Medical device manufacturers may wish that the recent transvaginal lawsuits would hurry up and go away, but they have only just begun. In the past months, a massive run of personal injury lawsuits has begun to roll towards them. In fact, the first of 6,400 suits is slated to reach West Virginia courts in March. Boston Scientific has been named as the defendant.
The sheer scale of this litigation is astounding; more than 30,000 medical negligence and defective product lawsuits have been filed against six U.S. mesh makers. Most of the cases allege that the manufacturers knew, or should have known, of the devastating and dangerous side effects of the mesh they produced.
The first four cases against Boston Scientific are to serve as bellwether cases, dealing with the Pinnacle transvaginal mesh and Obtryx mesh that caused complications that included, but were not limited to, internal injuries, infections, severe pain and erosion of the mesh.
Despite the lawsuits in progress and those still to be filed, Boston Scientific has stated that the mesh products are still an important treatment option. No doubt the 30,000 women who suffered severe consequences as a result of such implants feel otherwise.
Some sources have indicated that Boston Scientific is considering settlement talks, but most facts indicate that such a decision is many months from consideration. However, it may be that the recent C.R. Bard Inc. case that found the company liable for $2,000,000 or Ethicon’s $11,000,000 liability in another may eventually motivate Boston Scientific to propose out-of-court settlements.