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A jury in Texas ordered pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to pay a $1.2 million settlement for injuries sustained by one of its transvaginal mesh implants.

A Dallas state court ruled that J&J developed a faulty transvaginal mesh sling, the TVT-O, to treat urinary incontinence. The patient who won the lawsuit experienced severe pelvic pain as the device eroded inside her body, a potential hazard that the jury found J&J should have researched and rectified.

Uses of Vaginal Mesh and Their Risks

Vaginal mesh implants come in two forms: synthetic and animal tissue. The synthetic implants come in absorbable, non-absorbable, or a combination of both. The absorbable parts degrade and lose strength over time, but non-absorbable mesh parts are considered permanent implants.

These mesh implants are designed to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) in either a transvaginal form or a transabdominal form. Mesh slings may also treat stress urinary incontinence.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety communication on July 13, 2011 regarding the serious complications of transvaginal mesh for POP treatment. The update was issued to inform medical professionals and implant patients that, “serious complications associated with surgical mesh for transvaginal repair of POP are not rare.”

In addition to warning doctors and patients about the complications, the FDA concluded that it is not clear as to whether or not use of transvaginal mesh is more effective for the treatment of POP than non-mesh repairs.

Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits

Vaginal mesh implants have been the target of several private and class action lawsuits. This is not Johnson & Johnson’s first court loss, either. Last year, a New Jersey judge ruled that J&J must pay an $11.1 million settlement to a woman who suffered injuries from one of the company’s Prolift mesh implants designed to support sagging organs.

According to Bloomberg News, J&J is facing around 12,000 lawsuits in regard to injuries sustained from its Ethicon inserts. Several of these cases have been consolidated and are pending before a federal judge in West Virginia, while others such as the Batiste case, are being handled in state courts.

Prosecutors are claiming damages from vaginal mesh implants stem from failure to warn about potential complications. Severe pain can occur when the mesh implants erode and are absorbed into the surrounding tissue.

In several cases, women suffered from: 

  • chronic pelvic pain;
  • painful intercourse; and
  • organ damage. 

In response to the sudden increase in vaginal mesh lawsuits, the FDA ordered J&J and 32 other makers of transvaginal implants to study the rates of organ damage and complications linked to the use of the mesh implants. J&J has assured the courts that its TVT-O slings are safe and argued that the company properly warned consumers about the risks.

Taking Legal Action Against Harmful Vaginal Mesh Implants

If you or a loved one suffered serious pain, organ damage, or other complications after having a transvaginal mesh implant, you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering and damages.

Attorney Julie Johnson is sympathetic toward the victims of the embarrassing and frightening situation brought on by vaginal mesh implants. Contact the Law Office of Julie Johnson, PLLC today to schedule a free consultation regarding your potential case: 214-290-8001.