C.R. Bard, Endo Health Solutions Inc., Boston Scientific Corp., and two other companies have been engaged in settlement talks to resolve thousands of lawsuits with women who were injured by their vaginal mesh inserts. The settlement discussions could resolve more than 30,000 consolidated lawsuits.
The defendants’ products are designed to support pelvic muscles and treat incontinence, but plaintiffs say that the products led to pain, infections, and other medical complications.
Some manufacturers, such as Bard and Endo, have already settled some lawsuits over the devices. For instance, earlier this year, Endo Health paid $54.5 million to settle an unspecified number of cases alleging the company’s vaginal-mesh inserts were defective, and just last month a federal judge upheld a $2 million damages award against C.R. Bard.
Bard pulled its vaginal mesh implants off the market last year after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered all makers of the devices to study rates of organ damage, infection, and pain linked to their products. Accordingly to Reuters, market data shows that, in 2010, approximately 300,000 women underwent surgery for pelvic organ prolapse, and that approximately one-third of those patients used vaginal mesh implants. Moreover, about 260,000 women underwent surgery for stress urinary incontinence in 2010, with 80 percent of those patients using vaginal mesh.
Despite the widespread use in recent years, vaginal mesh implants have been linked to serious injuries, including infections, pain, and other complications. In 2008, the FDA warned consumers that the implants were associated with complications, but that such complications were rare. Just two years ago, in 2010, the FDA reported a substantial increase in the number of injuries reported.
While medical devices, such as vaginal mesh implants, are intended to alleviate a medical problem, in some cases, the medical devices do more harm than good. In these cases, the medical device manufacturer should be held liable for the injuries that their products cause.
Like all manufacturers, medical device engineers and manufacturers have an obligation to provide safe medical devices to the public. If a medical device is found to be dangerous or defective, the manufacturer has an obligation to remove the unsafe product from the market and correct any safety issues. The failure to do so could result in product liability.
The Chicago medical product liability attorneys at Cogan & Power are dedicated to protecting consumers from unsafe products, including unsafe pharmaceuticals and dangerous medical devices. If you or a family member has been injured, or a loved one has died, as a result of an unsafe drug or a defective medical device, please contact our office at (312) 477-2500 to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible product liability or medical malpractice lawsuit.