Individuals and families across the country have been filing transvaginal mesh lawsuits. Sometimes the plaintiff is the person who has received the transvaginal mesh as part of treatment. Other times, it is a spouse of a person who died in surgery or from complications believed to be related to the mesh.
The most common surgical mesh brands associated with product defects and consumer complaints include:
- Ethicon (Gynecare)
- Bard (Avaulta)
- American Medical Systems (Apogee, Perigee)
- Boston Scientific (Advantage)
- Coloplast (Novosilk)
Contact a lawyer to inquire whether your transvaginal mesh may be part of larger ongoing litigation.
Who can file a transvaginal mesh lawsuit?
Both parties – either the woman who was implanted with a transvaginal mesh device and suffered serious complications due to a defective device, or her spouse, partner or family members – can file a transvaginal mesh lawsuit at once. Plaintiffs can sue for the patient’s injuries and for spousal hardship like loss of consortium.
Mesh lawsuit update
U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin has urged mesh manufacturers to “cut their losses” and settle early to avoid the ongoing expense of litigation. Not surprisingly, many manufacturers did just that.
Here is a snapshot of litigation, as of the summer of 2016:
Johnson & Johnson / Ethicon
Though slow to move, J&J did eventually begin rolling out settlement offers – first for an undisclosed amount in January 2015, and later for more than $120 million to resolve 2,000 to 3,000 pending lawsuits of women who alleged their organ damage and constant pain were caused by their surgical mesh. There are still more than 42,000 similar cases waiting for resolution.
Of the cases that have gone to trial, a West Virginia jury awarded $3.27 million in September 2014, a New Jersey jury awarded $11 million to the plaintiff in 2013, and a Texas jury awarded $1.2 million that same year.
In 2012, a California jury returned a verdict of $5.5 million, which included $5 million to cover the patient’s medical cost and emotional suffering, as well as $500,000 to cover her husband’s claim for loss of consortium. In December 2014, the plaintiff won a $2 million award. Bard was criticized for failing to adequately test Avaulta implants or use “reasonable care” in the design process. Bard was also penalized for failure to warn and “conscious indifference to consequences.” The company appealed this decision, but the judge upheld it in January 2015. Subsequently, the company quietly settled several more cases days before scheduled court hearings.
American Medical Systems / Endo Pharmaceuticals
An unspecified number of claims were settled for $54.4 million in June 2013. Nearly a year later, they reached another agreement to settle 20,000 claims for $830 million, with amounts based upon the number of claimants participating in the suit. Later, they increased the amount in their product liability fund to $1.4 billion. They are currently in the process of settling more than 100,000 lawsuits through 2017 for an average settlement amount of $48,000 per claim.
Boston Scientific has faced a handful of significant court cases — one for $18.5 million in West Virginia and another for $26.7 million in Miami, Florida, both in November 2014, as well as a $73 million verdict in Texas in September 2014. In October 2015, the company finally agreed to offer $457 million to roughly 6,000 plaintiffs.
In early 2014, Coloplast agreed to set aside $16 million to settle 400 out of more than 1,000 mesh lawsuits pending in courts. Plaintiffs are said to receive an average of $40,000 each, although they are not allowed to comment on the ongoing litigation.
Vaginal mesh lawsuit settlement amounts
In complex proceedings against big medical manufacturing companies, the amount plaintiffs may receive for their injuries is contingent upon many variables. The terms of some settlement offers specify that a certain number of plaintiffs MUST agree to the offer, otherwise the overall settlement will be reduced. Most plaintiffs will receive an offer ranging from $40,000 to $700,000, depending on the extent of injury and other case-specific details.
However, some plaintiffs say they have been offered as low as $9,000 to settle their claims – little more than “chump change.” One woman states, “I’m not sure if I should accept this due to not having any medical insurance for years. Consequently I’ve had the bare minimum of doctor visits, and there is nothing I want more than getting this mesh removed, but I can’t afford it.” Furthermore, she says she suffered marital problems, a mental breakdown due to the incontinence, and lost her job. “Right now, I’m leaning toward having my day in court,” she added.
When considering the amount offered, it is important to consider that a pre-agreed portion will go toward legal fees and all creditors must be satisfied before you get to keep any of the money. So, in some cases, a $30,000 offer means walking away with $5,000 for pain and suffering once all these third parties are compensated.
Compensation for transvaginal mesh complications
Given the huge awards that can be won in court, attorneys may push their clients to hold out on the settlement in hopes of winning a multi-million-dollar offer from a sympathetic jury. This is especially true for individuals whose suffering has resulted in multiple revision surgeries, ongoing pain and suffering, disability, or substantial financial loss related to transvaginal mesh complications.
Plaintiffs may sue for:
- The cost of past, present and future medical bills, including hospital stays, surgeries and doctor’s visits
- Disability and related purchases or home modification expenses
- Loss of past, present and future income / earning capacity
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium and companionship
- Wrongful death / funerary expenses (if applicable)
Surgical mesh lawsuit: step by step
- The first step toward seeking justice for an injury is to contact a lawyer experienced in product liability litigation. They will provide a no-cost assessment of your case. If your case is accepted, the legal team will file a formal complaint in state or federal court and help build your case with all necessary documentation, medical expert testimony, and medical records. All of this is done without any cost to you – unless your case wins, in which case you will owe an agreed-upon portion of the award or settlement.
- The defendant has a chance to respond to the complaint and file what is called an “answer.” Your complaint may be moved into one of the consolidated files known as “multidistrict litigation” (“MDL,” for short) to streamline pre-trial proceedings.
- Pre-trial proceedings include: discovery (requests for documents and clarifying of facts with the other party), filing depositions (interviews with you, your family members, your medical providers, and other experts taken under oath before a court reporter), and the filing of motions (formal requests to clarify procedures, forcing the process to move along in a timely manner). During this time, some of the cases that fail to provide compelling evidence may be dismissed.
- Once a trial date is scheduled, attorneys set to work presenting their evidence before the judge and jury. The jury will look at the issues presented and render a verdict. In some cases, the defendant will offer a settlement to avoid the hassle and expense of going to court, which plaintiffs may agree to or not.
- Once a verdict has been issued, either party may file post-trial motions. A plaintiff may ask for more money. A defendant may ask for the verdict to be dismissed. In some circumstances, it could take up to a year for these final details to be resolved.
Though the process can be long, it is worth pursuing if you have been harmed by the negligence of another party. Bonsignore Trial Lawyers have the experience necessary to take victims of vaginal mesh complications to court. We will keep you updated and informed every step of the way, providing counsel when necessary, to help you get through this difficult time.
For those who have been rejected by other firms – we regularly file Vaginal and Hernia Mesh lawsuits for plaintiffs who faced similar rejection. “NO” is not a final answer. Call the Bonsignore Trial firm before you rest your case. For more about rejected mesh lawsuits, go to http://class-actions.us/accepting-rejected-mesh-injury-cases/.
Transvaginal and Bladder mesh lawsuit resources
- Bloomberg – J&J Said To Pay $120M In Its First Big Mesh Settlement http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-27/j-j-said-to-pay-120-million-in-its-first-big-mesh-settlement
- Star Tribune – Boston Sci shares up 9 percent as investors look past quarterly loss http://www.startribune.com/boston-beats-earnings-estimates-by-a-penny-but-takes-a-loss-in-the-quarter/337927762/
- Bloomberg – Bard Said to Pay $200 Million to Settle Vaginal-Mesh Cases http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-04/bard-said-to-pay-200-million-to-settle-vaginal-mesh-cases