The type of medical devices that have been the cause of lawsuits for many a transvaginal mesh patients were originally designed to treat hernia. Mesh devices were later used to treat a condition known as urinary stress incontinence, a condition whereby some physical action, such as coughing, laughing or other sudden movement causes loss of bladder control. It is far more common in women than in men (although men who have prostate surgery sometimes develop the condition).
I mention this subject because for the second time in the past twelve months, as medical professionals have come forward in the media defending the use of the transvaginal mesh for the treatment of stress incontinence. Late last year, Dr. Charles Nager, who heads the American Urogynecologic Society, told a San Diego newspaper that the meshes were the “largest technological advance for treating [stress] incontinence in a generation.” He added that they “have improved the lives of millions of women worldwide.” Recently, Dr. Rachel Pauls, who works for Cincinnati TriHealth, told a local TV news reporter that the use of meshes is a “safe and effective” treatment for women who suffer from stress incontinence.
Many patients would adamantly disagree with these statements, having suffered woefully from bad mesh products.
What are the implications for a plaintiff planning to file a transvaginal mesh lawsuit?
In order to file a lawsuit, there must be demonstrable cause, i.e., actual injuries and diminished quality of life. Furthermore, it must be demonstrated that either the manufacturer of the product, the end user (in this case, the physician) or both had knowledge of the dangers of the product – or should have had such knowledge. As is the case with other types of product litigation, such as that involving asbestos, exposure by itself is not enough.
This does not mean that if you have received a mesh for stress incontinence that you do not have grounds for a transvaginal mesh lawsuit. According to Mr. Nager, women being treated for this condition with a mesh do run a risk of the erosion that can cause debilitating pain, sexual dysfunction and more. On the other hand, at least five times as many patients with meshes for POP will experience these complications.
For more information about filing a transvaginal mesh lawsuit, contact our offices today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.