*Latest News* AG Lawsuits says J&J Deceptively Marketed Pelvic Mesh in Washington, California!

//*Latest News* AG Lawsuits says J&J Deceptively Marketed Pelvic Mesh in Washington, California!

*Latest News* AG Lawsuits says J&J Deceptively Marketed Pelvic Mesh in Washington, California!

Washington State AG Bob Ferguson

Washington State AG Bob Ferguson

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, May 24, 2016 ~ She was
just one person who was mesh-injured.

“Susan” cannot be named because she is involved in litigation, but in 2012 she filed a complaint with her
home state of  Washington, specifically the State Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.

Susan told the office about her mesh injuries, about how there was no warning about the dangers of mesh, no informed consent and  about how thousands of women were also duped into believing a  “minimally invasive” procedure could cause a  lifetime of pain.

After years of investigation, today Washington State AG Bob Ferguson announced his office is filing a  lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson for deceiving the public and the state about the safety of its pelvic mesh implants, a violation of the state’s Consumer Protection Act (CPA).

The suit asks the court to prohibit Johnson & Johnson’s misleading marketing, find the company  violated the CPA, and impose the maximum $2,000 civil penalty per violation, in addition to costs,  fees and restitution.  See the press conference here.

The fines alone could reach tens of millions of dollars, and for the company, the revelations are something J&J tried to keep from the public.

Kamala Harris AG California

Kamala Harris AG California

The Washington State AG announced the action today as did the Attorney General for California Kamala Harris, also alleging deceptive trade practices and violations of consumer protections.

The allegations are New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson and its Ethicon division failed to tell patients and doctors about the risks of pelvic mesh implants, made of polypropylene and used to shore up sagging organs or to treat incontinence. As a result, thousands of women were implanted who today suffer in some cases, irreversible complications including pain, repeated infections, nerve damage and an end to their sex lives.


“It’s difficult to put into words the horrific injuries and paibob ferguson ag washington staten many women are still suffering as a result of Johnson & Johnson’s deception,” Ferguson said. “They believed they were making informed medical decisions, but that was impossible when Johnson & Johnson was spreading inaccurate information about its products’ risks, essentially duping doctors into using their own patients as clinical trials. This is an unacceptable way of doing business, and I will hold the company accountable.”

Washington State estimates 12,000 women there were implanted with J&J pelvic mesh. California believes there are 42,000 Ethicon mesh-implanted women there while J&J sold nearly 790,000 of its mesh implants from 2008 to 2014.

California and Washington led a group of 46 states and the District of Columbia in investigating the company’s practices. There is no word tonight whether other states also plan to file consumer protection violation lawsuits against J&J.

In a statement to Associated Press, J&J denies it did anything wrong and calls the lawsuits unjustified.

ethicon two“The evidence will show that Ethicon acted appropriately and responsibly in the marketing of our pelvic mesh products,” the company said. “The use of implantable mesh is often the preferred option to treat certain female pelvic conditions, including pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, and is backed by years of clinical research.

“Ethicon is concerned that the Attorneys General’s decision to file its lawsuit will keep women from obtaining treatment for the often-debilitating symptoms of stress urinary incontinence.”


However, the mesh to treat stress urinary incontinence has already been found to be defective in several jury trials around the country and is falling out of favor with some doctors.

There are in excess of 120,000 defective product lawsuits naming pelvic mesh made by seven manufacturers, filed by injured women in courts around the U.S.prolift box

Johnson & Johnson is facing about 45,000 lawsuits, more than another other defendant. Additionally, the company is facing similar defective product actions filed overseas including Scotland, Canada, Israel, Australia, among other countries.

Mesh used to treat pelvic organ prolapse or POP, has been quietly removed from the market by J&J. The FDA announced this year it will require testing for safety and efficacy before POP mesh can be marketed. Mesh for SUI remains on the market and is still referred to as “The Gold Standard” by medical societies, many of which are led by doctors who have financial arrangements with mesh manufacturers.

J&J introduced the TVT (transvaginal tape) in the U.S. in 1998, followed by the TVT-O (obturator), TVT-Secur, TVT Exact, TVT Abbrevo, Prolift, Prolift M+, Prisima and Artisyn. None of the mesh underwent clinical trials but that did not stop the company from proclaiming it was safe and effective.

Susan tells MND, “Maybe it will inspire others to file complaints with their Attorney General’s Offices.  It took courage to make the call.  I did not want to discuss my vagina or my leaky bladder with anyone, let alone a strange man.   I was so angry when I discovered that the mesh could not be seen with MRI, x-ray or any other technology that my rage overtook my shame.  My rage gave me the courage to make the call to a Senior Assistant Attorney General.  He had not heard of mesh and he didn’t watch TV so was unaware of the mesh adds.   I gave him the lowdown.   He was about to retire so he did nothing with the information.  Lisa Erwin, Assistant Attorney General, replaced him.   Lisa Erwin and her Investigator, Mary Beth Haggerty-Shaw took the ball and ran with it. Now, once again, we have a courageous man of integrity (AG Robert Ferguson) who is stepping out to fight Goliath in the pharmaceutical industry.   I am crying tears of joy today. “   



The complaint can be found here.  Violations include:

  • The Washington AG complaint states several violations of the Consumer Protection Act including assurances of safety and effectiveness of defendants mesh products even though that had not been validated in clinical trials.
  • Compensating sales reps and doctors to contact hospitals and conduct presentations as well as direct to consumer marketing based on false assurances.
  • Mesh was misrepresented to consumers as “soft and pliable and “a new and revolutionary surgical procedure,” while the company failed to disclose that it could incite foreign body reactions, shrink, fold, create bacterial colonies resistant to antibiotics, degrade, erode and oxidize.
  • The company misrepresented the pelvic mesh for SUI and POP had been “FDA approved” which indicates some oversight. In reality, the FDA does not regulate most medical devices other than to require a predicate device been named that is the “substantial equivalent.”
  • The Defendant did not include the dangers of mesh in its instructions for use (IFU). The risk of dyspareunia (painful sex) was not included until 2015; the risk of infection was included in 2012.

Women who have Johnson & Johnson mesh devices and are experiencing symptoms can contact investigator MaryBeth Haggerty Shaw at MarybethH@atg.wa.gov or contact our Consumer Resource Center at 1-800-551-4636. Complaints can be filed at atg.wa.gov/file-complaint.

This case is being handled by Senior Counsel Lisa Erwin, Assistant Attorneys General Andrea Alegrett and Leilani Fisher. The case has been filed in King County Superior Court.



By | 2016-06-09T08:37:49+00:00 May 24th, 2016|News|53 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. Billie May 24, 2016 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    You go Susan!!! Praise God! What is done in the dark shall always come to the light. Many many thanks to these Attorney Generals! Thank you for HEARING us!!! Rejoicing over your courage!

  2. tee May 24, 2016 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    Dear G-d & Dear Those who fought for the truth and rightness to be told and brought to the forefront:

    Dear “Susan”:

    Bless you all.

    Susan is telling the truth. Every word of it is true.

    From the moment I had the mesh implanted into my body, I started having problems. I will never forget calling the doctor three days after he sent me home with .5 Lortab, 15 quantity, and telling his guy assistant (who was not even a medical professional, as he was some guy who helped the dr out, as lord knows this doctor did NOT have his act together. He didn’t. I am guessing a good friend or family member was the guy who was protecting the doctor. ) how much pain I was in and to please call in more pain medicine. I explained that I had never not bounced back from any surgery or procedure before. I could not drive and I could not ride the hour and 1.2 to his office in that much pain. He told his assistant to tell me to basically F myself, and that is true, and said I was a pain meds seeker.

    I had never had pain meds before except for one other surgery 20 years before. And for minor dental procedures.

    Had he given the right dose and number of pain meds to begin with, it would not have been so bad. I guess doctors like to see women suffer. I don’t know.

    I do know I laid in the bed begging to die. Going from side to side screaming out in pain.

    This was major surgery people. This doctor was referred to me by the PC and he was a mean bully, and he did not have once ounce of care in his body. I should have backed out the morning of…Why didn’t I…I did not have a good feeling.

    What a fool and bad man this dr was. He knew better. He knew then, almost ten years ago, the mesh was killing and hurting women. He never told me anything about the mesh.

    Hell, I did not even know I had mesh until after I was home and in pain and my records were pulled.

    He said he was “tacking” me up and it was a painless procedure.

    My insurance company called and could not get past this female office worker, (by the way lady, I know you read here, I know you do, and I know your doctors read here, and when this is over, I will name you, and how you mistreated women so bad, and were such a smart ass protecting the doctors before the hell of what mesh is and does broke loose.)

    I spoke to this woman so many times begging for help. OMG she was a smart pants and made me feel like I had done something wrong.

    How can she work for doctors who she has to protect and lie for and who hurt women? Ugh she was so mean to me. To my insurance company and family.

    Then the insurance nurse line called and this same hateful woman told them to basically F off, and then when I asked if I needed legal counsel to get help, I was dismissed. Yup, on the phone, right there. No follow up care, no help, dismissed. This was the FIRST week of the surgery.

    The head nurse with the insurance company instructed me to go to the ER where the procedure had taken place, and to contact legal counsel immediately.

    And to the practice; When this is over, I will name this practice too. Women are going to know who butchered me. Who allowed me to suffer. Who dismissed me to avoid being sued. Who cost me everything. EVERYTHING over $$$$. These
    Doctors who kept using mesh even though women were suffering.

    And if I die, my family will release the journals.

    It is not illegal if it is true. It is not slander or otherwise if the same doctors are named in other lawsuits which is public record.

    I ended up in the ER and Dr Bad man told the ER doctor I was a drug seeker. Still covering himself.

    I bet that big hospital knows better today, eh?

    After that, it was so many doctors I lost count. So many surgeries. I am a shell now.

    To the new mesh victims:
    Those of us who went before you ladies, who are new to all of this, we tried to warn the doctors and medical community and the FDA that the mesh was hurting us and killing us.

    The hell we went through only to be told it was in our head, and it was not the mesh doing the damage when we all knew it was is heartbreaking. We did not want any of you to suffer or go through what we had experienced.

    But, no one would listen.

    To all of you I say, I am sorry. I tried. I tried for 10 years now. I am so sorry.

    Doctor after doctor after doctor refused to acknowledge the mesh was causing any problems at all.

    I am so sorry………………………….

    Please continue to pray for Jane, all of the attorneys who are helping mesh injured women, and all who care about us who are in a position to be heard or make a difference.

    And pray for the doctors trying to remove the mesh and those who speak out against it.

    Ladies, (mesh victims) there are only a few speaking up and we know it is because of the gag order. But many of us are becoming to sick now to speak up as much, and you are going to have to get a friend or family member to speak up for you and others.

    • Jane Akre May 25, 2016 at 6:50 am - Reply

      You are awesome, I’m so sorry…..yes naming names might help others.

    • Bejah May 25, 2016 at 7:39 pm - Reply

      Tee, They try to accuse most of us I think of being “drug seekers”. Do not take this personally. It is meant to throw you off balance, to weaken you. Just because someone says something does not make it true. But they may try to make it someone else’s truth until it becomes accepted.

      Also, did ya’ll know that those pain pumps we can use if we need more pain medicine are programmed and will only dispense the max amount the physician in charge orders? Now I know why I never had enough much of the time. Did they tell you that when they wheeled it in? Don’t you wonder what else they withhold. I think that should be illegal.


      • Still Standing May 29, 2016 at 10:24 pm - Reply

        Bejah… All pain pumps are programmed to not give more than the physician orders. If not, people would be pushing the button all the time and would be dropping dead from respiratory distress. So, it is entirely up to the physician and thepain source of the patient. Pain pumps became popular because giving patients a perception of control over pain medications actually provides better pain relief and patients use less narcotics. I dont think there was anything sinister about it.

        • Bejah Blue June 5, 2016 at 3:20 pm - Reply

          SS, IMHO and with all due respect, to not state what the parameters of the device being provided to patients, without giving patients full knowledge of the pain dispensing device patients are not fully informed and can not make informed decisions. Perhaps more importantly the relationship between the physician and the patient is damaged. The physician’s decision regarding the parameters is to some degree subjective. If the physician has a bias the patient may suffer for it. Where is the pain advocate and to whom to they report. If patient’s also suffer from some type of mental illness (In my case Depression, Anxiety, ADD….) their behavioral care physician should be called in to help determine the dose of pain medication.

    • Still Standing May 25, 2016 at 9:51 pm - Reply

      Tee, it sounds as if you, as many others, have been through hell with your physicians. I had a different experience ( more than 8’yearscago)and cant imagine how such poor support from the beginning impacted you emotionally. I am pasting a link below that addresses the legal and ethical issues of patient abandonment. There are pretty strong standards of behavior in relation to this issue. You certainly dont have to wait until after the lawsuit is resolved to file this type of complaint. If your physician dismissed you without fair notice , while you were still in need of medical care, and did not refer you to another physician, this was a breach of medical ethics. What was done to you was wrong on so many levels. He should be held accountable for this behavior. Even though it has been 10 years, it obviously continues to be a very hurtful experience for you. At the least, you can write a letter to the physicians licensing board in your state. You dont have anything to lose. He is obviously not going to provide a favorable deposition to your case if your case is worked up for trial. At the least, write him a letter and put it aside. Sometimes writing it down allows you to emotionally let go of the hurt and anger. And, most important, Tee, do not apologize for your effort. You have done all you can, all that any of us can do..you have born testimony to what was done to you..and that in itself may save one or one thousand women from this living hell. Your story is powerful. It is important to the history of this medical massacre. It takes a strong woman to tell it. Thank you.

  3. Tammy S Jackson May 25, 2016 at 5:48 am - Reply

    Best News This Year. Go Susan! Hallelujah!! My Lord, Ladies Call Write Email your Local States, Let’s have ALL states follow…..

    • Jane Akre May 25, 2016 at 6:46 am - Reply

      It started with one complaint by one woman to her AGs office.

  4. k May 25, 2016 at 6:58 am - Reply

    Thank you, Susan!!! The sad thing is we can’t safely tell our story because we are involved in lawsuits and our attorneys will not allow us to without fear of them dropping us. I have forced myself to work through all of this so I would have health insurance to pay for the treatments and therapies needed but so many of the treatments are not covered by insurance. The top priority in all this mess is to develop a standard of care for all of us who seems to have the same symptoms with mesh in and after removal surgery. I am slowly getting my life back but I will never be the same. It is so cruel how we have been left to figure out all of the steps we need to get better by trial and error and a lot of money. I can no longer wear normal fitting clothes I look 7-8 months pregnant with all the swelling. I am in my 50’s and been asked when my baby is due more than once. I hate you J&J!!! I have no forgiveness for you and you wouldn’t ask for forgiveness anyway because your greedy assholes out on your big yachts drinking fine wine. I can’t even go on a vacation because my health wouldn’t allow it and I am spending $700-800 a month on treatments therapy and supplements and meds. Thank God we have had each other to share our stories with in our support groups so we can gather information what others have done as far as treatments. Our court system has failed us all.

    • j williams May 26, 2016 at 5:57 am - Reply

      I too have a stomach that has grown 10 inches since having the mesh removed. Does anyone know why our stomachs are growing so big?

      • Still Standing May 26, 2016 at 2:41 pm - Reply

        I dont know that there is one clear answer. However,I will tell you what helped me within a week. My abdomen had felt like it had concrete under my skin since the mesh. Underwear actually hurt me, it was just miserable. Last year, I had some food sensitivities checked. Had absolutely no food allergies before the mesh. I tested high sensitivity to wheat, rice, oats ( most grains) also tested highly sensitive to dairy and many others. When I began an elimination diet, I started with dairy, then grains. Dairy reduced the joint swelling, but eliminating grains had an absolutely amazing effect. My stomach has remained flat now for 4months, unless I go off the grid and eat what Im not supposed to eat, which, of course, happens from time to time. My integrative health doctor says that it is entirely possible that due to my hyped up inflammatory response to the mesh, it has allowed these food sensitivities to emerge. I also read a book called Wheat Belly. You might like it. If you try the grain elimination, to it is important to not eat any wheat, rice or oats, ( i can eat quinoa, couscous doesnt bother me either, but it is s grain you should avoiding d at first. Try it for a while and see if you have any positive responses. I was quite surprised that I had such amazing results. Let me know if you need any other information and give an update if it helps you.

  5. k May 25, 2016 at 7:09 am - Reply

    And our Medical system has failed us horribly!!!! I never tell a doctor I am suing and I have refused to take pain meds because so many doctors think the women are drug seekers so i have suffered without pain meds.

    • Still Standing May 30, 2016 at 3:40 pm - Reply

      K, it isnt your doctor’s business about your lawsuit. They may find out anyway if he or she is asked to sit for deposition, but it isnt something you have to reveal. Here is the deal with pain medications….pain that is not managed has much higher risk of becoming chronic. Your doctor absolutely needs to know that you have pain and it is their professional resposibility to address it. That does not always mean narcotics, but a combination of therapies. You should not be suffering without medical management. Please tell your doctor and make sure you get a pain management plan in place now. Pain takes a tremendous physical,emotional, and social toll. Try to get some relief.

      • k June 1, 2016 at 10:34 am - Reply

        Thank you Still Standing. I am getting different therapies needed and within the last few weeks my pain has gotten better. I did call and get some tramidol for the really tough times but I do have much relief after Myofascial Release Therapy which is costing me $100 a visit because insurance want pay for it.

        • Still Standing June 2, 2016 at 10:18 pm - Reply

          File an appeal with your insurance company. Ask your doctor to intervene on your behalf. Be sure to tell them that you want to avoid narcotics, but you need their support for different therapies if that is going to happen. If they dont make an exception, send a cooy of your denial letter to your senate and house representatives and ask them how Congress can support the addiction and recovery bill but then insurance wont pay for other alternative therapies. They really cant have their cake and eat it, too. Send the information to your local and regional newspapers as well. It just has to be a methodical call for justice on this issue.

          • Jane Akre June 3, 2016 at 3:31 pm

            Sounds right. Insurance companies bank on the assumption many of you will NOT fight…. they picked the wrong group!

  6. Mary Pat May 25, 2016 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    I wanted to share this text with everyone. It is so true:
    You should see the mesh blogs! The mesh injured community is elated! Encouraged! Ecstatic ! It really does feel like our hero showed up at the torture prison and opened the door for all the world to see the suffering and torture that we have been enduring.

    Praise God for Attorney General Fergason! Everyone, please pray for him and his amazing team. God is on their side in this battle. Prayer does work wonders. Watch God work J&J

  7. Disgusted May 25, 2016 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    Yay! Yay! Yay! It is about time!!! Thank you all for fighting this horrible product.

  8. Bejah May 25, 2016 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    Oh, thank you GOD. When I draft my letter to the UCLA doctor who implanted me (Sounds like aliens are among us, implanting us, doesn’t it) I will attach a copy of this. If my letter is intercepted by some “F—–G” administrator I will call dear doctor at home. We got to be friends I thought…we both had baby bulldogs at the time. I will NEVER give in or give up but I must say the exhaustion is getting very bad and…I pray my pain medication is not cut, if they tell me to tap my index finger against the side of my thumb to combat pain I swear I will lose it.

    So happy to hear this news. Things are tightening around JnJ it seems and I wonder if they are working an exit strategy to put this behind them but there is no exit strategy for us…what is the value of a human life, an American citizen? Please tell me Judge Goodwin? And remind me how the value of a nation is measured? Is it still how the poor, the old, the children, the sick, the huddled masses are treated or has that changed? I am very disappointed in you. You represent an institution that is sacred to the people, you hold a sacred trust. Have you forgotten?

    Blessings to all,


  9. Rhonda May 26, 2016 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    Praise God! J & J and all the ones who lied will eventually have to tell the truth.

  10. Meshie May 27, 2016 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the AG’s fought for the mesh injured women in their state and make sure they are taken care of also? If it’s never been done that way maybe it should be….

  11. Karen May 27, 2016 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    I just finished emailing all the attorney Generals in every state with a copy of the articles asking them to join .
    Thank you God !!!!!!!!
    Thank you Jane !!!!!
    Thanks to everyone !!!!!!!

    • Bejah Blue June 5, 2016 at 1:12 pm - Reply

      Thank you Karen! There is great power in grass roots efforts. You took the initiative and in doing so inspired the rest of us. Bravo!


  12. Leigh May 28, 2016 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    In much pain HD mesh put in in 2008 and removed because it cut through both side of my vaginal wall within a year I’m allergic to pain meds.can’t barley work and can t yell a doctor I have a case or they treat .e like crap……9 years and can’t even take care of my self and no one wants me now I’ve been single since 2012… Not one penny have they paid all of us women or men.what a world when you can’t even get compensated when I got it to help me not ruin me for life.I’m 40 and can’t even afford a place to live because I can’t work all the to.e because of pain and sickness

  13. jan June 1, 2016 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    Scary if the AG office dies this. We will never see settlements on our cases… because the states will get there money first.. Sad part is they were nit the injured party .. so they will be receiving money from our pain and our injuries. .. plus stopping them from selling this stuff which should have been done many moons ago.. but know state should win a verdict on our physical pain and damage it’s not right..

    • K. Doro June 2, 2016 at 10:43 am - Reply

      Interesting Jan—why is everryone so happy about this? does California have a
      cap on punitive damage?

      • Jan June 2, 2016 at 6:51 pm - Reply

        I do not know if they gave a cap are not. .and I also do not understand why they are so excited about this.. AG office will not share there win with any injured party. They are in it for there State to collect monies for there State it’s the money sign they see.
        I have been injured to much to be out anything from the manufacturer. . I was injured by them.. why should they receive the money I was the injured. . We all deserve the money not the AG
        AND the ones that have no insurance will never be able to have there revision surgery… And do you believe the AG will give you that money to gave that surgery NO..
        I am very against it. They do need to make them stop using the Mesh. . But not take away our settlements for their State

        • Jane Akre June 3, 2016 at 3:33 pm - Reply

          I do hope you see that this puts pressures on all mesh manufacturers to stop harming women! That is very important. There is no indication it takes anything away from any individual woman’s settlement. When shareholders see all of these AG offices coming down on manufacturers, they will take notice. Unfortunately, they’ve not heard your cries, which reflects badly on their sense of humanity, in my opinion.

          • Still Standing June 3, 2016 at 9:58 pm

            Jane, dont you think that having AGs file complaints will also open up new discovery that could be useful in personal injury cases? The states will not get awarded money regarding pain and suffering of individuals, they will assess fines because the companies engaged in unfair consumer marketing. I agree that this puts additional pressure points on J&J and cant see how these fines would impact individual settlements. We do need to remember as well that the insurance companies are having a major role in dictating how much the companies will resist settling. They are the ones who hold a great deal of the financial liability at this point.

          • Jane Akre June 5, 2016 at 12:33 pm

            I’ve heard of at least one more state ready to filed their case against J&J and yes, I do believe they uncover more AND certainly they make this issue front page news. It might give another woman pause who is being told “You’ll love it.”

  14. Colleen June 3, 2016 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    Is there any record of women with the mesh implant having a good/positive outcome? Or is that sector just waiting for the other shoe to drop?

    Finally last month got the surgical report from the hospital. And yup, I too am part of the club, Ethicon proline soft, Dec 2009, in CA. Fortunately did not have the follow up bladder sling. I have NOT had any other surgeries, nor have I been examined by a urogynecologist, since 2009.
    BUT I am in no way at all saying I am issue free, so far though there is no comparison to the other women’s accounts.
    Hearing time limits on receiving settlements, if true, where does that leave those like me, that have the same time bomb just maybe a longer fuse.

    • Still Standing June 3, 2016 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      Colleen, yours is certainly a challenge as far as any legal settlement for several reasons. Each state has its own statute of limitations on how many years you have to file a product liability case on implantable medical devices. The time varies from a year to five years. It gets complicated at this point because some states view the start of this timeframe not when you were implanted, but when you became aware that it was the product that was causing your problems or when you should have been aware if you had gone to a physician. Some states additionally put a secondary time limit on a product that causes injury but many years later, usually ten years. This makes sense so that someone with an implant can’t come back 15 years later file a suit against a company. Since you have had no pelvic exam since 2009 or any other medically managed complication from the mesh, that would be tough to get past. You can’t file a lawsuit on future potential medical problems. Unfortunately, most of the settlements at this point have based their awards on the severity of the complications based on need for medical management and number of surgeries. The more surgeries, the higher the award. POP transvaginal mesh gets a little higher dollar amount than mesh for SUI. So, if you did not have the bladder sling, do you have incontinence problems now? If you dont, it is obvious that you didnt need that surgery anyway. If you do, the defendants could say that you are having problems because you did not follow through with the second surgery. Really, the only way you are going to know if you have a legal case is to contact an attorney who is representing mesh clients. They should be able to give you an idea pretty fast of how you would fare legally. However, an almost 8 yr. implant with no documented complications might be a hard one. It may not be financially feasible for the attorney to pursue a case for you. However, I would encourage you to call. Im sorry if you are having issues related to your implant.What kind of issues are you having …these are pretty direct questions, but ones that you would be asked 1. Have you been unable to have sex or do you have pain with sex ? 2. Have you been unable to work or engage in social activity post mesh? 3. Do you experience pain on a daily basis as a result of the surgery? 4. Have you had any erosion of the mesh? You have to have a verification of your injuries medically. Also, what kind of prolene mesh did you have? There were many different Ethicon products made from Prolene mesh so it might be helpful for you to have a more specific product code. An attorney will need that information to determine if you have a case.

      Now, for your question about women who have had no or few complications from mesh. I have many friends who are in the 65-70+ years of age who have had bladder slings of different sorts who have had no apparent problems. My best friend had a sling for SUI about 15 years ago, then had a redo about 5 years ago. She is 70 and hikes, plays golf, exercises daily, and has not one single problem. Picture of health. There must be more out there as well since there have been hundreds of thousands of these placed. However, i do know of two other women in my small town who have had serious injuries from transvaginal mesh for POP. As you stated, there may be a ticking time bomb there, but so far their quality of life has not been impacted. In fact, my friend said it was the best decision she ever made. I would guess that those with serious complications were acutely aware that something was seriously wrong pretty soon after the surgery. They may not have immediately associated it with the mesh because many physicians did not or would not recognize that these severe complications were caused by mesh.

      So, this is a long post and I apologize for the length, but I wanted to give you as complete an answer as possible. Bottom line, if you think you have been injured and should be compensated for injury, contact an attorney and ask. That is where we all started. They should be able to direct you from there.

      • Jane Akre June 5, 2016 at 12:37 pm - Reply

        Agreed Still, there is no way to know who will be affected and who will not…. and time will tell certainly. Just because its fine for a few years does not really mean anything. That is why it is so absurd to continue placing an implant when you have no idea if, for this person, it is contraindicated. Sort of like Russian Roulette. Personally, I do not fully buy into the argument that the best doctors who know how to use them, don’t have complications. Some doctors like to believe that about themselves, but really, they’ve had NO complications? The problem is women do not want to return to the doctor who hurt them. Dr Daniel Elliott makes a good point- make sure your implanting physician, no matter who he is, KNOWS you have had a complications and why you are not returning to him. A certified letter should do it. It is the only way he will really know if you choose not to return. If he continues to deny well, you know what we call that.

        • Still Standing June 5, 2016 at 7:41 pm - Reply

          Here is a study abstract compaing more experienced and less experienced surgeons in Canada. None of the doctors had NO complications, but certainly they had fewer. Take a look.

          • Jane Akre June 6, 2016 at 10:27 am

            Thank you for this. We know from trial that lesser experienced docs were being trained and even the more highly skilled surgeons complained about them not getting it! That didn’t stop the preceptors from bringing them into the tent for more training. It’s difficult to imagine what goes on in the minds of those who are part of the problem –

        • Mary Pat June 16, 2016 at 1:40 pm - Reply

          I saw an allergy doctor. Asked her if I was first mesh patient. She told another doctor referred a patient to her to conduct a “patch test from a piece of mesh that was explanted from the patient’s body”. The allergist told me she conducted the patch test and it showed positive allergic reaction to mesh. I was stunned at this news. Has anyone else ever heard if this? I have been wondering for years why they don’t screen patients for mesh allergies. At the same appointment the medical assistant told me that occasionally an orthopedic surgeon sends patients for allergy tests to metals prior to joint replacement sugery. Just imagine if each and everyone if us had received patch tests prior to implant. Mesh causes structural damage and infection as we know so the patch test would not protect people from the structural damage and infection but it certainly would help people avoid the toxic soup mesh creates with foreign body response and autoimmune disorders. Has anyone ever heard of a patch test using mesh to detect allergies to mesh? I believe this allergy doctor might be the first? I wonder if they are dioing patch tests at UCLA?

    • Jan June 5, 2016 at 5:07 am - Reply

      If there is its very few…
      The real sad part to some if this is back in 1990s Boston scientific made a mesh vaginal it was taken off the market and it did the same damages to women. . The settled approximately 800 lawsuits. Why was this stuff even out there and why did the FDA and AG do something then to these manufacturers
      Now everyone wants a piece of the settlements
      I really find there are issues in our Government. . If they can not benifit from the profits are make money from it they do not care..
      Now there are so many injuries they neglected to protect us as a Government that is suppose to do si..

  15. Babs June 4, 2016 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    I was implanted in 2008 with TVT. It started causing pain in 2011. It was partially removed by the dr. who implanted it. He ended up being a real jerk about everything. Seven months after he did his surgery to partially remove it, it eroded further. I went to a much better dr., he removed everything but the anchors. I filed with a law firm 3.5 years ago. I rarely hear anything from them. Normally, I have to contact them for any updates. I research Judge Goodwin activities concerning all the mesh cases. Looks like it will be years until there is a settlement. My life has been damaged physically, financially, and most certainly emotionally. Thanks for reading Good Luck

    • Still Standing June 6, 2016 at 12:09 pm - Reply

      B. – You need to understand that you are not in line, so to speak, with all the other litigants. Each law firm negotiates settlements for just their clients. So, if your law firm has 400 mesh clients, they will negotiate with the defendant and set up the injury tiers for their clients. If you look on the MDL orders, you can see where there are special masters appointed for a specific law firm. It depends on their negotiating power. It seems ridiculous to me that settlement dollars can vary so much for similar injuries and especially among different manufacturers as well. So, you need to ask your attorney if they have had settlement talks and where they are in the process.

      • Still Standing June 6, 2016 at 4:10 pm - Reply

        By the way, I was also implanted in 2008, but I had intractable pain a month or so out. I assumed it was the healing process or something I could figure out and fix myself and thought that for a long time. Just thought I was defective and not doing something right. Many surgeries, 90% or so out. Still managing pain and other strange issues . However, I want to give you and other readers hope that there ARE significant settlements taking place. I have a personal knowledge of this. It took about 41/2 years from start to resolution. I understand that is not the case for all women who have received settlement packets and of course I realize some defendants wont settle with anyone at all, but to assume that all settlement offers are insignificant or wont be forthcoming for years and years and years is not the case across the board. Reach out to your attorney. They are obligated to give you a straight answer. They are also obligated to negotiate a fair settlement for their clients. Make sure your law firm knows who you are by having some serious conversations. Ask them if your case will be worked up for trial. If not, you know perhaps that your case is not strong enough to get a trial date and you will be part of their settlement negotiations, which in a way could work in your favor. Just knowing this information can help you as you wait and wait and wait.

        • Jane Akre June 6, 2016 at 7:41 pm - Reply

          Some of the cases picked for trial are completely at random and not necessarily the strongest case. Sometimes the defense will pick a plaintiff case….it’s not always the strongest one…

        • Babs June 7, 2016 at 12:40 pm - Reply

          I, too, assumed it was the healing process. Then it felt like a dry tampon was trying to come out of me. Nice, huh?

  16. Bejah Blue June 5, 2016 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    I am now five years out from implant. I note a pronounced and insistent exhaustion that just shuts me down, sleeping some times all day and all night. This brings me to thoughts of our database. If we are not doing it as a timeline we should be as it will add an important dimension. I will be sending mine to Jane directly as I set it up as an unfinished Excel spreadsheet.

    Problems with my teeth remain because even though I have dental insurance it does not cover enough for me to have the work done so perhaps I will get a brain infection from this. Defendants will argue that their product is not at fault for one’s teeth failing.

    I am having problems with my eyes now, especially the left eye, as if there is sand in my eye that will not wash out.

    Lately I find when I wake in the morning I have a large black and blue area just below belly button extending down 4-5″ inches. Went to ER. Dr. was very abrupt and said it was superficial and meant nothing and told me to go home. Two other doctors I saw earlier in the day said it may be internal bleeding and recommended ER. My BP was recorded at that time as about 220/96 or so. Usually controlled at 125/78 or so. I have malformed kidneys and thus the need for four BP meds. I had gone to UCLA to learn more about how to care for my poor kidney(s). Dr. Kim twisted that into an assessment that I needed pelvic mesh that had NOTHING to do with my kidneys that was critical or that I needed taken care of in some way immediately.

    She put me in line for a mesh implant and I just blindly trusted her and UC. The truth is you really can not trust anyone with few exceptions especially where money is concerned.

    Please, anyone with the black and blue symptoms post story about that so we can all benefit from it. I was afraid it was aortic aneyuerism (sp.?). Seeing Cardiologist and Primary next week about all this.)

    Best wishes to all. I would write more but I am sleeping!

    The muscle spasms in my legs are much worse as well, my muscles twisting, tightening up and sore for a long time after the know passes. Sometimes they even extend up into abdomen, stomach, neck. Taking Tizanidine. Need to be careful how I move my body. Spine surgery now officially recommended to will be going to UC San Francisco for that. More surgery, more fear, more implants. I have no option. Really, really scared (Such a baby about such things).


    Take care all,

    • Jane Akre June 5, 2016 at 4:56 pm - Reply

      Bejah, it is always good to hear from you. Perhaps we can meet up when I visit California in August. I hope so. I have tremendous respect for you.

    • Still Standing June 5, 2016 at 9:48 pm - Reply

      Bejah. Please keep us posted about your dr. appointments this week. Something that might give you imsight about your sandy eyes. One of the most common side effects of tizanadine is dry eyes, dry mouth, dry everything. I found I could not tolerate the tablet form of tizanadine, but did very well on brand name zanaflex capsules? Generic tizanadine just recently became available in capsule form. I use it now, but it is not effective as Zanaflex capsules, but very considerably less expensive. I use hydrating drops for my eyes, the thicker dry eye ointment at night for better lubrication. Of course, a dry mouth promotes tooth decay. I must always use biotene toothpaste, mouthwash to combat the dry mouth. Try the eyedrops and see if they help. If you are sleeping alot, your eyes will naturally be drier. Let me know if your dry eyes are worse since starting the tizanadine. That could be the culprit. Maybe switching to capsule form can help.

      • Jane Akre June 6, 2016 at 10:24 am - Reply

        Thank you Still Standing for all of your help! I appreciate it,

        • Babs June 7, 2016 at 12:37 pm - Reply

          This is a wonderful resource. I have no one to talk to about this stuff.
          They listen, but don’t understand.
          The no intercourse and thought of
          never having an orgasm again issues are biggies. Not many women talk about that. Thank you Jane and Standing Still. The attorneys told me not to
          post anything, but after a while, you
          feel so alone.
          I am sure you gals all know what
          mean. Thanks again! And good luck.

          • Still Standing June 7, 2016 at 5:17 pm

            Ok, Babs. This may be too much imformation, but intercourse is out for me as well. However orgasm is possible with a vibrator. My doctor actually suggested it because we discussed my frustration with no sex. He also recommended going to a sex therapist who could teach tantra. We just lived so far away and was not feasible, thus the vibrator. Mine is the Magic Wand. I Know this may shock some women that I am so frank, but we have to open up to all our vulnerabilities and be willing to talk about this matter. Sex is not an unimportant part of our lives. Also, orgasms actually help with pain because of all the hormones that are released. So there, I have never told anyone about this, so this is a revelation that lies pretty deep in my secret self.

  17. Mary Pat June 16, 2016 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    Jane, the news of this “patch test” is pretty groundbreaking. Could you post my inquiry in a place where everyone will see it? I would love to see peoples responses from a collective vew.

    • k June 27, 2016 at 10:48 am - Reply

      Wow I find this to be a very important piece of information!!!!

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