Today, attorneys Kelly Hyman and Brenda Fulmer filed two more individual lawsuits against Mentor Corporation relating to its ObTape transobturator product which was withdrawn from the market in March of 2006. The first case was filed on behalf of a Gulf County, Florida woman who was implanted with the defective Mentor ObTape medical device in 2004. Since implantation, she has suffered a number of complications that have necessitated costly medical treatment, hospitalizations, and surgery.
The second case was filed on behalf of a Charlotte County, Florida resident who was also implanted in 2004 with the negligently designed ObTape TVT tape product. Since 2004, she has undergone extensive medical treatment, hospitalizations, and surgeries in Southwest Florida and the Tampa Bay area due to significant injuries and disabilities stemming from a catastrophic failure of the implant to perform as intended and warranted.
The entire class of TVT tapes, transvaginal meshes and bladder slings has been under a cloud of safety concerns for several years now due to an excessive rate of product failures. When a pelvic mesh device fails, unfortunately, the defective product causes such significant damage to the patients, such that even surgical removal of the eroded implant as well as reconstruction may not be enough to restore their ability to have normal sexual relations or avoid chronic pain. The materials utilized in this ill-conceived class of medical devices undergo significant chemical changes when implanted in a woman’s body, which can lead to chronic infections, pelvic pain, hardening of the mesh, scarring, formation of adhesions, shrinkage of the mesh, sexual dysfunction, urinary problems, disfigurement, bleeding, injury to other vital organs, and extrusion of the medical device or pieces of the medical device through the vaginal wall.
There are several hundred lawsuits that have been filed against Mentor Corporation over the withdrawn ObTape product, most of which are pending in the multi-district litigation proceedings pending before Judge Clay Land in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia in Columbus. Cal Warriner of Searcy Denney serves as co-lead counsel of this MDL while Brenda Fulmer and Kelly Hyman of the law firm are involved in ongoing document review, depositions, and trial preparation for the first bellwether trials in this coordinated action.
Mentor Corporation (and its successor Coloplast) also faces dozens of lawsuits over its Aris pelvic mesh product. Cases involving the Aris device are pending in a separate MDL in West Virginia. Decision-making regarding the design and marketing of the Aris device, however, are part of the liability store in the Mentor ObTape lawsuits that are currently being prepared for trial.