Darlene suffered urinary incontinence after her third child was born. “It got to the point that I depended on Depends [adult diapers] whenever I went out,” says Darlene, laughing. “Oops, there I go again. Every time I laughed, coughed or sneezed it was embarrassing. My doctor told me that this transvaginal mesh was the ticket. How wrong he was.” And her urinary incontinence problem returned.
Doctors once considered these mesh implants the “gold standard” of treatment. But that was before more than 50,000 women reported serious transvaginal mesh side effects, from infections to punctured organs to permanent nerve damage. And about 50,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits have been filed. To make matters worse, a number of doctors who easily implanted this mesh are unable to remove it.
“I can’t even count how many times I went back to my doctor complaining about this mesh sling,” says Darlene. “My complaints just fell on deaf ears. I believe he wasn’t being honest with me because all he said was that I would get used to it. But it shouldn’t take two years to get used to anything.”
Darlene says she finally found a surgeon to remove “this mesh mess” but the sling eroded into her vagina and she still has pain during sexual intercourse. “Not only has my health suffered; my family has also been negatively affected by this nightmare mesh,” Darlene adds.
“My husband and I can’t enjoy sex anymore and I don’t have the energy to spend much time with my kids. If I’m not in pain, I’m in a Fentanyl fog.”
And it has been a financial burden. Darlene has insurance but her co-pays ate into the family’s vacation savings, so they had a “staycation” last year and will probably do the same for this coming summer vacation. “It’s really not fair on the kids.”
READ MORE AMS TRANSVAGINAL MESH LEGAL NEWS
In 2013, AMS estimated liability at $159.8 million in 2013. By mid-2014, however, the company agreed to settle some cases for $54 million and then agreed to an additional amount of $830 million. By August, AMS was the only mesh maker that had reached a settlement: It involved approximately $1.6 billion to be paid out by Endo International, the manufacturer of AMS devices.
Recently, U.S. District Judge Goodwin requested a joint status conference for all multidistrict litigation involving vaginal mesh devices on January 29, 2015.
More cases are expected to go to trials in 2015.