As women across the U.S. seek compensation for vaginal mesh injuries like pain, erosion, infections, and bleeding, other women around the world are also coming forward with complaints against manufacturers of mesh products used to repair pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.
In 2012, Canadian plaintiffs filed a class action suit against Johnson & Johnson (J&J), claiming injuries such as nerve damage, organ perforation, and tissue damage. Later that same year, a group of Australian women filed a class action lawsuit against J&J, claiming pain, chronic fatigue, depression, and more.
Now, according to an article in the Daily Record, hundreds of women in Scotland could also be suffering serious complications after the implantation of transvaginal mesh.
One Patient Describes Excruciating Pain
Linda McLaughlin, a 57-year old teaching assistant from Greenock, claims the mesh procedure she went through to correct a severe form of cystitis, destroyed her life. She describes the pain after surgery as "excruciating agony" and says it "has never gone away." She has had to go through an additional nine operations to try to correct the problems, but has stated that her life will never be the same.
"The implant suffered what is known as erosion," she said, "and whenever my husband and I were intimate, the mesh cut into him. We’re no longer able to enjoy that part of our marriage, which is devastating for a loving couple."
McLaughlin also claims to have suffered extensive nerve damage and is reported to say that if she had known about the risks, she never would have agreed to the procedure.
Scottish Authorities Seek Inquiry
In July 2011, the FDA released a public safety communication warning physicians and patients that complications with transvaginal mesh were not rare, and that in some instances, multiple corrective surgeries failed to correct the problems. Significant injuries could include erosion, pain, infection, bleeding, pain during sexual intercourse, organ perforation, and urinary problems, according to the FDA.
At least 15 women from Scotland are taking legal advice on compensation claims, while as many as 6,000 have had surgery with transvaginal mesh. "It’s quite clear this treatment has failed a large number of women," said shadow health secretary Jackie Baillie. "We need an urgent inquiry into the safety of these products and I will be seeking a meeting with Health Secretary Alex Neil to discuss it."
Plaintiffs Winning Damages
In the first J&J mesh lawsuit to go to trial in the U.S., a New Jersey jury awarded plaintiff Linda Gross $3.35 million after she suffered through 18 unsuccessful repair surgeries meant to fix a malfunctioning vaginal mesh implant. They later awarded $7.76 million in punitive damages as well.
Vaginal Mesh defendants face another over 2,000 cases in New Jersey, nearly 4,000 federal cases consolidated in the Southern District of West Virginia, and a government investigation over alleged deceptive marketing of its transvaginal mesh and hip implants.
An earlier lawsuit in California brought claims against C.R. Bard, another manufacturer of vaginal mesh, and resulted in a $5.5 million verdict for the plaintiff, Christine Scott.
"I have 10 cases involving women who have undergone these types of procedures," said Scottish lawyer Cameron Fyfe. "I am looking at the possibility of using consumer protection laws to bring actions in the Court of Session."
Exclusively focused on representing plaintiffs, especially in mass tort litigation, Eric Chaffin prides himself on providing unsurpassed professional legal services in pursuit of the specific goals of his clients and their families. Both his work and his cases have been featured in the national press, including on ABC’s Good Morning America.