Our readers in the Billings area may have heard the Food and Drug Administration’s safety warnings regarding transvaginal mesh implants and the injuries that result from them. Women across the country have reported bleeding, infections, and crippling pain. Up to this point, more than 650 women have sued the manufacturers of the medical device. The women say that they were insufficiently warned about the dangers of the defective product, and that the companies continued to produce it despite the apparent risks.

Montana residents should know that retailers and manufacturers have a duty to alert consumers if a product that makes it to market carries a risk of injury. People who end up being injured by such a product can bring a product liability lawsuit against the negligent party.

In the case of transvaginal mesh implants, the device is meant to support damaged or weakened tissue, as well as to prevent incontinence. To ensure the body absorbs the mesh, it is made of biological or synthetic material. Though there are various ways to implant the mesh through the stomach, the FDA declared that transvaginal implantation carried the greater risk.

The U.S. Judicial Panel consolidated the overwhelming number of cases against the three main mesh manufacturers, and the FDA is feeling pressure to implement further measures to protect the public. Already, the agency revised its 2008 warnings to include urgent language. In addition to this, the FDA recommended that doctors use less complicated procedures to deal with incontinence and prolapse. The number of complaints the agency received about the mesh between 2008 and 2010 nearly tripled from the figures between 2005 and 2007. There is also pressure to remove the product from the market altogether.

Some injuries sustained due to defective and dangerous products may be permanent and require extensive medical care. Injured Montana residents who have been victimized by such a product will likely have grounds to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer. Such a claim can help secure compensation to cover medical expenses and other costs related to an injury.

Source: McClatchy “Lawsuits, federal action targets ‘mesh’ surgical repairs in women,” Nicole Brochu, May 31, 2012