One of the biggest defective medical device debacles in recent history is that related to the transvaginal mesh industry. At minimum, tens of thousands of women suffered severe physical and emotional injuries as a result of transvaginal mesh products that were poorly-designed and inadequately tested.
In essence, there was a rush to get these products on the market for treatment of pelvic prolapse and other conditions. The products were allowed to bypass typical testing protocol due to a loophole in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules, which allows companies to attest to designs “substantially similar” to other products already on the market.
In attesting and releasing products made with materials not fit for long-term use in the human body, dozens of companies actively and intentionally misled the FDA, doctors, patients and the public at-large with regard to the effectiveness and overall safety of these transvaginal mesh products. Companies also planned to have safe and effective removal methods in place for these devices, and they didn’t warn patients adequately of potential injury and complications.
Our Naples defective medical device lawyers know this has resulted in a flood of litigation, mostly from women who have had to undergo revision surgery – sometimes multiple revision surgeries – in order to correct the conditions.
There have been several substantial settlements in these cases in recent weeks. In one case, C.R. Bard Inc. agreed to pay more than $21 million to resolve some 500 pending vaginal mesh lawsuits – an average of $43,000 per claim.
Then there was the settlement Boston Scientific reached in West Virginia for $18.5 million for damages asserted by four women. Another case involving the same company was heard by a federal jury in South Florida, which resulted in a $26.7 million to a group of four women who alleged mostly the same injuries.
Earlier this year, Endo agreed to pay $830 million to settle some 20,000 lawsuits.
There are still approximately 60,000 cases pending against various manufacturers, and many are still pursuing additional lawsuits on their own. It’s important to keep in mind these cases are complex, time-consuming and require the assistance of an experienced product liability attorney.
One example of how a case can take a wrong turn is that of Scott v. C.R. Bard, Inc., before an appellate court in California. Here, plaintiff underwent surgery to have transvaginal mesh implanted to treat pelvic prolapse disorder. Like so many others, she suffered grievous injury as a result. She was forced to undergo a total of eight revision surgeries. Her physical and emotional well-being were irreparably damaged.
She filed a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer, with her husband additionally filing a derivative claim for loss of consortium.
Her original surgeon was not named as a defendant. Despite this (and the fact that most doctors aren’t named as defendants in these cases), the jury determined the surgeon should be apportioned 40 percent of the fault, meaning the $5.5 million in damages awarded to plaintiffs was nearly halved.
On appeal, plaintiffs argued that finding was not substantially supported by evidence, but the appellate court affirmed, finding plaintiffs were not denied a fair trial by any abuse of discretion on the part of the lower court.
Injury lawyers must anticipate these kinds of situations. Thus, each case must be thoroughly examined and every possible defendant formally named.
If you have been injured by a defective medical device, contact the Hollander Law Firm at 888-751-7777 for a free and confidential consultation. There is no fee unless we win.
Scott v. C.R. Bard, Inc.,Nov. 19, 2014, California Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District
More Blog Entries:
Millsap v. Williams – Informed Consent in Med-Mal Lawsuits, Nov. 25, 2014, Naples Product Liability Lawyer Blog