Recently, nearly 350 suits against Boston Scientific in multidistrict litigation (MDL) were settled. The company was accused of making defective pelvic mesh implants. The Plaintiffs and Boston Scientific filed two joint motions for dismissal with prejudice on Dec. 12, saying they had reached a settlement for hundreds of cases in the long-running five-year-old litigation. All of the cases in the West Virginia MDL were dismissed. The dismissals are part of a confidential settlement reached about a year ago and were “an expected part of the settlement process,” according to Leigh O’Dell, a lawyer in our firm. She told Law360 on behalf of the Plaintiffs:
The settlement offered an opportunity for all of our clients to settle their claims. Nearly all claims have been resolved at this point.
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in 2012 centralized three MDLs featuring 150 cases in West Virginia. Since then, the litigation has grown to seven MDLs with some 28,000 cases against Boston Scientific and other makers of the mesh, according to a recent order.
The products at issue are intended to treat stress urinary incontinence, which is the involuntary loss of urine during movement that puts pressure on the bladder, such as laughing, coughing or sneezing, and pelvic organ prolapse, which is the movement of the bladder or other organs. The mesh can fix the problem, but can also lead to punctured organs, infections, bleeding, pain during sexual intercourse and urinary problems.
In November 2014, a Florida federal jury found Boston Scientific was negligent in manufacturing the Pinnacle Pelvic Floor Repair Kit and awarded some $27 million to four women who said they experienced infection, organ perforation, nerve damage, blood loss and chronic pelvic pain. The jury did not award punitive damages in the bellwether trial. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision in October.
The Plaintiffs are represented by Leigh O’Dell and Andy Birchfield from Beasley Allen. The MDL is In re: Boston Scientific Corp. Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, (case number 2:12-md-02326) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.