$119 Million Settlement In Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits Pending Against Boston Scientific Allege That Women Have Suffered Infection, Chronic Pain, Vaginal Scarring And Mesh Erosion Due To The Company’s Bladder Mesh Surgical Devices.
Boston Scientific has reached its first agreement to settle certain transvaginal mesh lawsuits related to its bladder mesh surgery products. The company said in its filing to the U.S. Security Exchange and Commission on April 28 that the agreement will resolve “substantially all” of the product liability cases and claims regarding the mesh products that treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Under the agreement, Boston Scientific said it would pay an estimated $119 million to resolve about 2,970 cases and claims, including an appeal of a $35 million verdict rendered in September by a Dallas County District Court jury. The company also said in its regulatory filing that it would make two payments into a settlement fund held in escrow with full funding to be completed by October 1, 2015. Boston Scientific further said that the agreement is not an admission of liability or wrongdoing.
“The firm is still reviewing the terms regarding Boston Scientific’s agreement to settle vaginal mesh complaints. This settlement could bring closure to thousands of women and their families that have been purportedly injured by bladder mesh products and we believe that they should be compensated for their injuries.” – Southern Med Law
Court documents indicate that Boston Scientific is involved in multidistrict litigation for transvaginal mesh products in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia, where 16,157 complaints are pending against the company. The complaints allege that women have sustained such injuries as urinary problems, vaginal scarring, pain during sexual intercourse, mesh erosion and bleeding due the company’s defectively designed transvaginal mesh products. (In Re: Boston Scientific Corp. Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation – MDL No. 2326)
Court records also show that Boston Scientific made its announcement after U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Goodwin, who is supervising the transvaginal mesh litigation in the West Virginia federal court, ordered all mesh manufacturers involved in the mutlidistrict litigation to attend a joint status conference on June 2. Judge Goodwin also ordered the manufacturers to have their legal representatives, including their settlement attorneys, to attend the conference.
Southern Med Law is aware that Boston Scientific lost three transvaginal mesh jury trials last year:
• A Texas state court jury in September ordered the company to pay $73 million to a woman who claimed she suffered permanent injuries after having a Obtryx bladder mesh sling implant. The jury’s verdict was later reduced to $35 million. (No. DC-1214349, District Court for Dallas County, 95th Judicial District of Texas (Dallas))
• A federal court jury in Miami in November ordered the company to pay $26.7 million in compensatory damages to four women who claimed they were injured by the company’s Pinnacle transvaginal mesh implant. (14-cv-24061, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida)
• A West Virginia federal court jury ordered the company in November to pay $18.5 million to four women who said they were injured by the company’s Obtryx bladder mesh sling. The jury also found Boston Scientific acted in “gross negligence” by failing to warn doctors and their patients about the risks associated with their bladder mesh sling device. (2:12-cv-08633)
Southern Med Law comments that noted in court documents and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, transvaginal mesh medical devices are used to treat stress urinary incontinence, which is urine leakage in women, and pelvic organ prolapse which occurs when a woman’s bladder, vagina, uterus and other pelvic organs drop or prolapse from their normal position. Due to the number of complaints filed with the FDA over vaginal mesh medical devices, the FDA proposed to reclassify bladder mesh devices from a moderate-risk device to a high-risk device. According to the law firm, the proposed reclassifcation means if transvaginal mesh manufacturers that want to continue selling their products in the United States, they must submit a premarket approval application to the FDA that shows the safety and effectiveness of their medical mesh devices.
[fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/UroGynSurgicalMesh/ucm262301.htm, April 29, 2014]
About Southern Med Law
Southern Med Law’s founding attorney, Dr. François Blaudeau, is a practicing attorney and obstetrician/ gynecologist. Dr. Blaudeau has a unique understanding of the medical and legal questions regarding transvaginal mesh medical devices. If you or a loved one received a vaginal mesh surgical implant, please contact Southern Med Law to learn more about your rights and legal recourse after experiencing bladder mesh complication. You can arrange for a free, no obligation vaginal mesh lawsuit review by calling Southern Med Law today, at 205-547-5525 or visit www.southernmedlaw.com to follow all the current news on this and upcoming news on vaginal mesh and other medical products.