A City law firm says it is receiving 20 new enquiries a day as it builds a group action on behalf of women who have suffered life-changing complications as a result of transvaginal surgical mesh implants.
Wedlake Bell said there are now more than 400 claimants in the group.
The case is being taken in conjunction with action group Sling the Mesh, which represents over 4,000 women – a figure that has grown 400% since April 2017, when the issue was first made public.
Surgical mesh implants are used to treat pelvic organ prolapse or incontinence, usually after a difficult childbirth. The plastic meshes are made of polypropylene, which can also be found in a number of drinks bottles.
It will examine allegations that manufacturers of the mesh implants failed properly to test the devices and played down both the risks and the high failure rate.
The firm reported that a recent US appeal court case upheld a finding of liability against manufacturer Boston Scientific’s Pinnacle mesh, even though the mesh devices had regulatory approval, as is the case in the UK.
The case is being run on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis – Wedlake Bell said it was in talks with potential third-party funders. An application for a group litigation order has not yet been made.
David Golten, a partner and head of commercial litigation at Wedlake Bell, said: “The numbers for both the group action and Sling the Mesh are growing every day.
“We continue to hear the most horrific stories from the victims of mesh implants and we are examining the allegations that manufacturers, far from helping women, failed to test these devices properly, leading to the life-shattering medical complications women are experiencing.
“We wish to highlight that the safety of the mesh implants themselves has not been scrutinised properly. There is still much more action needed from the Government and the NHS to address this issue.”
Kath Sansom, founder of Sling the Mesh, added: “Everybody joining Sling the Mesh with problems says the same thing – they were not warned of the risks. They were told they had simply been unlucky and they were ignored by their surgeons. They all gave up asking for help. Many suffer in silence feeling isolated and depressed – some for as long as 10 years.
“Women who are due to have the operation are joining Sling the Mesh and are telling us that their surgeons have assured them they are not using the mesh being spoken about in the media.
“They say they are using a new mesh, or inserting a tape, or worse, at one hospital, the surgeon insisted he would be implanting a ribbon. These are all mesh devices.
“Perfectly healthy women are ending up in wheelchairs or struggling to walk, with chronic pelvic pain and agonising urinary infections.”
Wedlake Bell and Sling the Mesh have called on the government to suspend surgical mesh implants into women and girls until safety checks are carried out – a plea rejected by ministers in a parliamentary debate last month.