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- Tuesday, 08 October 2013 17:16
First Four Bellwether Trials in Boston Scientific Vaginal Mesh MDL Announced
By Amanda Antell
U.S. Judge Joseph R. Goodwin ordered the first and second trials in the Boston Scientific MDL to be heard on February 11, 2014, and June 17, 2014, respectively. Judge Goodwin stated that if the plaintiffs in the bellwether lawsuits are not ready to present their case by their respective trial date, the lawsuit would have to be settled or dismissed. Goodwin said that if one trial is late, he would not dismiss the entire MDL, but rather move down the list of eligible vaginal mesh lawsuits.
The third trial date is set for September 9, 2014, but Goodwin noted the case is having a difficult time finding proper representation for the parties. Goodwin did not specify what this meant exactly, other than the plaintiff needed to present her case better, as she is representing other women in these bellwether proceedings.
Each of these women allege that they were not given sufficient warning by Boston Scientific regarding the potential complications of vaginal mesh, and had they known about these risks they would have opted for a different treatment. The women in this MDL are suing Boston Scientific for negligence, concealing information, and misrepresenting a product.
The fourth trial date has yet to be announced.
The four bellwether cases selected to go to trial are, in order of appearance:
Carol Lynn Fawcett, et al. v. Boston Scientific Corp., Case No. 2:12-cv-07497; regarding the Pinnacle mesh implant
Roseanne Sanchez, et al. v. Boston Scientific Corp., Case No. 2:12-cv-05762; regarding the Pinnacle mesh implant
Carolyn F. Smothers v. Boston Scientific Corp., Case No. 2:12-cv-08016; regarding the Obtryx mesh implant
Katherine L. Hall v. Boston Scientific Corp., Case No, 2:12-cv-08186; regarding the Obtryx mesh implant
Overview of Vaginal Mesh Complications
On October 12, 2008, the FDA made a public announcement that vaginal mesh could cause serious and debilitating side effects for patients who choose to use it for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or stress urinary inconsistence (SUI). In that announcement, it was revealed that the FDA had received over 1,000 injury reports from nine vaginal mesh manufacturers, reporting complications that their patients suffered.
By 2011, the FDA received approximately 4,000 vaginal mesh injury reports, indicating severe and debilitating injuries allegedly caused by transvaginal mesh. Vaginal mesh problems became so bad that in January 2012, the FDA made another announcement, but this time to vaginal mesh manufacturers rather than the public. The announcement ordered, with the exception of upper mesh implants, that all vaginal mesh manufacturers were now required to conduct post-market testing on their transvaginal mesh products.
This announcement was offset by the amount of vaginal mesh injury reports increasing over the years and becoming more serious. The injuries reported include but are not limited to:
- Mesh erosion in the vagina, bladder, intestines and uterus
- Pelvic pain
- Urinary problems, including recurrence of prolapse and/or incontinence
- Development of urinary retention
- Bowel, bladder, and blood vessel perforation during implantation
- Vaginal scarring
- Painful intercourse
- Neuropathic pain
The Boston Scientific mesh MDL is currently still pending, and will be updated regularly. Many of these plaintiffs are seeking damages for medical compensation, negligence, and other punitive damages.
The MDL is In Re: Boston Scientific Corp., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2326, in the United States District Court of West Virginia, Charleston Division.
All medical device, dangerous drug and medical class action and lawsuit news updates are listed in the Drug and Medical Device section of Top Mass Torts.
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