Boston Scientific Corp. won the first case to go trial over its vaginal-mesh devices after a Massachusetts jury rejected a woman’s claims the mesh’s faulty design caused her injuries, a plaintiffs lawyer said.
Jurors in state court in Massachusetts yesterday found Boston Scientific officials properly designed the Pinnacle mesh implanted in Diane Albright to support her pelvic muscles and adequately warned her about the device’s risks, Fred Thompson, one of the woman’s lawyers, said in a telephone interview.
The verdict is first in more than 12,000 lawsuits in which women contend vaginal mesh made by Natick, Massachusetts-based Boston Scientific erodes, causing organ damage and pain, according to court filings. Boston Scientific and other makers of vaginal inserts that have been targeted in suits had talks earlier this year about settling cases over the devices, according to people familiar with the discussions.
“We are pleased with the outcome,” Denise Kaigler, a spokeswoman for Boston Scientific, said in an e-mail. “Patient safety is of utmost importance to Boston Scientific and we dedicate significant resources to deliver safe, high-quality products.”
Many of the implant cases against Boston Scientific and other manufacturers such as Johnson & Johnson and C.R. Bard Inc. have been consolidated before U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin in Charleston, West Virginia, for pretrial information exchanges. Other cases have been filed in state courts in Delaware, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Missouri and California.
Juries in New Jersey and West Virginia over the past year have ruled J&J’s and Bard’s vaginal-mesh implants caused women’s injuries and ordered the companies to pay a total of more than $13 million in damages.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered Boston Scientific, J&J and more than 30 other vaginal-implant makers in 2012 to study rates of organ damage and complications linked to the implants.
In Albright’s case, jurors in Woburn, Massachusetts deliberated more than six hours over two days before rejecting the Ohio woman’s claims that Boston Scientific’s design of the Pinnacle mesh was flawed and company officials failed to properly warn her about the device’s risks, Thompson said. The vaginal insert was implanted in Albright in March 2010, according to court filings.
Boston Scientific faces its next vaginal-mesh trial in state court in Wilmington, Delaware, in September, Thompson said.
The case was Albright v. Boston Scientific Corp., 12-0909, Middlesex County Superior Court, Massachusetts (Woburn).