It is alleged that women suffered serious complications, including mesh erosion, after surgery with a Coloplast mesh to repair pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or stress urinary incontinence (SUI). According to allegations posed in these suits, Coloplast failed to properly research these products before aggressively marketing them to the public, and failed to provide adequate warnings to women about the products’ serious side effects.
What is the Status of the Coloplast Lawsuits?
In Aug. 2012, a panel of federal judges issued an order consolidating all current and future federal Coloplast pelvic mesh lawsuits to the Southern District of West Virginia. Consolidation of the lawsuits to a single court will eliminate duplicative discovery, prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, reduce costs, and allow these cases to be resolved more efficiently. Already pending in the Southern District of West Virginia are four other vaginal mesh MDLs involving products manufactured by C.R. Bard, Boston Scientific, and Ethicon, a unit of Johnson and Johnson, among others.
In an MDL (Multidistrict Litigation), federal suits from across the country are transferred to one court before a single judge who will manage the litigation during the pretrial and discovery process. MDLs are often formed to handle litigation that requires the acquisition of countless pages of relevant documents. Each plaintiff in the MDL will retain his or her own individual lawsuit and attorney.
Mesh Products Linked to Serious Complications
The consolidated Coloplast mesh lawsuits share similar allegations that defects in the company’s pelvic surgical mesh products caused various and serious injuries to women. Complications linked to the Coloplast mesh and similar products include, but are not limited to the following:
- Pelvic pain
- Pain during sex
- Mesh shrinkage or contraction
- Extrusion, protrusion or erosion of the mesh
- Urinary problems
- Recurrence of prolapse or incontinence
- Vaginal scarring
According to the FDA, serious complications associated with mesh products used in the transvaginal repair of POP are not rare. The FDA warned that it is unclear whether transvaginal repair of POP with a mesh is more effective than other treatments, and may put patients at a greater risk.