The list of lawsuits and complaints over the negative adverse effects of pelvic mesh just seems to be getting longer and longer.
Another mesh maker, Boston Scientific, has joined makers such as Johnson & Johnson, C.R. Bard, Covidien and others in reporting that their company is sharing in all of the negative attention, as they have 2,500 pending lawsuits claiming injury from pelvic mesh.
In a regulatory filing, Boston Scientific says most of the plaintiffs are suing over fraud, breach of warranty or failure to warn, and that many of the cases have been consolidated into a single federal court in West Virginia and in Massachusetts state court. Furthermore, the company found out in October that it is the subject of a civil investigation into its sales practices for the implants, led by the California attorney general and other state offices.
Boston Scientific has also just reported that its Women’s Health business declined 11% worldwide in the third quarter. According to a transcript of Boston Scientific’s third quarter earnings conference call, the decline in its Women’s Health business was fueled, in part, by concerns surrounding the use of vaginal mesh products for pelvic organ prolapse repair.
Pelvic Mesh Lawsuits Continue
In July 2011, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warned that there had been a five-fold increase in reports of serious complications associated with the use of pelvic mesh. The FDA also modified its previous position on the frequency of such complications, stating in the alert that vaginal mesh injuries associated with pelvic organ prolapse repair were not rare. Since then, a growing number of pelvic mesh lawsuits have been filed by women throughout the country who allege they sustained serious, painful and life-changing injuries following implantation of vaginal mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.
On November 2, 2012, Judge Joseph R. Goodwin, who is overseeing federal vaginal mesh lawsuits, issued Pretrial Order #22, Submission of Bellwether Plan. Among other things, Judge Goodwin ordered the parties to determine if bellwether trials in three vaginal mesh litigations should begin in 2013.
The first federal vaginal mesh bellwether trial, involving pelvic mesh products manufactured by C.R. Bard, is scheduled to begin on February 5, 2013 in the Southern District of West Virginia.