Medical device maker C.R. Bard will pay $60 million to resolve lawsuits filed by 48 states over the company’s marketing of certain surgical mesh devices, which have been linked to thousands of adverse event reports in recent years. The settlement agreement comes after Bard has paid out millions of dollars to settle individual product liability lawsuits filed on behalf of women who reportedly suffered painful and debilitating injuries from the company’s transvaginal mesh implants. In total, more than 100,000 lawsuits have been filed over problems with surgical mesh devices sold by C.R. Bard, Boston Scientific, Ethicon and other medical device makers, alleging that the companies failed to provide adequate warnings about the potential risk of side effects from the mesh products. If you or someone you know has experienced a serious transvaginal mesh complication, like infection, mesh erosion or organ perforation, contact us as soon as possible to find out if you qualify for a transvaginal mesh claim.
Transvaginal mesh is a synthetic mesh fabric designed to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP), a condition characterized by the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles due to childbirth, age or other reasons. The device is meant to be permanently implanted “transvaginally,” or through the vagina, rather than through an incision in the abdomen, for the purpose of supporting organs such as the bladder or uterus that have begun to “fall.” Surgical mesh has been used in millions of women to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Unfortunately, the mesh devices have been linked to a number of severe complications in recipients, including chronic pain, infection, scarring, organ perforation, erosion of the mesh into the vagina, recurrence of pelvic organ prolapse and new occurrence of stress urinary incontinence. Some of these complications have the potential to interfere with a patient’s quality of life and ability to function, while others may be life-threatening.
The new settlement agreement with Bard and its parent company, Becton, Dickinson and Co., was announced last week by attorneys general from various U.S. states, who claim that the medical device maker engaged in deceptive marketing practices to promote its surgical mesh products in the United States. According to the product liability lawsuits, filed by 48 states and the District of Columbia, Bard deliberately misrepresented or failed to adequately divulge the serious side effects associated with its transvaginal mesh products, including the risk of pain, scarring, infection, organ perforation and erosion of the mesh into the vagina. “C. R. Bard sold these transvaginal surgical mesh devices, knowing that they could have serious, permanent side effects,” said Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul.
Last year, Johnson & Johnson reached a similar transvaginal mesh settlement, agreeing to pay out $117 million to resolve claims by 41 states and the District of Columbia that the company deceived state health systems regarding the safety and efficacy of its surgical mesh products. Neither Bard nor Johnson & Johnson admitted any wrongdoing in reaching their respective surgical mesh settlements, despite the fact that the FDA has seen a “significant increase” in the number of adverse events reports submitted in connection with surgical mesh devices used for transvaginal POP repair. Said Raoul in his press release announcing the Bard settlement, “The company’s actions caused women to experience painful and life-changing medical issues. Today’s settlement holds C.R. Bard and its parent company accountable and ensures that any future patients are better informed about the use of surgical mesh products.”
For years, the makers of transvaginal mesh products have been plagued by reports of painful and debilitating injuries associated with their products, and over the years, the FDA has taken several, escalating actions to address growing concerns about surgical mesh health risks, dating back to 2011. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until 2019, after receiving more than 100,000 reports of painful and debilitating injuries associated with surgical mesh, that the FDA removed all transvaginal mesh devices from the market. If you or someone in your family received a transvaginal mesh implant and has since suffered a serious or debilitating side effect like mesh erosion, infection, scarring, chronic pain or organ perforation, you should contact a reputable product liability lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a surgical mesh lawsuit against the mesh manufacturing company, in order to pursue the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical expenses and other damages.