Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) and C.R. Bard (NYSE:BCR) yesterday won the 1st trial in a pelvic mesh lawsuit against 2 companies after a Kansas City jury voted 10-2 that their implants were not defective and didn’t cause plaintiff Eve Sherrer’s injuries.
Sherrer alleged that Bard’s Align and Boston Scientific’s 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, seeking $28 million in damages.
Manufacturers of pelvic mesh products, designed to treat female urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, face some 70,000 lawsuits spanning 3 multi-district litigations. Only a few have made it to trial, with juries recording 17 wins for plaintiffs and 5 for the defendant companies.
After the failure of the Solyx mesh Sherrer had implanted in 2010 to treat her pelvic organ prolapse, she was implanted with the Align product. Solyx, most of which was explanted after 67 days, caused her to become incontinent, her lawyer told the jury Dec. 2, and the Align implant’s stiffness allegedly led to chronic pain.
Boston Scientific’s attorney argued that Sherrer’s prior hysterectomy, osteoarthritis and an abdominal hernia could have caused her pain. The implant failed because it was not positioned correctly, he argued. Bard’s counsel told the jury that the material safety data sheet for the Marlex polypropylene mesh, indicating that the mesh is not suitable for permanent implantation, was included to cover liability, rather than safety issues.
After the 62-day trial – the longest-running pelvic mesh trial to date – the jury deliberated for less than 2 days before reaching a verdict for the defendants, according to Courtroom View Network. The case was also the 1st time a case involving either the Solyx or Align has gone to trial.
A Boston Scientific spokesman told the network that the company is pleased with the verdict and “believes the jury reached the right decision based on the facts and the law.” A representative for Bard and attorneys for Sherrer did not immediately respond to requests for comment, according to CVN.
In October, a Texas state jury used a plaintiff’s prior medical history as the basis for ruling that Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary Ethicon’s Gynecare Prosima device was not defectively designed and that Ethicon’s risk warnings were adequate.
For Bard, Sherrer’s case is its 2nd to be heard in state court. In 2012 a California state jury awarded a plaintiff $5.5 million for injuries she attirbuted to the company’s Avaulta Plus mesh. Last year Boston Scientific won a pair of cases in Massachusetts state courts, but lost a $74 million case in Texas state court.
A Delaware state jury awarded a plaintiff $100 million last May, but a judge later slashed that judgment to $10 million. In October a North Carolina state jury found for the company.
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