New MDL Established for Coloplast Transvaginal Mesh LawsuitsAug 24, 2012 | Parker Waichman LLP
Transvaginal mesh lawsuits continue to pile up, resulting in yet another multidistrict litigation (MDL) being established in West Virginia federal court. Lawsuits alleging injuries from Coloplast transvaginal mesh and pelvic sling products have been transferred to U.S. Judge Joseph Goodwin in U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia. Judge Goodwin is already overseeing four other transvaginal mesh litigations, involving products made by C.R. Bard, Johnson & Johnson/Ethicon, Inc., American Medical Systems, Inc., and Boston Scientific Corp.
So far, 24 lawsuits are pending in the new Coloplast transvaginal mesh MDL. MDLs are established when a large number of lawsuits associated with a particular product have been filed. The complaints are coordinated under one judge for pretrial litigation to avoid duplicative discovery, inconsistent rulings and to conserve the resources of the parties, witnesses and the court. When lawsuits are consolidated as a multidistrict litigation, each retains its own identity. If the multidistrict litigation process does not resolve the cases, they are transferred back to the court where they originated for trial.
Like similar devices, transvaginal mesh products made by Coloplast are used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. The safety of transvaginal mesh devices is under scrutiny, as the have been the subject of thousands of reports of serious injuries, including:
• Inflammation and infection
• Pain from mesh shrinkage
• Extrusion of mesh through the vaginal wall
• Pain during intercourse and urination
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), which has been studying the safety of transvaginal mesh since 2008, recently asked transvaginal mesh manufacturers to conduct post-market safety studies of their products. The agency is considering moving transvaginal mesh for pelvic organ prolapse repair to a higher risk medical device category.