Women launch group action over mesh implants

Millband: One of the biggest UK health scandals since thalidomide

Another group action has gone live this week, with more than 250 women left permanently injured by mesh implant surgery suing a group of pharmaceutical giants.

Thompsons is acting for the group, which claims negligence based on the lack of information given to patients prior to surgery.

In 40 cases, the claimants are pursuing product liability claims over allegedly defective mesh products.

This week has also seen group actions launched over car emissions, a film financing scheme and British soldiers falsely accused of brutality in Iraq.

Thompsons said all of the women were suffering lifelong injuries and psychological trauma as a result of complications from the surgery, which was often given as a ‘quick fix’ to treat incontinence and prolapse.

Common symptoms suffered include severe and persistent pain in the abdominal and pelvic areas, legs and feet, as well as bowel and nerve trauma, sexual dysfunction, bleeding, incontinence and difficulty or inability to walk.

It claimed that none of its clients were told of the risks of the surgery, many were never told of other far less invasive options available, such as physiotherapy or bulking injections, and some were even assured that mesh was not being used at all.

The mesh implants were made from polypropylene, the same synthetic material used to make certain plastic drinks bottles. For decades, it has been used to treat prolapses and incontinence in women but its effects on the body were not properly tested.

Linda Millband, national clinical negligence lead at Thompsons, said: “These women have suffered unimaginable pain from mesh, physically and emotionally. None of them had any idea about the risks involved and many weren’t even told that mesh was being used.

“They have seen their marriages and relationships break under the strain, not to mention the constant pain they’re in.

“Incorrectly inserted mesh implants is one of the biggest UK health scandals since thalidomide. Mesh promised a ‘wonder solution’ to women’s health concerns, but women had little to no understanding of what they were agreeing to when they said yes to surgical intervention.”

The group action claim follows a similar case in Scotland, where one of the mesh manufacturers, Johnson & Johnson, paid a group of women £50m, while in Australia more than 1,350 women won a class action lawsuit against the healthcare giant.

Last November, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $117m (£91m) to resolve pelvic mesh claims in 41 US states and the District of Columbia.

An independent review of pelvic mesh, commissioned by the government, is set to report next month.

    Readers Comments

  • Christine Pratt says:

    2004 – boched Hysterectomy. Nurse caused a tear immediately after the op.
    2009 – Kugal Mesh fitted to repair tear. It was a faulty product. Since 2009 and today, the Mesh has caused significant damage. Today, as well as living with all internal organs tangled I have suspected incarceration and acute bowl problems. Mutliple masses / hernias. Risk of infection and toxic shock daily. Vomitting. Mobility issues. Extreme pain. THE SURGEONS DONT WANT TO OPERATE BECAUSE THEY KNOW THEY WILL FIND MY ORGANS ALL TANGLED UP IN THE FAULTY MESH. What can I do. Cancer patients take priority presently, understandably – but just what can I do.

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