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Minnesota Woman Sues Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson Over Gynecare Vaginal Mesh Complications

A Minnesota woman has filed a lawsuit against Ethicon, Gynecare, and Johnson & Johnson over serious vaginal mesh complications she allegedly suffered from Gynenesh and other vaginal mesh products manufactured by the defendants. She initially filed her lawsuit on August 13, 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, but on August 29, 2012 it was transferred to the vaginal mesh MDL in the Southern District of West Virginia.

Plaintiff suffered mesh erosion and required multiple surgeries

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff underwent surgery on July 5, 2005, during which she was implanted with vaginal mesh devices, including Gynemesh, for the purpose of treating her stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and symptomatic vaginal prolapse.

However, after the surgery, she began to experience complications including urinary incontinence and intermittent vaginal bleeding. The problems got more severe until, nearly three years after her surgery, she went for a doctor visit in April 2008, at which a physical exam showed that she was suffering from vaginal mesh erosion. The doctor prescribed topical hormone cream, but her complications persisted.

In May 2008, the plaintiff underwent surgery to remove sections of the vaginal mesh. But she continued to suffer problems, and needed a second surgery on September 15, 2008. According to her complaint, she continues to suffer complications of mesh erosion and incontinence, will likely require further corrective surgeries in future, and is likely to suffer permanent disability.

The plaintiff is seeking compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, disability, medical expenses, and legal expenses.

Several Ethicon mesh products pulled off market

On June 4, 2012, Ethicon took a number of its vaginal mesh products off the market, including the Gynecare Prolift, Gynecare TVT Secur System, Gynecare Prosima, and Gynecare Prolift + M.

The plaintiff’s experience is not an unusual one. On July 13, 2011, the FDA issued a warning to the public and the medical community about the risk of complications from transvaginal mesh, including vaginal scarring, infections, bleeding, urinary problems, painful sexual intercourse, and protrusion. The FDA stated that such complications were “not rare” and an issue of ongoing concern, and warned that “removal of the mesh due to mesh complications may involve multiple surgeries and significantly impair the patient’s quality of life. Complete removal of the mesh may not be possible.”

Women who have suffered complications from vaginal mesh devices are advised to speak to a knowledgeable attorney who can evaluate if they are eligible for a lawsuit to receive compensation for their injuries.

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