Latest Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit Updates
As of November 2023, about 95% of transvaginal mesh lawsuits have settled or been resolved. The original seven multidistrict litigations are closed. At one time, Judge Joseph Goodwin presided over more than 100,000 lawsuits. The judge has since remanded any remaining cases that were not included in settlements back to state courts.
- November 2023: While the MDLs are closed, lawyers continue to take lawsuits to pursue settlement or take cases to trial.
- July 2023: Several cases against Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, in New Jersey multicounty litigation have been dismissed. Other cases have reached confidential settlements, but more cases are pending in the MCL.
- May 2023: Rebecca Dandy sued Ethicon after she used Ethicon’s TVT-O Prolene mesh sling and suffered injuries, but the jury ruled in favor of J&J.
- February 2023: Ethicon reached a $9.9 million settlement with the state of Kentucky. The state accused Ethicon of deceptively marketing its pelvic mesh products that led to injuries.
- November 2022: Judge Joseph Goodwin closed the last active MDL. Any unresolved cases were sent back to state courts.
- July 2022: 95% of all transvaginal mesh lawsuits are now resolved, according to court filings.
U.S. patients have filed more than 108,000 lawsuits involving transvaginal mesh. Seven transvaginal mesh MDLs consolidated cases across the country. The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation sent the MDLs to the Southern District of West Virginia.
In November 2022, the transvaginal mesh MDL in West Virginia closed. It included thousands of lawsuits against American Medical, Bard Boston Scientific and Ethicon. Plaintiffs have also filed transvaginal mesh cases in state courts, which continue to handle these types of cases.
Why File a Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit?
People file transvaginal mesh lawsuits to hold manufacturers accountable for defective products and to seek compensation for medical expenses. Compensation from transvaginal mesh lawsuits helps people afford medical care for revision surgery and complications.
Many women received transvaginal mesh implants to treat pelvic conditions, including pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Some of the mesh devices were defective and caused serious damage and complications, such as severe pain, infections, damage and autoimmune problems.
Plaintiffs claim mesh manufacturers falsely misled the public and medical community about the safety and effectiveness of their products. Because of these lawsuits, regulators have removed several brands of transvaginal mesh from the market to prevent further injury.
In 2019, Philadelphia juries awarded $120 million and $80 million to separate women with severe complications from transvaginal mesh surgery. American Medical Systems agreed to one of the largest transvaginal mesh settlements in 2014 at $830 million for 20,000 cases.
Injuries and Brands Named in Lawsuits
Court cases named several medical device manufacturers and their defective products in transvaginal mesh lawsuits.
- Boston Scientific made Obtryx, Pinnacle and Advantage Fit
- C.R. Bard made Avaulta Plus
- Coloplast made Restorelle Y-Mesh and Flat Mesh
- Cook Medical made Surgisis Biodesign Urethral Sling
- Endo Pharmaceuticals and its subsidiary American Medical Systems made RetroArc Retropubic Sling System
- Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon made OBTape, Prolift, Gynecare TVT Obturator and TVT-Secur
Juries have ordered these manufacturers to pay millions of dollars in verdicts. They’ve also paid billions to settle thousands of claims outside of court.
Who Qualifies to File a Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit?
Anyone who received a defective transvaginal mesh implant and experienced severe pain, organ damage or other complications may file a lawsuit.
Additional complications from transvaginal mesh include bleeding, infection, organ perforation and autoimmune problems. Those who qualify must provide medical records showing a history of complications following pelvic mesh surgery.
Many women received transvaginal mesh implants to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Lawsuits have accused mesh manufacturers of misleading the public, the medical community and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about the safety of transvaginal mesh products.
Settlements and Verdicts of Transvaginal Mesh Claims
Juries have ordered mesh manufacturers to pay plaintiffs about $525 million, and companies have settled thousands of claims privately for approximately $8 billion.
A Philadelphia jury issued one of the largest transvaginal mesh verdicts to Susan McFarland for $120 million in 2019. McFarland experienced pain and constant urinary tract infections following surgery with Ethicon’s TVT-O mesh.
Another Philadelphia jury awarded $80 million in 2019 to Patricia Mesigian, who endured pelvic pain, inflammation and infections following Prolift mesh surgery.
A Delaware jury ordered Boston Scientific to pay $100 million to Deborah Barba in 2015. Barba suffered pain and permanent damage following surgery with Pinnacle and Advantage Fit mesh devices. On appeal, a judge reduced the award to $10 million.
Individual settlements are generally kept private, and totals have reached billions for transvaginal mesh cases. However, group settlements often become public knowledge. For example, American Medical Systems settled tens of thousands of mesh claims for about $2.6 billion.
C.R. Bard settled thousands of cases for around $221 million. Boston Scientific put aside $800 million to settle more lawsuits after paying $119 million in 2015 to resolve 3,000 mesh claims.
Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits by State
Since the first transvaginal mesh verdict in 2012, women have won at least 20 verdicts in state and federal courts. West Virginia consolidated many of these cases into MDLs. Juries in other states issued multimillion-dollar verdicts to transvaginal mesh plaintiffs.
By November 2022, the Southern District of West Virginia MDL resolved thousands of mesh lawsuits against American Medical, Bard Boston Scientific and Ethicon.
Before courts formed the main mesh MDL in 2012, the first transvaginal mesh MDL formed in the Southern District of West Virginia. In 2008, a judicial panel consolidated cases involving ObTape manufactured by Mentor. Between 2008 and 2017, the Mentor MDL included 857 lawsuits.
In 2021, a New Jersey jury ordered Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon subsidiary to pay $15 million to Elizabeth Hyrmoc for pain, suffering and loss of conjugal affection caused by defective transvaginal mesh.
A New Jersey jury also ordered C.R. Bard to pay $68 million in April 2018 to Mary McGinnis, who suffered permanent damage from a defective transvaginal mesh.
In 2014, a New Jersey jury ordered Boston Scientific to pay $18.5 million to Jeanie Blankenship, Carol Sue Campbell, Jacquelyn Tyree and Chris Rene Wilson. The plaintiffs had suffered physical damages because of Boston Scientific’s Obtryx device. Additionally, a New Jersey jury ordered Ethicon to pay more than $11 million to Linda Gross in February 2013. Her defective transvaginal mesh caused pain so severe that Gross lost the ability to sit.
In July 2012, a California jury issued the first major mesh verdict to Christine Scott. The jury ordered C.R. Bard to pay her $5.5 million for permanent pain and damage caused by defective transvaginal mesh.
Scott endured 10 procedures and nine revision surgeries, and doctors could not remove her mesh devices safely. Scott’s husband also received $500,000 for loss of consortium.
In March 2021, Massachusetts-based Boston Scientific agreed to pay $188.7 million to resolve lawsuits with 47 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., admitting deceptive marketing of its transvaginal mesh devices to consumers.
The company has paid out big verdicts to individual plaintiffs as well. In 2015, a jury ordered Boston Scientific to pay $100 million to Deborah Barba, who suffered scarring, mesh erosion and constant pain from defective transvaginal mesh. An appeal reduced the award to $10 million.
Boston Scientific also paid $73.5 million in 2014 to Martha Salazar, who endured permanent nerve damage and constant pelvic pain from defective transvaginal mesh. It was the first trial loss for the company as it faced thousands of mesh lawsuits.
5 Cited Research Articles
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- New Jersey Courts. (2023, July 27). Pelvic Mesh – Gynecare – Orders and Decisions. Retrieved from https://www.njcourts.gov/multicounty-litigation/pelvic-mesh-gynecare/orders-decisions?language=en
- Reuters & Stempel, J. (2021, March 23). Boston Scientific in $189 mln settlement with U.S. states over surgical mesh devices. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/business/legal/boston-scientific-reaches-nearly-189-mln-settlement-over-surgical-mesh-devices-2021-03-23/
- Szaniszlo, M. (2015, May 29). $100M verdict rocks Boston Scientific. Retrieved from https://www.bostonherald.com/2015/05/29/100m-verdict-rocks-boston-scientific/
- Carlson, J. (2014, September 10). Boston Scientific hit with $73.5 million jury verdict in mesh case. Retrieved from https://www.startribune.com/boston-scientific-hit-with-73-5-million-jury-verdict-in-mesh-case/274557121/
- Edelhart, C. (2012, July 23) Bakersfield woman wins $3.6 million in first of trials related to medical device. BakersfieldCalifornian.com. Retrieved from https://www.bakersfield.com/news/bakersfield-woman-wins-3-6-million-in-first-of-trials-related-to-medical-device/article_8b347b96-98fc-5414-aea8-720eecc77753.html