The Mentor ObTape Vaginal Sling lawsuits filed in California Superior Court will proceed to trial after the judge denied Mentor Corporation’s motions to dismiss the four lawsuits on March 30, 2010.  The judge rejected Mentor’s argument that the plaintiffs’ claims were time barred by the statute of limitations.  The statute of limitations is the time period within which a lawsuit can be brought.  If a claim is not filed against the manufacturer before the statute of limitations expires, an individual will be forever barred from bringing that claim.

Vaginal Mesh Manufacturer Alleged to Have Hidden Erosion Risks

The judge determined that there were contested facts as to whether Mentor hid the risks of ObTape from the plaintiffs’ physicians.  The plaintiffs claim that Mentor knew, in 2003, before plaintiffs were surgically implanted with ObTape, that the actual erosion rate for the transvaginal mesh was considerably higher than the .21 percent the Mentor representatives told doctors.  It was not until 2008, when plaintiffs first learned of ObTape’s alarmingly high erosion rate of 17 percent, that they suspected the ObTape slings could have caused their injuries.  Therefore, the plaintiffs could not have known, in 2004 and 2005, when their ObTapes were surgically removed, that their injuries were caused by Mentor’s misconduct.  As a result, the statute of limitations would not necessarily start running at that time. 

Study Supporting Vaginal Mesh Erosion Risks

In late 2009, a study was released that supported the claims in these lawsuits.  It showed that an estimated one in five women implanted with ObTape would suffer a complication where the mesh would erode through their vagina. Despite this study and other studies with similar findings, Mentor never warned patients or their doctors of these heightened risks.

Vaginal Mesh Erosion Lawsuits

Although never officially recalled, sales of Mentor ObTape halted suddenly in 2006, three years after it was introduced to the U.S. market.  In the three years the device was on the market, approximately 16,000 Mentor ObTape slings were sold.  Consequently, some attorneys believe the lawsuits that are currently pending are simply the “tip of the iceberg.”  In a majority of the cases where mesh erosion occurred, women had to endure numerous surgeries to remove pieces of the ObTape, which had failed to correctly integrate into the surrounding tissue.  Even after total removal of ObTape, some women were left with permanent and debilitating injuries. In December 2008, all Mentor ObTape lawsuits pending in federal court were consolidated in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia before the Honorable Judge Clay D. Land.  The first MDL trial is set to begin in June 2010.

Vaginal Mesh Erosion Lawyer

If you received an ObTape vaginal sling, and you experienced serious side effects associated with this defective medical device, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation.

Published November 17, 2011 by