More than two million women in the United States have been implanted with gynecological plastic mesh made of polypropylene. Regardless of the fact that manufacturers of the mesh and professional organizations are reporting it to be safe, more than 100,000 of the women who have been implanted with the mesh have brought lawsuits against its manufacturers. Nearly all of those women were implanted with the mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapse when pelvic muscles weaken after a hysterectomy, childbirth or menopause. They complain of severe complications like urinary incontinence, bleeding, mesh erosion, mesh cutting through the vaginal wall and intestines, mesh encasing in scar tissue, and debilitating pain and infections.
Several types of transvaginal mesh brands are available. Others have already been discontinued, and the majority of those that have been discontinued were manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. About five companies now manufacture transvaginal mesh. A big player remaining in the transvaginal mesh industry is Boston Scientific, and nearly 50 percent of all transvaginal mesh lawsuits in the United States are against Boston Scientific. The company has some major headaches with these lawsuits.
The Manufacturer’s Recommendation
Before 2005, Boston Scientific used a polypropylene plastic called Marlex to manufacture its transvaginal mesh, but the manufacturer of Marlex was concerned about the product’s medical use. In 2004, its manufacturer issued a warning about the polypropylene saying that the product shouldn’t be used for purposes of “permanent implantation in the human body.” The manufacturer says that is because oxygen gets to polypropylene in one way or another, and after oxygen gets to it, polypropylene degrades inside the human body. The Marlex manufacturer told Boston Scientific that it wasn’t interested in supplying the product to Boston Scientific anymore, “at any price.”
Since the manufacturer of Marlex refused to sell the product for use inside the human body, Boston Scientific went on the hunt for it. Marlex was found in China, and Boston Scientific is said to have tested it. Packaging of the product was apparently counterfeit, so Boston Scientific tested 11 different attributes of the Chinese Product and the American product against each other. Only two of the Chinese product’s characteristics were identical to those of the American product, but Boston Scientific’s conclusion was that the Marlex from China was the same as American Marlex. Boston Scientific bought enough Chinese Marlex to last 30 years in its inventory, and it’s believed to still be using Chinese Marlex in its transvaginal mesh manufacturing process.
Transvaginal Mesh Multidistrict Litigation
Don’t confuse federal multidistrict litigation with class action lawsuits. Federal multidistrict litigation operates for purposes of convenience for both gynecological mesh lawsuit litigants and the judiciary. All federal transvaginal mesh cases are consolidated for the federal multidistrict court to hear common procedural issues, but each litigant still has the right to a trial on the merits of their individual case. For example, a federal gynecological mesh lawsuit from Texas might be sent to a multidistrict court in another state for rulings on certain issues, but it will ultimately be sent back to Texas for trial within the parameters of prior orders of the multidistrict court.
As opposed to being a member of a class action, in multidistrict litigation, individual plaintiffs are eligible for maximum compensation for their damages, pain and suffering. Any gynecological mesh lawsuit is highly complex. If you have suffered adverse effects from gynecological mesh, contact us to arrange for a free consultation and case review.