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Victim Seeks $20 Million in Latest Transvaginal Mesh Injury Lawsuit

In vaginal mesh litigation news, a Kentucky woman is seeking $20 million in damages after suffering debilitating injuries due to complications with her surgical mesh implants. The transvaginal mesh injury lawsuit names as defendants both Boston Scientific Corporation and Johnson & Johnson – parent corporation of Ethicon. The plaintiff contends that the Advantage Mid-Urethral Vaginal Sling system and UltraPro mesh products produced by the defendants were defectively designed, causing her permanent injury. The case was filed on May 28, 2013 in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky (Louisville).

Plaintiff suffers transvaginal mesh complications

The plaintiff says that as a direct result of receiving the surgical mesh products, she has sustained significant mental and physical pain and suffering, and will be forced to endure corrective revision surgery.  While the exact nature of her complications aren’t detailed in the transvaginal mesh injury lawsuit, court documents show that the Advantage Urethral Sling system made by Boston Scientific was cleared for commercial use via the FDA 510(k) clearance process, which places a new medical device on the market without clinical testing as long as it is substantially similar to another predicate product. Ethicon’s UltraPro Lightweight Partially Absorbable Mesh, which was also implanted in the patient, was granted similar approval through this fast-track process.

Prior to the plaintiff’s vaginal mesh surgery, the defendants were on notice about hundreds of women who suffered injuries resulting from mesh erosion, abscess, and organ perforation following implantation of their surgical mesh devices, but they failed to warn the medical community or consumers about these risks.

To treat her pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence, the claimant was implanted with Boston Scientific’s Advantage System and Ethicon’s UltraPro mesh on November 18, 2009. Her subsequent injuries and transvaginal mesh complications have compelled her to seek compensatory damages in a court of law.  Either through an out-of-court settlement or jury verdict, the Kentucky woman hopes to recover compensation for her past and future medical expenses, pain, suffering, emotional distress and other economic losses caused by the pelvic mesh products. She also requests punitive damages on each cause of action to further punish and deter the defendants from future similar actions after they put her health in jeopardy.

Counts leveled against Boston Scientific & Ethicon

The transvaginal mesh injury lawsuit adopts multiple counts against the mesh manufacturers, including strict liability; failure to warn; breach of express and implied warranty; manufacturing defect; design defect; and negligence. The defendants failed to use reasonable care when designing and manufacturing their products, says the plaintiff, and knew or should have known that their mesh devices were defective and presented inherent risks to consumers.

At present, both Ethicon and Boston Scientific are facing thousands of other similar cases in their own respective transvaginal mesh multidistrict litigations (MDLs) currently underway in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. Here, under the guidance of one federal judge, lawsuits involving similar causes of action against common defendants are consolidated for pre-trial proceedings. Unlike a class action suit, each case retains its individual status and is tried or settled based on the injuries sustained and evidence provided.