Although litigation against Bard is just beginning, "we think liability is going to be good because the risks associated with the Bard Avaulta surgical mesh system far outweigh the benefits," says Flint. "In fact, during the FDA's advisory panel meeting, little evidence was shown that this surgical mesh improves Pelvic Organ Prolapse [also known as POP] or that it works better than other procedures. So essentially you have a product that has very little utility and high risk, i.e., adverse side effects and serious health complications."
To make a claim against Bard, however, Flint says that his firm, and likely other firms looking at Transvaginal Mesh lawsuits, are taking cases where a person has suffered mass erosion from the mesh that has led to pain, infection, bleeding, mesh protrusion and bowel and bladder perforation. Pelvic Organ Prolapse, or POP, is one of the most common reasons that TVM surgery is performed, but POP can also reoccur after surgery, when the mesh erodes. And taking out the mesh is difficult, to say the least.
"Generally we are looking for claimants who have been to their gynecologist for a follow-up and their doctor discovers that the mesh has eroded," explains Flint, "and in that case we know, without a doubt, that the mesh is defective. If a person calls us and just reports pain, infection or discomfort—without any evidence of mesh erosion—we don't know if they have a case or not.
"My advice to anyone who has had this transvaginal mesh implant is talk to your doctor or gynecologist as soon as possible. And if possible have them examine the mesh and determine its condition.
"We are currently getting medical records from claimants and determining who that defendant is, i.e., the manufacturer of the mesh implanted in the client. Generally in the post-op report the surgeon that implants the mesh will take a chart stick, which is something that comes off a medical device's packaging, and adds it to the patient's medical record. This is very important information because we have to know the model and make of the mesh."
Flint also says that, based on previous litigations, the implanting surgeon may refer to TVM generally, and in that case, the medical record doesn't include a chart stick or photocopy. If that is the case, Flint's law firm will go to the hospital's purchasing department and find out what was available at that time. And he is seeing Bard Avaulta mesh used frequently.
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As for the statute of limitations, Flint refers to an FDA news release that was issued in July 2011. "The FDA says that even if a person had the mesh implanted years ago, their case could very well be within the statute of limitations because people were not put on notice until this year."
If you think that your claim has been barred by the statute of limitations, consult with an attorney before giving up. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more…