In 2007, Suzanne Emmet underwent surgery to receive a transvaginal mesh implant to help treat pelvic organ prolapse. This is a painful condition that occurs when pelvic support muscles put pressure on the vagina due to one’s muscles losing strength.
Suzanne has now sued the manufacturer, claiming that the Prolift pelvic mesh implant has caused painful and permanent injuries to her genitalia. According to the lawsuit, Emmett required nine different surgeries to treat the damage done by the implant. Her injuries occurred as the mesh implant cut into her vagina and resurfaced more than 12 times. This resulted in multiple broken pieces of the device to be scattered throughout her body. Suzanne claims that her pain started after her surgery to receive the device. Due to the defective medical device, her sex life has been negatively affected and she has been suffering from incontinence and bladder contractions.
Suzanne’s husband, Michael Emmett, has also been affected by the mesh implant. During sexual intercourse with his wife, Michael has experienced injuries to his penis because of a “barbed wire” like effect caused by the implant. Michael is a co-plaintiff with his wife.
Who is Being Sued?
The Prolift pelvic mesh implant was manufactured by a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson called Ethicon, Inc. This device was on the market for seven years from 2005 to 2012 and was removed in June 2012 after the FDA demanded that the device undergo more safety tests.
The transvaginal mesh lawsuit claims that Ethicon’s mesh implant was defective and that the manufacturer of the defective medical device is guilty of committing negligence by selling this product and not properly warning patients of the potential risks.
Ethicon To Appeal Verdict
A Philadelphia jury came to the verdict awarding the Emmetts a total of $41 million in compensation for their pain and suffering. $25 million for punitive damages, $15 million for compensatory damages, and $1 million for a loss of consortium to Michael Emmett.
Ethicon denies the claims of the plaintiffs and will appeal the jury’s verdict. The manufacturer claims that the pelvic mesh implant was not made with a defective design and that all potential risks were properly warned.
“Ethicon intends to appeal this verdict as we believe it contradicts the evidence that the products were properly designed and that the company appropriately informed surgeons of known risks,” said Ethicon spokesperson, Mindy Tinsely. She went on to say that the company empathizes with women who have experienced issues but that many women have benefited from the mesh implants and are living much better lives.
Despite Ethicon’s statements and denial of the lawsuit’s claims, more news of transvaginal mesh injuries has surfaced. The FDA has found that the use of transvaginal mesh has decreased over the years. There are over ten thousand reports of transvaginal mesh complications and over eight hundred reports of malfunctioning mesh implants. There are even reports of these defective transvaginal mesh implants being partly responsible for the death of some women.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of injury through the use of transvaginal mesh, contact KBA Attorneys to help with developing your case. Our legal team has years of understanding of medical device lawsuits. We offer confidential free case evaluations for victims of defective medical devices.