Courts in the Republic of Ireland are getting ready to convene that nation’s first trial involving transvaginal mesh.
In an interview with thejournal.ie.com, one transvaginal mesh attorney disclosed that she had been contacted by roughly 25 women who experienced “unidentified pain” following implantation of the devices, which are intended to treat women with pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.
“It really is a case of people not knowing what is causing their problems and they are just putting up with it in a real Irish mammy way. They think this is what happens when you have a baby. And some people are just embarrassed to talk about it,” she said.
“Some of the women, the state they’ve been left in, they suffer terrible pain and some are getting addicted to painkillers that they’ve been prescribed.”
Another attorney told thejournal.ie.com that one of his client’s transvaginal mesh lawsuit will be heading to court in the next few months.
“I’m surprised there hasn’t been more of these cases. I suspect there are quite a substantial number of cases in Ireland where people haven’t linked the problems with the device,” the attorney said.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warned in 2008 that it had received more than 1,000 reports of serious transvaginal mesh complications during the previous three-year period.
That warning was renewed in July 2011, after the number of injury reports logged by the agency had tripled. The FDA also reversed its opinion that complications related to transvaginal prolapse repair were rare, and questioned whether such procedures offered any additional benefits compared to traditional non-mesh surgery.
Hundreds of thousands of women have since filed transvaginal mesh lawsuits in the U.S. Numerous cases have gone to trial in recent years, with juries delivering verdicts for both plaintiffs and defendants. A significant percentage of claims have also been settled, though thousands remain pending in federal and state courts throughout the country.
Most recently, a jury in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania awarded more than $57 million in compensatory and punitive damages to a woman who suffered serious complications following implantation of two TVT mesh devices manufactured by Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon, Inc. subsidiary.
Other transvaginal mesh manufacturers involved in the U.S. litigation include American Medical Systems, Inc., Boston Scientific Corp., C.R. Bard, Inc., Coloplast Corp., Cook Medical, Inc. and Neomedic.