More than 90,000 devices were inserted into women wanting structural support to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. These were aggressively pushed into the Australian market without proper testing, and the companies' full knowledge of the potential for serious complications.
The court heard that in many cases the mesh eroded internally causing infections and complications, making them near impossible to remove. Hundreds of women were left in chronic, debilitating and often irreversible pain, suffering incontinence, problems walking, painful intercourse and even marriage breakdown. When they complained about these issues they were frequently disbelieved.
“I always knew they should be held accountable, and in my heart of hearts today has put that right,” one of the claimants, Julie Davis, said outside the court.
“The corporates have a lot to answer for. They’ve treated women essentially like guinea pigs and lied about it, and done nothing to help.”
A 2018 inquiry previously raised questions about the Australian health system's failure to protect women receiving transvaginal mesh implants and issued a national apology to those who suffered decades of "agony and pain".