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Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits Mounting in Canada

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Toronto, ONAttorney Paul Miller of Will Davidson law firm in Toronto says that the first transvaginal mesh lawsuits have been filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. "When I first got involved with these cases, I had no idea about the amount of suffering and the destruction of these women's lives," says Miller, "and not only them: Relationships with their husbands or boyfriends are falling apart."

"The first case we filed was because our client's statute of limitations was going to expire on November 18, so this is not a situation where we tried to handpick the best case to go forward first," Miller explains. "Rather, we had no choice but to file it first, otherwise our client wouldn't have any recourse." (Yes, there are statutes of limitations, so if you have suffered complications from transvaginal mesh or transvaginal tape, see an attorney sooner than later.)

Miller currently has 18 cases across Canada, and each claim will be filed in that person's home province. So far, lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson. "I haven't seen a client with Avaulta mesh erosion yet, but that doesn't mean Bard won't be included," says Miller. If claims against Bard (the maker of Avaulta TVM) in the US are any indicator, Bard will have lawsuits filed against them in Canada—and soon.

The litigation in Canada is just starting and Miller is hopeful that attorneys are going to help these women. One of his clients (name withheld on request) has been suffering from transvaginal mesh erosion for seven years. "During all this time she hasn't had sex and she is in incredible pain," says Miller, adding that she can't find a doctor who will listen to her complaints, which seems to be a common problem with women suffering from TVM erosion.

"I don't know why the doctors are not acknowledging problems with the transvaginal mesh," says Miller, "because they are not the target of these lawsuits. Perhaps they are doctors who get funding from the pharmaceutical companies, but I think the main reason is that they just don't believe what they are hearing and don't know what to do."

US and Canada doctors are attempting to remove the mesh but so far there hasn't been an incident—that Miller knows—of a 100 percent success rate, i.e., removing all the mesh. It is Miller's understanding that the mesh is attached to bone and ligament when it is implanted—doctors can't just tear off this transvaginal tape. "You get this image in your mind that it is something like masking tape, but clearly it isn't anything like tape—it doesn't come off."

Many of these women are in dire situations: Miller has several clients who are now on full disability. To qualify for Canada Pension Plan disability means that you will never work again in your life. Women in their 40s will never work again; they are living on Oxycontin, Percoset, Neurontin to treat pain for damaged nerves. Imagine being on these drugs for the rest of your life, not to mention liver and stomach damage associated with these pain killers.

Another insidious issue associated with these TVM cases is that you cannot see the injuries. "It is hard to understand that these women are in so much pain because they probably look OK," explains Miller, "but the psychological damage is horrific. Most of my clients have either lost their marriages or they are on the brink of divorce. One woman's boyfriend left just because of TVM. Women are suffering from a lack of intimacy and they tell me the heartbreak is not worth getting into a new relationship."

Miller has coached his clients on what to expect in court, what they are getting into with litigation. "Their most personal medical details will be put on the table, but they are all brave women," he says. "They all believe the manufacturers—Johnson & Johnson, American Medical Scientific or Bard—is at fault, although this has not been proven in court yet.

"Without knowing each other all of these women relayed to me the same message: 'This cannot happen to anyone else, and no amount of money can give back what we lost.' They also want to get this message out to the manufacturers: 'Before you put a device on the market, do the proper testing.'"

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
I had a partial hysterectomy, while that was being done my OBGYN, lifted my bladder and inserted a mesh. I have been in constant pain ever since. Sex is out of the question, I get urinary track infections regularly. Who can help? Where do I turn? Any help greatly appreciated.

Posted by

on
Hi I had my bladder lift in 2012 and suffer everyday.My life is destroyed and cant do anything about it.No ones listens to me and that's doctors.Someone has to pay for all the lifes they have destroyed it doesn't get better its getting worse.
Is there any help out there for us ?

Posted by

on
Geez! I wish someone told me about this sooner!!
I had a Bladder Mesh operation in Sept 25 2011. I stayed over 1 night in hospital until 5pm the next day. The very next day after getting home (I live by myself) I started getting really sick with Diarrhea, but didn't realize the seriousness of it and let it continue for 3.5 weeks, until I almost died from Dehydration caused by what I later found out was c-diff that I contacted from Kelowna General Hospital bcuz of an antibiotic I didn't know was given to me thru an IV during surgery. But I did learn then, from watching TV, that there was a CANADA WIDE OUTBREAK OF C-DIFF DURING THIS SAME TIME! Anyway, When I finally seeked help bcuz I realized I actually might be dying, by time I was taken to the hospital, I was so dehydrated that it took 13 pokes and 4 nurses to try and get an IV into my veins. I had to go on several doses of antibiotics to finally get rid of the c-diff.
But, since getting the bladder mesh, I keep getting bladder infections! And if I get them treated with antibiotics, I then get a yeast infection. So most of the time I try to treat the bladder infection myself unless I am peeing blood, which I am doing at the moment, and so of course I am once again on antibiotics, which brought me here, bcuz I was checking out home remedies for yeast infections, which I am just starting to get, and I seen a blip about the "bladder mesh" and it peeked my interest bcuz I wanted to see if anyone else was going thru what I've been Silently and Secretly going thru bcuz of Embarrassment!! First, I get the C-Diff from having the bladder mesh surgery and I almost die, and then I've had sooo many bladder infections, but I've only gone to my Dr for the ones that have me peeing blood, But... I've also silently been suffering with sooo much PELVIC PAIN that I'm too embarrassed to tell my Dr about bcuz I don't want him checking me out down there!! I thought it was just bcuz I'm getting older and I haven't had sex of any sort in over 18 years, and I thought maybe my girly organs were going thru some sort of withdrawal the past few years!? But now I'm thinking more than ever that all my UTI/bladder infections and all my Pain are due to the Bladder Mesh Surgery and I really hope that it's NOT TOO LATE FOR ME TO GET ON BOARD WITH THIS AND JOIN EVERYONE ELSE GOING THRU ALL THESE HORRIBLE EXPERIENCES SINCE HAVING THE BLADDER MESH SURGERY DONE!?!
Will Somebody Please let me know IF there's Anything at all that I can do to get Help for All I've gone thru and am still going thru! I Thank You in advance!
And as much as I am finally relieved to learn that I'm not the only one Suffering, I'm also Sorry to see that there are sooo many of you also Suffering!
Together and Onward we shall fight as ONE!!!

Posted by

on
I had surgery Sept 2011 and I am just now reading all of this about the bladder mesh. I thought my bladder issues was just something that I had to deal with for the rest of my life.
My question is because I had my surgery in Sept 2011 is my Statue of Limitations up?

Posted by

on
I had the prolapse bladder surgery in July of 2010, I thought the surgery was successful without a sling being used. I have been extremely naive, last week I found out that the TVT was used in my surgery; I also just found out from my GP yesterday that a bowel lift was also done ..I had a prolapsed bowel?????.This procedure was never discussed with me before or after my surgery(my doctor went on holidays). My surgery was horrific and took me 11 weeks to recover, it was about 6 months after the surgery that I started getting a pulling sensation a couple of inches above my pelvis bone and an ache (constant below my belly button. I thought the ache was from my belly button being pulled down and not in the right place anymore, but the ache has been getting worse over the last 3 yrs. I have been to my GP many times and he never had any answers for me...until yesterday. I am now leaking all the time, never did that even before my surgery, and have had 2 bladder infections back to back..the last one was awful .I have a pulling sensation when I walk and it gets worse the more I walk. I am being sent to a specialist on Monday, guess it is a wait and see what can be done??

Posted by

on
I'm a husband of a very brave woman who is the victim of TVM Implant.All I can tell you is that over the last four years after my wife having this TVM implant it has turned our lives upside down mentally and physically from having a healthy relationship together.My wife has been in and out of hospitals and so many Drs appointments I have lost count because of this TVM surgery.She had undergone a partial removal of the mesh here in Canada but the Dr couldn't remove all of it as it was to dangerous to do so, so now my wife is trying to prepare her self for major surgery in June at UCLA in LA.Who knows if this is going to be successful and how much reconstructive surgery is she going to have after when is this going to end sad very sad.my wife is taking 180 to 240 mgs of morphine on a daily basis how is a person suppose to function taking high doses of medication for pain like this and not have it affect your love ones watching the person you love slowly drift away.this is now not only about having the mesh removed it's also about relationships addictions depression the list can go on and on these women need support from there Drs and love and understanding from there loved ones.

Posted by

on
I'm a husband of a very brave woman who is the victim of TVM Implant.All I can tell you is that over the last four years after my wife having this TVM implant it has turned our lives upside down mentally and physically from having a healthy relationship together.My wife has been in and out of hospitals and so many Drs appointments I have lost count because of this TVM surgery.She had undergone a partial removal of the mesh here in Canada but the Dr couldn't remove all of it as it was to dangerous to do so, so now my wife is trying to prepare her self for major surgery in June at UCLA in LA .Who knows if this is going to be successful and how much reconstructive surgery is she going to have after when is this going to end sad very sad.

Posted by

on
I had a sling surgery for Urinary Incontinence and soon after I started having problems.First I told the surgeon that my urinary incontinence was worst.He told me it can't be worst.Then I told him that I developed Stool Incontinence soon after.Do you know what he said? He told me that it's not his domain.So he prescribed pills but to no avail.I went to my family DR. & she ordered every tests available for my Stool Incontinence & for the intestines.Guess what? All tests were normal.I get urinary infections & I feel a pressure down there.My life is over & sometimes I feel like I want to die.I'm a 62yr.old widow & I use pads all the time, cause I don't want to wear diapers.I'm pretty sure that I can't have sex but 11yrs.ago my husband died so I never had someone else.I feel depressed all the time, and if I want to go out, I make sure the bathrooms are near or I stay home.I just heard about this lawsuit so I have a DR.'s appointment at the end of the month and I'm gonna talk to her.I hope I'm not too late for the lawsuit because I want them to pay for everything I went through.I guess I will have to get my records at the Hospital, where I had the surgery, but I don't know if the're gonna give it to me.I am alone so I don't have any money to enter the lawsuit.If I have to pay, then I won't go through this lawsuit.But why would I pay for something that's not my fault.I hope you will contact me soon.Please HELP me and help every women out there.I'm at my wit's end...

Posted by

on
It has been 5 years, 8 months since my tvm installation surgery. I have not been intimate since then. I have lost my health, my marriage and ceased menses 3 years ago. I still pee myself on an hourly basis. I struggle to cope with the pain/disability while being a single Mom to one autistic and one special needs children.

I have been taking Cymbalta to reduce the pain and try to buoy my despair. I had the surgery done on the promise my life would be better, without leaking urine.

I have to wonder what things would be like if men suffered the pain, complications and losses, instead of women.

I am afraid to have removal surgery, or even approach a doctor about this. The initial surgery was horrible; all sense of personal boundaries and pride were destroyed. Now that I am the sole care provider to my children, the recuperative period cannot be had anyway.

I was approached by an American law firm to join a class action lawsuit in their country, but would rather keep my legal matters in my own country.

Posted by

on
It was April 2011 when I had the mesh surgery done.It all started that year late summer when I started to have UTI's.The doctor treated them with medication. It took 3 dfferent med's to get it to clear up.Then it started with a rash or broken skin around the opening of my private area.My family doctor was testing me for herpes do you know how embarrassing it is to be told that you may have herpes.Any way it was not and I was told to treat with a medicated cream.The cream worked but when it was all gone the rash was back again.Other complications are low back pain and leg pain (weakness)my incontinence is back and I can't forget that I have not been able to have a relationship with my husband since my surgery.It if hard when you do not know what could be causing all of my issues. I go to the doctor and it is HERE IS A PRECRIPTION TAKE THIS. What else am I going to do I feel as if it all in my head and nobody believes me.It is hard to talk about.I just suffer everyday because I do not want to be on medication for the rest of my life SO WHAT DO I DO. Any advice

Posted by

on
Hello. I just want help!!! I had surgery in July 2012 to remove part of the mesh that had perforated into my vaginal wall. Before this procedure, the pain was unbearable for myself (and my husband). And now the pain is back. I cannot stand up straight due to abdominal pain. Constant low back pain. Pain shooting down my right leg. Intercourse? HAH! Not a chance! At this stage, exhaustion has set in...it really gets tiring being in this much pain. I don't want to sound like a whiner....but this is making me NUTS!!! I am waiting to hear back from my urologist, (the same Dr. who did the initial surgery and the partial removal surgery) who thinks that this pain is being caused by a "bladder infection". Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you!!

Posted by

on
I do not know if my symtoms are caused from my mesh tvt sling. but the more I read the more I think it is the same thing. That my body is being infected by this implant.I have pelvic & abdominal pain,leg &back pain and have been getting bladder infections frequent discharge. also the Bladder Incontinence has come back and I notice that on my surgery anniversary date I had my surgery on April13 2010 and the incontinence was back the next April 2011 or thats when noticed. Bad part here for me is it is so hard to see a Doctor. I could end dieing with this in before they even found out that it was causing me serious health problems .

Posted by

on
Instead of these women's medical history put on trial it should be these companies who have destroyed our lives. I am four years into having this device implanted in me. Two surgeries, constant pain, damaged bladder under pressure and other problems. They can't remove the three centimeters that is still in me. Surgeon couldn't even find it. I kept having pain and didn't relate it to the Mini Arc Sling. The manufactures came out with a warning so they know.

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