A manufacturer of medical devices, American Medical systems (AMS) is facing a number of lawsuits filed by women whose health has suffered due to transvaginal mesh surgery. Surgical mesh is a woven fabric used for a multitude of medical procedures. The fabric is composed of Gore-Tex, Teflon, polypropylene, or another type of polymer. One use of this fabric is to cure female stress urinary incontinence, a common condition characterized by weakened muscles and subsequent urinary leakage. Most often the weakening of the muscles is due to pregnancy, childbirth, or sustained heavy lifting.
Amongst the many suits filed against AMS, a woman named Joy is blaming the manufacturer's defective products for her mother's death. "My mother's first surgery did absolutely no good," says Joy. "She was still incontinent, and soon afterwards, she suffered urinary tract infections, one after the other."
Joy continued, "In 2005, she had a second mesh surgery where they also did a partial hysterectomy (I assume it was because the first surgery needed correcting). That time the TVM implant took about four hours with two surgeons. When my 74-year-old mother came out of the anesthesia, we knew right away that she should never have had another AMS transvaginal mesh."
Following the receipt of thousands of injury and adverse event reports associated with AMS' mesh implants, the FDA warned patients and health care providers of the potential harm resulting from the use of these medical devices. The reports received by the FDA have included products marketed under the following names:
As with all surgical implants, there is a potential for complications to accompany a product's use, including infection, inflammation, tissue damage, and septic shock. Complications have occurred from using mesh to treat a prolapse, a slipping forward or down of one of the parts of organs of the body.
Joy reported that her mother suffered immensely from the defected mesh product. In addition to AMS side effects, predominantly severe pain and discomfort, her mother had an adverse reaction to the anesthesia and never recovered.
Joy proceeded to blame AMS for the failure of its products to treat her mother's incontinence. Furthermore, she remains perplexed at how long the unsuccessful surgery took to be completed. She wonders if both surgeons attempted to remove the mesh that may have eroded.
"A good friend of the family, a registered nurse, told us that sometimes elderly people never recover from anesthesia and other times you just snap out of it," Joy explains. "My mother really went downhill after that and she couldn't control her bladder at all. Her potassium level bottomed out - they said it was from constant urination. And her magnesium level was dangerously low."
Aside from Joy's fury in regards to the poor medical outcome, the behavior of the surgeons in the midst of the series of procedures strongly irritated her.
"Another thing: When mother came out of the second surgery, the two surgeons talked to me and my father. One of them told my mom and dad that they had to restructure her rear end; they did some kind of tacking. 'I can tell you one thing, you are just like a 16-year-old down there now,' one of the surgeons said to her. Later my mum said to me, 'I could have killed him for saying that in front of your daddy.' It was in poor taste, to say the least. I am still mad at those surgeons but I am furious with the AMS manufacturer. My mother passed away last year and I blame her death on AMS.
"I am pursuing an AMS lawsuit and I've been in contact with AMS lawyers, but no amount of money will change my mind."
AMS is a subsidiary of Endo Health Solutions, which designates itself as a "diversified healthcare company." On June 20, 2013, Endo Health Solutions acknowledged the fleet of lawsuits against AMS.
Although Endo stated that AMS agreed to a settlement on June 14, 2013, AMS had not surrendered to admit any liability or fault.
"The Company and AMS intend to continue to vigorously defend themselves in the remaining mesh product liability cases and in any new cases that may arise. Under the terms of the Agreement, AMS will pay $54.5 million into a settlement fund held in escrow by a mutually agreed upon escrow agent, on or before July 15, 2013."
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of transvaginal mesh implantation, contact an attorney at Sheff Law today by filling out a free consultation form, or call at 888-423-4477 or 617-227-7000.