In 2007, a company called Tyco Healthcare spun off and became Covidien. Tyco manufactured a vaginal mesh product called the IVS Tunneller. Covidien continued to manufacture this product as well as additional mesh products including the Duo, Parietene Mesh, Surgipro Mesh and Pelvicol mesh implants. Vaginal mesh products are used to treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI) as well as a condition called pelvic organ prolapse (POP) that is common in older women, especially if they have had multiple pregnancies.
Like most vaginal mesh products, Covidien’s devices soon began to cause problems for many patients. Some women have filed a civil lawsuit to obtain compensation, and cases against Covidien have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) in West Virginia. Patients affected by problems with Covidien mesh products should consult with an experienced attorney at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for assistance in pursuing a claim.Covidien Mesh Products Cause Complications
Multiple claims are pending against Covidien and pending claims have become part of mass tort litigation. A Texas woman filed a lawsuit against Covidien alleging complications from a Pelvicol mesh implant. Her original procedure occurred in December 2003 and multiple serious problems developed, including significant pain that necessitated further surgeries and corrective care.
The plaintiff alleged harm by the Covidien vaginal mesh and claimed breach of warranty, failure to warn and negligence. The plaintiff sought punitive, economic and compensatory damages from Covidien. Although the claim was originally filed in the Superior Court of Massachusetts against Covidien PLC, Covidien LLC and Covidien Inc., the case was removed to a centralized multidistrict litigation. The case qualified for the MDL because more than $75,000 in damages were sought by the plaintiff and because there is diversity of citizenship between plaintiffs and defendant.
Multidistrict litigations allow individual plaintiffs to retain independent cases but claims are moved before one judge. The judge is then able to hear arguments on pretrial issues relevant to all claims and issue rulings just once on contested questions of law.
Multidistrict litigations are appropriate when thousands of plaintiffs experience similar harm. Around 500,000 surgeries are performed each year on patients with POP or SUI and the Food and Drug Administration warns that as many as 10 percent of women will experience mesh erosion and resulting complications within a year of the initial procedure. From January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2010, the FDA received 2,874 reports of adverse side effects from vaginal mesh including complaints of pain during intercourse, ongoing chronic or persistent pain, vaginal scarring, organ perforation, vaginal shrinkage and other serious health problems. This prompted a public safety warning in July of 2011 alerting patients that side effects from vaginal mesh products are not rare.
Covidien has not recalled Pelvicol despite complaints from patients and pending litigation. Other Covidien vaginal mesh products also continue to be implanted in women.
Patients who receive a Covidien vaginal mesh product and who experience complications can consult with a transvaginal mesh lawyer at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for help.