The transvaginal mesh class action underway in Australia against Johnson & Johnson may be the largest product class action in the country’s legal history. Lead plaintiff Julie Davis underwent transvaginal mesh surgery and suffered devastating consequences.

Davis received the vaginal mesh implant to treat pelvic organ prolapse (“POP”). She began to experience problems as soon as she had the surgery. “I just felt unwell all the time,” She told ABC news, “I was in pain, a lot pain, discomfort down below. I also had this feeling – lack of energy, like my body was fighting something all the time.” Walking and sex became painful. Davis started to take antidepressants, and even had suicidal thoughts.

Davis found a new surgeon, urogynaecologist Richard Reid. He told her that “the mesh was acting like a cheese grater in her body and had literally rubbed a hole in the wall of her vagina.” The mesh scar is fibrous and the bladder is soft—which leads to the “grating” effects, Dr. Reid explained. Davis has had her mesh surgically removed.

Numerous studies have found that transvaginal mesh is linked with adverse effects and high rates of complications. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued an advisory in July 2011, stating that vaginal mesh products were a “greater risk” without evidence of greater clinical benefit.

In June 2012, Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon, manufacturer of Gynecare vaginal mesh products, announced that it would stop selling its vaginal mesh devices. The company also changed the product indication for use of its Gynemesh product, so that it is only advised to be used through abdominal incisions and not in transvaginal mesh surgeries.

The transvaginal mesh class action case was filed in Australian federal court on October 14, 2012. There are an estimated 20,000 women in Australia who received transvaginal mesh implants. The device was approved for market without any clinical testing because of its similarity to a prior device.

Transvaginal mesh lawsuits against various vaginal mesh manufacturers are underway in the United States in numerous state and federal multidistrict litigations. Vaginal mesh complications include erosion of the mesh, painful sexual intercourse, infection, urinary problems, and recurrence of POP. The transvaginal mesh lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are actively filing cases. We understand the sensitive nature of pelvic mesh complications and are fierce advocates for your legal rights. Speak to a pelvic mesh lawyer today for a free and confidential case review, call (877) 779-1414.

Published October 15, 2012 by