A Pennsylvania state judge last month dismissed Secant Medical from more than 860 personal injury lawsuits filed over the pelvic mesh Secant made for Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary Ethicon.
Judge Arnold New, director of the Complex Litigation Center at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, ruled August 22 that Pennsylvania state law shields Secant from the lawsuits because it only made a component of the larger companies’ transvaginal mesh products, according to court documents.
Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson, C.R. Bard (NYSE:BCR), Endo Health Solutions (NSDQ:ENDP), Cook Medical and Coloplast (CPH:COLO B) are all facing thousands of similar product liability lawsuits in state and federal courts around the country. The cases generally allege that the devices, designed to treat female urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, were defectively designed and caused the plaintiffs’ injuries.
New set up the Philly mass tort in February, ordering that "all currently filed pelvic mesh matters shall be transferred to the Complex Litigation Center Pelvic Mesh Mass Tort Program" for coordination. Other cases have been consolidated into a multi-district litigation under Judge Joseph Goodwin of the U.S. District Court for Southern West Virginia.
Last week, Boston Scientific won its 2nd victory in bellwether trials proceeding over its pelvic mesh devices, when a Massachusetts jury found that its Obtryx transvaginal sling was not defectively designed and that Boston Scientific gave adequate warning of its risks. The Marlborough, Mass.-based company won the 1st trial in July, when another Bay State jury similarly found the mesh not defectively designed and its risks adequately advised.