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Surgical Mesh Issue Prompts Increase In Product Liability Claims

Thousands of women in Chicago and across the country are filing product liability lawsuits after being harmed by surgical mesh implants.

Mesh implants are used to treat a condition known as organ prolapse, which occurs when weakened tissues allow muscles to slip in a woman’s pelvis. For years, surgeons used surgical mesh to replace these weakened muscles, but it appears that many forms of surgical mesh are defective medical devices.

The manufacturers of surgical mesh implants failed to adequately test mesh implants before releasing them to the market. Thousands of lawsuits have been consolidated in federal court for a multidistrict litigation proceeding.

Large product liability cases such as this often become multidistrict proceedings because they involve common facts and issues. In this case, a multidistrict proceeding will determine whether mesh implants were defectively designed and whether manufacturers failed to disclose potential risks. Some lawyers also claim that manufacturers fraudulently promoted the devices as safe.

There are multiple symptoms associated with a failing surgical mesh implant including a recurrence of organ prolapsed, abdominal pain, and organ perforation.

There is also some debate among physicians as to whether surgical mesh is in fact defective or whether mesh failures are a result of inadequately trained surgeons.

“The innovation – and the skill sets to use the innovation – is outpacing the skill sets that the surgeons have, and no one is trying to close that gap,” one doctor said.