Why Mass Tort Lawsuit for Defective Drugs and Medical Devices Injury?
A few years ago, a friend of ours came to us for professional advice. She had had a surgery to treat a problem that was common to women who have had several children. She had a “prolapse” of her uterus and bladder which caused significant problems in her daily life.The major problem was that she was having trouble with controlling her urine; she had frequent need to visit the bathroom, and she had stress incontinence. In short, when she coughed or laughed, she wet herself.
Her doctor recommended a surgery to install a “sling” to hold up her uterus and bladder, so they would be repositioned back to their normal position, allowing better control. The sling was made of a poly mesh, manufactured by one of the big drug companies. It was a disaster. The drug company didn’t tell the public that these meshes were incompatible with the anatomy and normal movement of the organs of the pelvis. They became overgrown with scar tissue, and they caused frequent infections. Worse, they became so enmeshed with the surrounding tissue, they could not be removed. The mesh also acted like a saw, cutting into and damaging the walls of the bladder and vagina. Our lady reported that not only had the urinary leakage continued (it actually got worse), now, because her mesh had cut its way through the upper wall of her vagina, sex had become unbearably painful.
It was very hard for this woman to confide all this personal information. At Gurfein Douglas LLP, we are gender sensitive, so that everyone treats our clients with care and understanding. Our staff includes an attorney who is also an experienced registered nurse (R.N.), as well as a caring and warm paralegal staff. Our lawyers, men and women have extensive experience in medical matters.
We explained to his friend that she was not alone. Far from it. There are thousands of women who have sustained injuries from these mesh surgeries. The transvaginal mesh or TVM cases had been combined into Multi-district Litigation Groups, where one court and frequently one judge is in charge of hundreds and even thousands of these cases. While taking on a “Big Pharma” company is a daunting task for one law firm, even a big one, these multi-district litigation groups (MDLs) permit pooling of resources and this helps level the playing field for the victims and their lawyers. We also explained that joining an MDL would mean that we might have less chance to try our case, but perhaps a better chance of settling. This seemed like a fair trade off to our client, and she decided to go ahead and sue through the MDL for her product.
Our firm meets many people whose stories are similar to this lady’s. In each case, the big companies have held back research and data that would have helped the patients and their doctors make a better decision about using these products for treatment. For example, there are intrauterine devices that are supposed to stay inside a woman’s uterus, preventing pregnancy; some of these devices break through the wall of the uterus, requiring serious surgery to save the patients. Some of these products are drugs that are supposed to help prevent bone loss (osteoporosis). Instead, they cause bone loss, and people come to us after they have needed orthopedic surgery for broken legs. Not all of these clients are women, of course. Some of them are men who have had hip replacements with devices that weren’t adequately tested before release for human use. These things release heavy metals like chromium into the blood; and they fail prematurely, requiring removal and replacement with proper hardware. Medical products are a sophisticated area of litigation, and only a few firms have the experience and resources to handle them. If you have a question about any drug or medical product, please contact us.