A federal judge has dismissed a vaginal mesh lawsuit after determining that it was barred by Georgia’s two-year statute of limitations. Tami Goodson filed her suit in July of 2011, alleging that she had been injured by a vaginal mesh product manufactured by Boston Scientific Corporation.
Plaintiff alleged many transvaginal mesh problems
Goodson had Boston Scientific’s Pinnacle Pelvic Floor System and a Prefyx Pre-Pubic Sling implanted in 2008, following a hysterectomy and vaginal reconstruction surgery. In March of 2009, Goodson claims to have developed transvaginal mesh problems. She had a second surgery to trim the mesh, which was protruding into her vagina. She returned for a third surgery in July of 2009, as a result of chronic pain and stress urinary incontinence, also associated with her transvaginal mesh problems.
Goodson’s complaint — which concerned only her individual case and which was not part of a larger vaginal mesh class action lawsuit — alleged that Boston Scientific had been negligent in its production of the mesh product that was implanted in her.
Transvaginal mesh problems lawsuit filed too late
In his order dismissing Goodson’s lawsuit, Judge Thomas W. Thrash Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia found that the plaintiff should have filed her case by March of 2011, within two years of the time she first experienced transvaginal mesh problems.
Though Goodson alleged that she did not know of her transvaginal mesh problems until July of 2009, the judge found that her second surgery, in March of 2009, should have alerted her to the problems.
Though the starting point for Georgia’s two-year statute of limitations for personal injury actions can be tolled (extended) until a plaintiff discovers (or should have discovered) her injury, the judge found no justification for tolling in the plaintiff’s case.
Vaginal mesh lawyer fails to allege sufficient facts
The judge also found that Goodson’s lawsuit complaint did not contain sufficient facts to support her argument that the device was defective. Though initial pleadings, such as complaints, are generally construed liberally, the plaintiff must at least allege the basic facts that support his or her cause of action.
Here, the judge found that Goodson’s complaint contained mere legal conclusions unsupported by factual allegations in regard to her transvaginal mesh problems. Because Goodson’s suit was not part of a larger vaginal mesh class action lawsuit, the judge’s December 29, 2011 ruling does not affect any other plaintiffs.
Time to File Depends on the Date of Injury
Statutes of limitations are state laws that require plaintiffs to file their cases within set time periods. Because all defective medical device lawsuits are tort claims, they are covered by state law and not federal law. Any medical device lawsuits before U.S. District Courts are claims brought under state law by plaintiffs from states other than the ones in which the manufacturers are located. The purpose of statutes of limitations is to encourage injured parties to bring their claims in a timely manner to prevent courts from dealing with old records and hazy memories.
Statute of Limitations Confusing
Because statute of limitations can be confusing, many women believe that they are not able to file a vaginal mesh lawsuit. Unfortunately, there’s not one set answer when it comes to vaginal mesh. Several factors may influence vaginal mesh statute of limitations, including the date of your initial surgery, the mesh removal date if you had it surgicall removed, the state the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning, when you may have had conversations with your doctor or when you started noticing symptoms.
The amount of time a statute of limitations gives someone to file a claim depends on the type of claim the plaintiff is filing. Commonly, the limitations period for products liability cases is two or three years from the date of injury. When the injury occurred matters significantly from a legal standpoint. Sometimes, the injury “occurs” the day the vaginal mesh was implanted; other times it “occurs” when the plaintiff first knew or could have reasonably found out about the injury. This can be troubling for vaginal mesh recipients because the pain and symptoms of mesh erosion might not occur until long after the initial procedure. Because some women might have already had their vaginal mesh problems resolved years ago and didn’t meet with a transvaginal mesh lawyer, the statute of limitations might have already expired for them, and they will be unable to obtain compensation via a transvaginal mesh lawsuit.
Do not wait to file a Vaginal Mesh Lawsuit
A vaginal mesh lawsuit, like any legal claim, is a time sensitive matter that must be filed within the applicable statute of limitations. Statutes of limitations create very strict deadlines within which individuals must file their claims or forever waive their right to a day in court. The statutes may be narrowed even further by a “discovery rule” which can create an additional time sensitive hurdle to overcome.
A Vaginal Mesh lawyer can help with these matters of law and make sure that your lawsuit is filed timely. However, a prompt Vaginal Mesh lawsuit evaluation is vital to this process.
Statutes of limitation vary from state to state. Some statutes expire within 6 months; others allow as much as 3 years to file a claim. Hesitation may cost a potential litigant his or her day in court. Therefore, potential litigants should consider receiving a Vaginal Mesh lawsuit evaluation at their earliest convenience.
Many legal professionals will offer a free Vaginal Mesh lawsuit evaluation to help expedite the commencement of litigation. Don’t let the time to file a claim against the responsible manufacturer lapse. Time is of the essence.
What is a discovery Rule ?
In certain situations it is impossible for a person who has suffered an injury to know what caused their injury until a much later date, sometime years. For example, a woman who developed side effects after surgery, but did not know that it may have caused the side effects. The discovery rule typically applies in negligence cases. As such, the time to file suit doesn’t begin (or accrue) until a person realizes he has been injured. The discovery rule is a common law doctrine that often applies to cases in which a statute of limitations is involved. A statute of limitations is a set period of time in which a lawsuit is considered reasonable; once beyond this set period of, a party that wants to sue may have no legal recourse. The discover rule suggests that the statute of limitations begins, not at the time of the unlawful event, but rather from the time that the suing party became aware of the breech. The discovery rule is unevenly applied, and may be discarded by judges who disagree with the claim.
The discovery rule is important because unlawful acts do not always have immediately known or foreseeable consequences. If a worker is unknowingly exposed to harmful chemicals, leading him or her to develop a serious medical disease ten years later, the discovery rule suggests that the statute of limitations on suing a negligent employer would begin when the illness was first detected, not at the time of the unwitting exposure. Medical cases such as this frequently employ the discovery rule to call for an adjustment of the statutes of limitations on issues such as malpractice or employer negligence.
In a Negligence case like a vaginal mesh case the Discovery rule or lack of can determine when the statue begins or the clock stats ticking. If you are in a non discovery rule state you should not wait to see a doctor . You must move quickly.
The discovery rule can affect when the statute of limitations begins to run. In some cases, an injury that caused a wrongful death was not apparent when it first occurred; this is usually due to the nature of the injury itself. The statute of limitations will begin, then, at the time the injury is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered.
Consider a statute of limitations that is, for instance, two years long. Normally, the clock would start ticking as soon as the injury occurred. But if the injury is reasonably discovered one year after it occurs, the two-year period begins on the day of discovery.
In many states, there is an exception to statues of limitations which is called the “discovery rule.” Under the discovery rule, if for some reason at the time a personal injury occurred that you did not know a personal injury occurred, despite the exercise of reasonable diligence, then you have until two years (or whatever the statute of limitations period is) from the date that you discovered, or reasonably should have discovered that the personal injury occurred in which to file a lawsuit. It is important t be aware of whether or not your state has a discovery rule. In any event it is importnat to move quickly because the clock is ticking.
If you are in a state with no discovery rule it changes the whole scheme of things as to when the statute begins. It may boil down to the 2008 warning date or the 2011 warning date or the exact date your mesh was implanted. You must contact a vaginal mesh lawyer immediatley.
Not every state applies the discovery rule in the same way. How it is used also depends on the injury and other circumstances.