In 2013, Eve Sherrer filed claims over polypropylene mesh slings that she’d had implanted in 2011 and 2012 to treat urinary incontinence, including claims for negligence, design and manufacturing defects, and failure to warn.
Sherrer alleged that Bard’s Align and Boston Scientific’s (NYSE:BSX) Solyx products used a polypropylene mesh that reacts to tissue by becoming brittle, and that the companies failed to warn patients about the products’ attendant risks.
Bard and Boston Scientific escaped the suit in February 2016 after a Kansas City jury voted 10-2 that their implants were not defective and didn’t cause Sherrer’s injuries. However, the case was revived in the Missouri court system in August 2018 after an appeals court ruled that a lower court was wrong to exclude prior verdicts that went against the company.
The latest opinion on the suit, issued earlier this week by the Missouri Supreme Court, cleared Bard and Boston Scientific of liability and rejected Sherrer’s claim for a mistrial after slides containing details of settlements she reached with healthcare providers connected to her surgery were shown to the jurors.
Judge Patricia Breckenridge was one of three judges who dissented in favor of Sherrer’s mistrial claims, arguing that the information about her settlements could warrant a mistrial, also noting that the circuit court had displayed reluctance to retry the trial that had gone on for twice as long as expected. She was joined by two other judges in dissenting, while four judges ruled in favor of the opinion clearing Bard.
Last month, state attorneys general in California and Washington announced that Becton Dickinson would pay $60 million to 48 U.S. states to resolve the allegations that its Bard business deceptively marketed transvaginal surgical mesh devices.
Mesh products are designed to treat the weakening of the muscles and ligaments supporting a woman’s pelvic organs, but they’ve sparked thousands of lawsuits citing harm including pain, excessive bleeding and loss of sexual function. They’ve produced millions in settlements for the plaintiffs and a series of recalls for the defendants.
Bard stopped selling its pelvic mesh products in the United States by the end of 2016. BD bought Bard for $24 billion the next year.