Linda Gross is a 47 year old nurse from Watertown, South Dakota who suffered from pelvic organ prolapse (POP), a common condition which occurs when the pelvic muscles weaken and stretch, bulging, or prolapsing, into the vagina. In 2006, she was implanted with Johnson & Johnson’s Gynecare Prolift, a polypropylene mesh inserted through the vagina to shore up the pelvic floor.
At first, Gross was confident that the Prolift, widely believed to be a safe and innovative device, would correct her POP, but the mesh carried with it serious complications. Gross says she now takes 20 different medicines for pelvic problems and is in constant pain – so acute that she can longer sit comfortably.
She has suffered from mesh erosion, scar tissue, inflammation and “neurologic compromise” and has made more than 400 visits to doctors and physical therapists for treatment, exams and tests, which she describes as “horrific.” These visits included 18 corrective surgeries in which doctors attempted to remove the mesh that had hardened inside of her body.
Gross says she’s a different person now, less energetic, less eager. The Gynecare Prolift device caused permanent damage and irrevocably altered the course of her life. “I am fearful of dying,” she says, “because this pain is so bad.”
For more information about Linda Gross’s story, you can read the Bloomberg News report here.
If you have experienced serious transvaginal mesh complications, you are not alone. Thousands of lawsuits have been brought against the major transvaginal mesh manufacturers, including:
The total number of product liability mesh cases already exceeds 15,000 and are estimated to top 20,000, rivaling even Vioxx litigation.
The first cases to go to court have resulted in verdicts for the plaintiffs which may help other women who have been affected by transvaginal mesh implants to receive justice and compensation for their losses.
On July 20, 2012, a jury in state court in Bakersfield, California awarded plaintiff Christine Scott and her husband Roy $5.5 million dollars for injuries caused by C.R. Bard’s Avaulta Plus vaginal implant. The award includes $5 million for Scott’s medical expenses, including nine corrective surgeries, and pain and suffering, as well as an additional $500,000 to Roy.
Scott and her husband deserved the award, the jurors concluded, because of the injuries she sustained as a result of the Avaulta mesh. They also found that Bard officials were negligent in their handling of the devices and that they knew or should have known surgeons “performing pelvic-floor repair would not realize the potential risks” of the implant.
Bard officials expressed their disappointment with the jury’s rendering and said they would appeal the decision.
Scott Lowry, a Bard spokesman, said in an emailed statement, “We believe the evidence establishes that our Avaulta mesh products, cleared by the FDA, are safe and effective and provide significant benefits to patients.”
For more on this suit, please see the Bloomberg News report.
In 2008, Linda Gross brought a transvaginal mesh lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon subsidiary, alleging that the manufacturer was liable for defective design, manufacture, warnings and instructions. Her case went to trial in state Superior Court in Atlantic City on January 10, 2013 and on February 28, 2013, she was awarded $7.76 million in punitive damages. This verdict is in addition to an earlier verdict of compensatory damages, which means J&J and Ethicon are responsible for paying Gross over $11.1 million dollars.
This case is the first of about 1,800 lawsuits against J&J in New Jersey, the manufacturing giant’s home state.
Additionally, there are 11,000 claims pending against several other manufacturers in a M.D.L in West Virginia under the Honorable James Goodwin.
For more on this case, please see the New York Times article.
If you have been implanted with a transvaginal mesh device and experienced complications, including surgical mesh extrusion, erosion and organ perforation, don’t hesitate to act. There is a statute of limitations on these cases, and the window for filing a claim is rapidly closing. Contact Ward Black Law today to get answers to your questions and to discuss your potential transvaginal mesh lawsuit in N.C.
Thousands of women have already filed transvaginal mesh lawsuits. Don’t suffer silently; tell your story, and we’ll be your voice. Call us today: 336-333-2244 or toll-free at 800-531-9191. Or, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.