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“9 years of suffering” says victim of Boston Scientific implant, as new mesh class action is filed

21 March 2021

Class Actions

Deborah Stanford is one of many women who have received a Boston Scientific implant and suffered complications. She has joined Shine Lawyers’ class action, which was filed today in the Federal Court, to hold the manufacturers to account for the continuous pain she has endured since the Obtryx sling was implanted on 12 September 2012. 

Ms. Stanford’s bladder was sitting in the birth canal and the sling was placed, on medical advice, to reposition her bladder. 

“It has been 9 years of suffering. 

“If I knew how hard this was going to be, I never would have gone through it,” said Ms Stanford. 

She said she was immediately symptomatic when she woke from surgery and needs to go to the toilet close to 15 times a day. 

“I had to go on Palexia, it’s 80% stronger than Morphine, but that’s what was given to me to manage the pain.” 

“I’ve had nine operations, including the surgery, and a week after I was implanted, I knew I was in trouble.” 

“I was using about six or seven incontinence pads daily until I had revision surgery in August of 2016. That was supposed to make it better, but the sling was tightened and now my bladder only works at 15% capacity.” 

“The most basic bodily function is for people to go to the toilet comfortably, and I can’t even wee some days.” 

After the division of her sling, Deborah has suffered from voiding obstruction, intermittency, hesitancy, leakage, straining to void and a weak stream. 

She has also complained of pain as a result of the divided sling, and when she urinates “it feels like a piece of sandpaper is being rubbed down there.” 

She suffers from dyspareunia and has not had intercourse with her husband since her initial implant surgery in 2012. He is now her full-time carer as the pain makes it impossible for her to work. 

Shine Lawyers’ Class Actions Practice Leader, Rebecca Jancauskas, who is running the action said, “women implanted with a vaginal mesh or sling to treat prolapse and incontinence issues could be eligible for compensation.” 

The claim filed today by Shine Lawyers against Boston Scientific Corporation alleges negligence and that the implants were defective and not of acceptable quality. 

“Our action against Boston Scientific alleges that the implants were defective and that the information and warnings that accompanied the implants did not adequately disclose the nature and severity of the risks, and the implants caused significant and sometimes severe and life-altering complications, including erosion and chronic pain. 

“Nobody can live a full life if they are in severe pain, every day. There are few painkillers that exist that allow you to function normally and manage the agony that pelvic mesh can cause. 

“Like all women suffering mesh-related injuries, these women need to be heard and compensated,” said Ms Jancauskas.

Boston Scientific is the third pelvic mesh manufacturer to face class action over their range of prolapse mesh and incontinence sling implants. Shine Lawyers has filed all three actions against Johnson & Johnson, Ethicon and American Medical Systems (AMS). 

This class action includes any person who was implanted with one or more of the mesh and sling implants listed below since 2004 in Australia: 

  • Pinnacle; 

  • Pinnacle LITE; 

  • Uplhold; 

  • Uphold LITE; 

  • Upsylon; 

  • Advantage; 

  • Advantage FIT; 

  • Obtryx; 

  • Obtryx II; 

  • Lynx; and/or 

  • Solyx. 

“Some of the women who have suffered complications following prolapse or incontinence surgery will never know a life without pain,” said Ms Jancauskas. Women who believe they were implanted with the mesh and/or sling products are encouraged to register their interest in joining the class action on our Boston Scientific webpage. 

About the class action

  • In early 2018 the TGA ordered the company to add warnings about possible adverse side effects such as severe chronic pain, groin pain and bladder perforation. 

  • In Australia, a 2018 Senate inquiry concluded surgery with mesh, which it estimated had been performed on about 150,000 women in Australia, should be a last resort. 

  • A massive class action was brought by Shine Lawyers on behalf of thousands of women in the Federal Court against Johnson & Johnson and two subsidiaries, including Ethicon in 2017. 

  • The class action was successful in 2019, the matter was appealed by Johnson & Johnson & Ethicon but the Full Court of the Federal Court dismissed the appeal on Friday 5 March, in favour of Shine’s case. 

  • Shine Lawyers is funding this action.

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