The fourth win for plaintiffs suing Ethicon over transvaginal mesh came last week when a California jury awarded $5.7 million to Colleen Perry. She had filed her lawsuit over injuries sustained after having TVT Abbrevo implanted in 2011 to relieve stress incontinence. The award to Perry included $700,000 in compensatory damages and an additional $5 million in punitive damages, with jurors finding that Ethicon’s conduct amounted to “malice.”
The TVT Abbrevo is just one of numerous transvaginal products that have produced a wave of litigation. Seven major companies, including Ethicon American Medical Systems, C.R. Bard and Boston Scientific, are facing 70,000 lawsuits over mesh devices. These lawsuits involving transvaginal mesh all allege that these products were defectively manufactured and inadequately tested and that manufacturers failed to provide adequate warnings about their dangers which include, bleeding, urinary problems, vaginal scarring, infections, pain during sex, discomfort, and perforations of the bowel, bladder and blood vessels.
Since 2011 when the FDA warned that it had received an increasing number of adverse event reports associated with the use of such products, litigation for mesh implant lawsuits has built steadily. Thousands of women have had to undergo follow-up surgery to remove the mesh and thousands more still experience painful complications.
So far companies have been reluctant to seek comprehensive settlements. But with the fourth consecutive ruling against Ethicon, mesh manufacturers have to begin considering settlement offers and stop their delaying tactics. The time has come for them to accept responsibility for the dangerous and defective products they sold and the injuries they caused.