse over other treatments.

American Medical Systems, Inc. currently faces about 84 pending lawsuits in 19 federal district courts in the U.S. The Boston Scientific Corp. is up against 23 pending lawsuits in 14 district courts, and Ethicon, also known as Gynecare, faces 37 pending lawsuits in 22 district courts.

All vaginal mesh lawsuits will be transferred to the Southern District of West Virginia before Judge Goodwin for pretrial proceedings. This will prevent scheduling conflicts and will benefit those involved in the lawsuits. Since each lawsuit involves different manufacturers, each lawsuit will be kept separate.


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