Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits
Many women suffering from pelvic prolapse or stress urinary incontinence have turned to transvaginal mesh implants for relief. Unfortunately, the mesh implants have been linked to a number of painful and serious complications. Mesh erosion, the most common complication, occurs when the mesh begins to deteriorate into small sharp pieces that can perforate nearby organs.
As a result, many patients have filed product liability suits against the makers of transvaginal mesh. This article provides a look at what a transvaginal mesh lawsuit entails, including explanations of product liability law, medical malpractice, and the difference between class action and private lawsuits.
Product Liability Law
Manufacturers or sellers of medical devices can be held liable for placing a dangerous or defective product on the market. Generally, injured individuals may sue any party in the chain of distribution. This includes the designer, manufacturer, distributor, or wholesaler of a defective product. A successful suit will allow the claimant to receive damages for his or her medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Under product liability law, a product must meet the ordinary expectations of the consumer. Products that have an unexpected defect or danger generally fail this test. Defects typically fall into one of three categories: design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects.
For example, a claimant bringing a transvaginal mesh lawsuit may argue that the mesh had a design defect since it wasn't designed to serve its purpose for any length of time without eroding. Alternatively, a plaintiff may argue that a defect in the manufacturing process caused the mesh to erode into dangerous fragments long before its expiration date. Finally, a plaintiff may claim that the mesh was subject to defective marketing, in that it lacked proper warnings and was marketed as a long-term solution to a number of conditions.
Class Action vs. Private Lawsuits
One of the first steps for those who want to file a transvaginal mesh lawsuit is to decide whether to join a class action suit or file a private lawsuit. Both types of lawsuits have their advantages and disadvantages.
A class action suit is when multiple claimants who have similar complaints unite to sue a common defendant. One advantage of class action suits is that plaintiffs generally aren't required to be present at the court proceedings. That may be favorable to claimants who are still recuperating or who wish to remain out of the public eye. Due to their size, class action suits can also have a greater impact on society by alerting the public to possible dangers.
Private lawsuits, on the other hand, are brought by a single injured party. Claimants usually have a better chance at receiving a more substantial jury award or settlement through a private suit rather than a class action. That is because in class action suit, any settlement or award is split between all members of the class, as well as their attorneys. That can include hundreds or thousands of people. In addition, in a private transvaginal mesh lawsuit, the case will be decided on the specific circumstances of the plaintiff's injury rather than on the overall grievances of a class.
Medical manufacturers and sellers aren't the only ones who could face a transvaginal mesh lawsuit. The doctors and medical professionals who implant the mesh could be held liable as well. For example, a doctor who improperly implants the mesh or who negligently performs his or her duties may be liable for medical malpractice. Alternatively, if a doctor fails to disclose all of the possible risks and complications associated with transvaginal mesh implants, he or she may be sued for performing surgery without the patient's informed consent.