CTV – Canadian Transvaginal Mesh Class Action Lawsuit

//CTV – Canadian Transvaginal Mesh Class Action Lawsuit

CTV – Canadian Transvaginal Mesh Class Action Lawsuit

CTV story on mesh lawsuits

April 17, 2012 ~ CTV National News on Tuesday, April 17, ran a taped story of two women who are involved in a multimillion dollar class action lawsuit in Canada over vaginal mesh. The women are now disabled and unable to work as a result of being implanted with synthetic surgical mesh as a treatment for incontinence.

Carol Kouyoumjian had the Johnson & Johnson mesh made by Ethicon inserted around her bladder to treat incontinence six years ago. Since then she’s developed chronic leg pain she says is a “12” on a ten scale.  She can no longer work as a nurse because she can’t stand for any period of time.

Diane McLaughlin says the mesh, inserted in 2006, solved her bladder problem but it left her with severe leg pain. Both women say they were never warned about the long-term and debilitating problems either by their doctor or in the product literature.

There has been one warning about transvaginal mesh complications issued by Health Canada, however many doctors remain unaware of the warning. Synthetic meshes to treat pelvic organ prolapse, (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI) are still on the market.

In July 2011, the FDA issued its second, stronger warning about complications.

“The FDA is issuing this update to inform you that serious complications associated with surgical mesh for transvaginal repair of POP are not rare,” the agency wrote to health care providers.

“Furthermore, it is not clear that transvaginal POP repair with mesh is more effective than traditional non-mesh repair in all patients with POP and it may expose patients to greater risk.”

CTV reports the meshcomplication rate may be 15 percent, however the actual number of complications is unknown because patients are not tracked after surgery. In the states, the FDA database of  ‘adverse events’ is thought to represent about ten percent of actual injuries. Mesh is still in wide use with thousands of implants put into unsuspecting women every year.

Ethicon, the mesh manufacturer and a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, told the network:

“We are convinced the evidence will show we acted appropriately and responsibly in the research, development and marketing of these products.”

Both women in the CTV story have been told they will have to live with the mesh and the pain because it has now become part of their body.

The Canadian law firm, Siskinds LLP says they want better warnings for women considering mesh.

The Statement of Claim alleges that Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn patients and physicians of the magnitude of the risk of serious side effects when using one of their transvaginal mesh products compared to alternative treatments.  Possible side effects include mesh erosion through the vaginal wall, infection, pain, bladder perforation, vaginal scarring, pain during sexual intercourse, and other problems which may lead to a significant decrease in quality of life due to discomfort and pain.

Matthew Baer, a lawyer with Siskinds LLP, describes the purpose of the proceeding as:

 “We believe that through this lawsuit Johnson & Johnson will be required to explain to Canadians what it knew about the risks associated with using their transvaginal mesh products and when they first became aware of those risks.  In this case, as with all of these types of cases, we are concerned about whether Canadians were adequately warned of the risks associated with using the products in question. These products are alleged to have high failure, injury and complication rates which could result in frequent and often debilitating re-operations and potentially cause severe and irreversible injuries, conditions and damage.”

Learn More:

CTV- Top Story


Health Canada warning, February 4, 2010


“Health Canada is concerned about Canadian and international reports of various intraoperative and postoperative complications associated with the use of these medical devices.”

Canadian News Wire on Transvaginal Mesh Class Action, April 17, 2012




By | 2012-04-18T18:47:54+00:00 April 18th, 2012|Legal News|29 Comments

About the Author:

I’m National News Editor, Jane Akre and I began Mesh Medical Device News Desk aka Mesh News Desk (MND) in the summer of 2011 just after the Food and Drug Administration issued an explicit warning to the public that complications associated with surgical mesh used for prolapse repair (POP) and incontinence (SUI) are NOT rare! That was the starting point for the litigation you see today and thousands of lawsuits have been filed by women whose lives have been altered, some permanently, by the use of this petroleum-based product.


  1. beverley April 22, 2012 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    Hi, I am interested to learn more about this tvt repair. I had this done about 4-6 years ago. In January/12, I started to have pain to the (L) inguinal area, to the point of it being debilitating. I also have bleeding coming from the vaginal area. I have seen the doctor that has done the procedure, and he states everything looks good. My doctor is perplexed as what to do. I have been to the emergency department x2, with o results. All I know is that this really hurts, and no one knows why.

  2. Tara July 19, 2012 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    how can i find a lawyer that is dealing with these kind of lawsuits?

    • Jane Akre July 20, 2012 at 1:09 am - Reply

      Tara- the Siskinds law firm is mentioned in the above story (class action) and we’ve reported on Paul Miller also in Toronto ( individual lawsuits). If you put Canada in the search bar you should be able to find all we’ve done on Canadian patients and lawyers.

    • Wanda August 9, 2012 at 2:45 am - Reply

      I too am experiencing problems, such as pulsating in my rectal/vaginal area as well as spotting from my rectal area. Following the procedure I had to stand up and bend over to urinate. Went to a second doctor for an opinion and realized that the tape was tilting my urethra as well as other things. Let me know if you have some information on a class action suit.

      Thanks Wanda

    • Connie Bron September 28, 2012 at 9:41 pm - Reply

      I had a bladder sling put in a few years ago. I am 63 alsmost 64 and I find I cannot void like I normally do. It takes forever and seem so urgent but then there is nothing but a few drops. I am worried about my age and trying to get it fixed. I havent told my doctor , I have just been dealing with it myself and worrying.

      What is there I can do about it?



  3. Shavon Cleverley August 9, 2012 at 5:42 am - Reply

    Leg pain refers to any kind of pain that occurs between the heels and the pelvis. There are many reasons for leg pain,,,”

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  4. Angela August 15, 2012 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    I had my surgery in Feb 2009. Within a week I was in the ER, they gave me meds stating it was infection. Off an on I would experience pain especially in the morning when I awoke to severn pain due to full bladder, even if I had already gone once or twice in the night. The pain was in my righn lower back, side and down my legs, it was crippling sometimes. I would need assistance from my family and would miss a lot of work. I visited my surgeon a few months later and complained.. She said all was fine and every time (6-7) I went to see her over the next two years she would send me for an ultrasound, state that I was fine and repeat her perfect record and success with this procedure. I am still in a lot of pain and I’m tired of this, also I’m leaking again so it didn’t work as well as expected, sorry to mar her record, but I need to get on board with this class action law suit in hopes to stop this product and warn other women not to have this procedure. Yes I have regrets, I was hoping for a better quality of life, and I didn’t get that…totally the opposite. I am amazed that I’m not alone..so sorry if by keeping quite this long that anyone has suffered. I WANT TO SPEAK OUT!!! How do I start this process to join this class action. Angela

    • rose September 4, 2012 at 11:05 pm - Reply

      Hi Angela,

      I am about to have surgery for a prolapsed bladder and uterus – did you have your surgery in Toronto, Mississauga or Brampton? if so could you tell me the name o f your doctor? thnaks

  5. Maryanne August 29, 2012 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    I had a surgery done for incontinence back in 2007. I am worried now. How do I find out if I fall under this action that is taking place?

  6. Cheryl September 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    I has the suburethral sling procedure done. Is this the same as the mesh sling that there is a class action suit on going. I have some of the symptons ? I am concerned.

  7. Beverley October 6, 2012 at 12:35 am - Reply

    I had t.v.t surgery in 2003. Right from the first day I had problems. After 6 hours of going home I went back to emergency and I had to have catheter inserted and I had 3000 ml of urine go into bag. I had to have the catheter in for 2 weeks after that . Even after all that things didn’t seem right. The stream was slow and I never felt empty. The kidney and bladder was always aching . I had many bladder infections and complained to Dr. that things were worse than before. I would urinate 15-20 times a day and 3-4 times a night, still I never felt empty. The Surgeon didn’t listen, he thought it was in my head. So one day I had a woman Dr. doing a physical while my family Dr. was away. She listened to me and sent me to another surgeon. This surgeon sent me for many test and found out there was a bulge in my bladder that fell through the mesh.That meant I was only emptying 30 percent each time. She operated and fixed the bulge. Things were better but I still had pain just not as bad, so she sent me for treatments on bladder.They were to insert catheter and flush bladder every week for 4 weeks but, the nurse couldn’t get catheter in. So back to surgeon to find out that the mesh had embedded itself into bladder floor and across the urethra . It was also breaking into pieces and it was poisoning me. Then last month I went for major surgery to cut out mesh, rebuild bladder and urethra. I need to have a catheter in for 6-8 weeks until everything heals and I can urinate normally without it. We will see what happens. Its been 3 weeks and I feel better now than I have in 9 years since this all started . So ladies don’t take one Dr.s word. If you don’t feel right go somewhere else, until you feel someone is listening.

    • Rose Mary Landry March 1, 2013 at 7:41 pm - Reply

      I had this surgery (TVT) done in 2003 by a surgeon in Hamilton whom I am unable to contact anymore.

      What you are going through seems what I went through from 2003 to 2009. Lots of pain, continually going to the washroom many times during the day and night. I saw another doctor who suggested I use a catheter all the time and that is what I have been doing since 2009. I have become an expert at using the catheter, it has solved the problem with going to the washroom all the time and no more pain. I am getting older, going on 73 in June and wonder how I will do as I get older. I would never advise any woman to have this TVT done as it has ruined my freedom. I do not know if doctors are still perfoming this precedure. How does one join a Mess Class Action Lawsuit.

    • darlene June 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm - Reply

      I to have had a horrible situation with this mesh… I too was having difficulty with ’emptying’ my bladder.. was told

      to reposition myself… standing or leaning back .. peeing like a man.. discovered laying in bathwater is a huge

      relief.. course it is not pleasant to do.. but neither is standing or leaning.. hope this gives you some relief.. still

      battling many many side effects from this device… You are not alone.. hope many get support..

  8. Donna D November 30, 2012 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    I had TOT surgery in June , 2012. From the moment I got out of the OR,, I had pain in my legs. It has not gone away since. I cannot walk for very long without having pressure in my hips. I also have lots of pain under my knees. I discussed this with my surgeon at my six week checkup. She checked the sites of the insertion of the anchors and said everything seemed fine. She referred me to a physiotherapist who specialized in pelvic floor muscles. She said that my pelvic floor muscles were very tight which in turn was causing my hip muscles to be very tight which was affecting my legs all the way down to the knees. I have been doing the excercises but it has not seemed to give any lasting results. There are times when I can hardly walk up stairs due to the pain. Getting off a chair or out of a vehicle also presents with lots of pain. Walking is much slower than it was before and I cannot walk for long – even then, there is pain. Reading the information on this site and listening to other women’s stories is making me wonder if my leg pain is associated with the surgery. I would love to know what I should/could do about it! Can anyone offer any advice?

  9. miranda December 1, 2012 at 12:04 am - Reply

    My mother in law is havin problems complain to your MP also ministy of health. My mother in law is going to UCLA to see Dr Raz who had performed hundreds of sucessfull mesh removal. He uses translabial ultrasound to hilite the mesh to see it for full removal. In canada no one is trained to perform a full mesh removal or be specially trained in the trans labial ultrasound so when you get operated on you are a test subject basically because they cannot see the mesh its a blind guessing game hoping they do not turn you septic.

  10. Katie Fisher January 16, 2013 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    How do i find a lawyer im haveing major complications,help!!!!!

  11. precella February 22, 2013 at 4:54 am - Reply

    I have my POP done last November,2010 and since then I have this severe pain on my right leg that prevent me from sleeping. I complained to my doctor about it and sent me for x-rays,ct scan, therapies with no results or any findings. I ended up asking her to give me some pain killers with drugs that will help me to sleep. She is waiting for an appointment date for me to see a neurologist because my problem is getting worse. I now even limping when I walk and it is hard for me to climb up stairs. Please if any of you knows of what to do let me know.

  12. Kathy March 5, 2013 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    Finding out that everything and anything involved with mesh is a nightmare. Had it implanted in 2007, read the FDA warning in 2008, was already worried as I was having leg pain, strange pain down my right leg. Started feeling a sharp wire mesh in my vagina. I find a lawyer that tells me he will not take the case. He said ” try and get medical help”….. I try talking to my Family doc and OBGYN…. I get nothing from them. So, I suck up my pain, blame myself, quit having sex with my loving husband and suffer alone.

    After menopause it all is worse. Groin pain, leg pain, times when I can’t walk, missing sex, and, so, so afraid. stress alone is worth millions as once you understand what is going on in your fragile body, you start to fall apart.

    Finally, I find mesh sites on like this one, I decide to ” get help”, hence…. My new nightmare.

    Between my insurance, understanding the out of network policy, being more confused as to how to get to UCLA, being told I have Fibromyalgia, my family doc wanting me to see a local Urology group ( that still do mesh) and …. The law firm I called six months ago and signed papers to get my medical record have not called me to even tell me I have a case……. Oh and the latest is….. The Urology group will not see me until I have my old records and the old group said ” It could be awhile, they are in a storage locker and it is cold in there” , and “, we do not have to give them to you if it has been awhile, oh, it was 2007 ?, I will have to give them to you.” Really, seriously ? Are you joking ??

    I need a lawyer, doctor, health advocate, therapist, priest ….. It is just too much to understand when you are suffering already.We need a medical board to stand up, do the right thing, line us up with Dr, Raz and HELP us.

    Please, enough is enough.

  13. Philip Benn March 21, 2013 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    Leg pain refers to any kind of pain that occurs between the heels and the pelvis. There are many reasons for leg pain, and not all of them are caused by a problem that originates in the leg; some injuries or spinal problems can cause aches and pains in the leg(s).^

    Check out the most interesting blog post at our personal web site


  14. Brenda Lorenz April 10, 2013 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    I had a transvaginal hysterectomy & a bladder sling for a prolapsed uterus & bladder in 2008. Also had a pelvic floor resection done at the same time. Six months later I could feel the bladder coming down again. My surgeon said I was told it works in about 90% of women & I was in the 10% that it didn’t work. Since then I have had constant UTI’s & bladder infections at least every 3-4 months. Prior to the surgery I had never had a UTI, didn’t even know what it felt like. The leaking has been back for a few years & I cannot hold my urine like I used to years ago. I am now starting to have leg-hip pain to a point where I have trouble bending over or down. It may not be related but then agian it might.

  15. Louise Groulx September 9, 2013 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    My name is Louise.I’m from Alfred Ontario Canada.I had a surgery done for a prolapse but it was years ago.Soon after the surgery I began having incontinence again & I started having Stool Incontinence too.The Dr.told me that it’s not in his domain.He said stool incontinence has nothing to do with this. Is it true? It started soon after.Now, I had a UTI and took antibiotic and it’s been only 2 weeks and I still have a urinary tract infection.Two in a row is not normal.Now, I have 2 big problems UTI and Stool incontinence and I have to live with this for the rest of my life.Do I have a chance for this lawsuit hoping that they will pay for this, for ruining my life.

    • Jane Akre September 9, 2013 at 4:53 pm - Reply

      Louise, I’d think about my health first. Many in Canada will read this and likely offer you some guidance for your health. Lawyer Paul Miller in Toronto is taking cases as is Suskinds also in Toronto. Just put either name in the search bar of this site and you will find some stories mentioning them. Please do not assume this is a life-long condition, but you will have to advocate for yourself big time! Please stay in touch. ja

  16. Louise October 16, 2013 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    Hello. Jane.This is Louise.I wrote to you , before.I have’nt told you about other problems that I have regarding my surgery.You know about my urinary incontinence & stool incontinence, and lately, I had 3 bladder infections.August 13/ Sept.9/ Sept.30…Also I heard that people suffered from groin, leg, hip pain.Idid’nt know that it is related to the sling.I do have this, also , and in fact my family DR.told me that I might have a hip replacement surgery, later on.The list for this surgery is very long, so I have to wait.As for intercourse, I’m a widow and don’t have anyone, now, but I’m pretty sure that intercourse is out of the question, because when I have pap tests, it hurts a lot.My life is forever ruined .I’m depressed all the time.If I go out, I make sure that bathrooms are close or else I stay home.What a life! I taught, when I had uterus Cancer that I was done with pads, but as you can see, because of my urinary incontinence surgery that never worked and I was left with the most embarassing problem, Stool incontinence.I wear pads all the time now.For all the tests I had for intestines, colon, rectum, they were all fine,So, the problem of my stool incontinence came right after this horrible surgery.I’m now face with this nightmare, forever.And also, I had to pay taxis, because I don’t drive, the parkings, the meds, go and have tests for nothing…And have a hip surgery, because of their incompetence.I don’t know what I should do.Have this crap removed from my body, before more damages are done.or leave it alone because they say they can’t remove all of it and I will have many more surgeries to have it all out…Please help me and all the women out there.They did the Crime so they should pay all of us…Thank you so much and I’ll be waiting for a phone call from you because my email does’nt work.This is my number: 1-613-679-2800…Again, I really appreciate people like you that are fighting for our rights.

  17. Louise October 18, 2013 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    Hi! I’t’s Louise, again.I just heard that Canadian women who will win their cases, that they will receive less compensation than American women? I find this absolutely absurd.Why? If it’s their products and if it was made in the U.S we should get more,Who do they think they are? God? They also say that, the lawyers take a big part of the money.I know that they should get paid for working to fight our rights, but they should’nt assume that they will rob us,of our money , more than they should.We, Canadians, should get the same compensations as them .It’s not our fault if they made the CRIME.Thank you.

  18. carol August 13, 2014 at 8:55 pm - Reply

    How do I find out information on Canada cases inregaurds to MESH used in hernia repair surgery I would really like to have this information as I have Mesh in my adamon due to a prior surgery wich left me with a hernia I have been suffering ever since I am dealing with servear pain and being sick and landing at the er quite often I do not know where to turn .

    • Jane Akre August 13, 2014 at 10:47 pm - Reply

      I usually give the name of Bruce Rosenberg, hernia mesh injured and very knowledgeable through his nonprofit organization. 954-701-5094. He knows docs in Canada too.

  19. Jules Cassandro September 30, 2014 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    To whom it may concern

    My wife had the TVT inserted a year ago last June approximate she was a breast cancer survivor for nine years in good health her health started to decline it around September , October to the point that she died the following June of cancer it was fueled my belief by the nonlyphenol toxin given off by the mash as a deteriorated. Stage four breast cancer in her ovaries which was next to the TVT and stage two in her body elsewhere, I had biopsies taken and I am currently looking for the lab to test the biopsies for the toxin. If the toxin level is present the corner will deem the TVT a public health threat!

    Any help in regards to finding a lab in Canada that will test for this toxin level would be greatly appreciated!

    Jules Cassandro

    705-835-0091. Hilllsdale, Ont.

  20. Joyce Ferrish May 1, 2015 at 8:29 am - Reply

    2011 bladder mesh sling done in Summerside PEI.. since then I have a ovarian cyst benign , that I have checked by ultrasound, and notice a strong vaginal odour , …. I have pap smears done yearly , and they are ok… but I have had upper bowel cancer in 2011 and am doing very well since then.. just concerned about the bladder mesh sling…? I see my gynecologist regularly, and all seems ok… do not want to use the vaginal cream with estrogen… that the doctor has prescribed…any advice on this matter.?

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