May Brings Two Defective Mesh Trials Naming Boston Scientific

Jane Akre
April 28, 2015
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Add these two upcoming cases to your mesh calendar.

Sanchez Trial

On May 5th in a federal court in Los Angeles, Roseanne Sanchez will take her product liability case against Boston Scientific before a jury. The Honorable John F. Walter of the Central District of California will oversee the five-day trial. (Sanchez v. Boston Scientific 2:12-cv-05762)

Roseanne Sanchez was implanted with a Boston Scientific Pinnacle Pelvic Floor Repair Kit.

*New* Her case had been filed in Charleston, WV and is considered a bellwether, those chosen to take before a jury to gauge the potential to settle.

Her attorneys are Scott Love of Clark, Love Hutson of Houston, TX and Jim Perdue (Perdue Kidd). Both law firms won a $28 million award for four plaintiffs last November in a Miami federal courtroom.

In that case, each woman, also implanted with the Pinnacle Pelvic Mesh Repair Kit, was awarded between $6.5 and 6.7 million. The case is on appeal. See Mesh News Nov 13, 2014, where the jury decided:

The nine-person jury decided the Pinnacle was defectively designed and its instruction to physicians were also defective; that the company was negligent and failed to warn patients about the dangers of the Pinnacle.

Barba Trial

Motley Rice attorney Fidelma Fitzpatrick will try the case of Deborah Barba v. Boston Scientific May 11th in a Delaware court. Deborah Barba was implanted with a Boston Scientific Pinnacle mesh as well as an Advantage Fit retropubic sling. She has since had two revision surgeries.

Her trial will be in in Superior Court of New Castle Co. Delaware before Judge Mary M. Johnston and should take approximately two weeks. (Barba v. Boston Scientific No. N11C-08-050 MMJ). This is not a bellwether case and was originally filed in Delaware state court.

*New* Today in a regulatory filing, (here) Boston Scientific announced its reached a settlement of $119 million to resolve 2,970 pelvic mesh cases. There will be no admission of liability if an agreement is reached. This would be the first mesh settlement offered by the company. See the Mesh News Desk story here.

The funds could be set aside in an escrow account by October 1.


Boston Scientific has seen mixed results in the courtroom over its pelvic mesh products.

In November, four women implanted with the Boston Scientific Obtryx mesh, a mid-urethral sling to treat incontinence, were together awarded $18.5 million by a West Virginia jury. (Tyree v. Boston Scientific, 2:12-cv-08633).

The jurors decided in each case the Obtryx mesh was defectively designed, the instructions to physicians were insufficient and the company was negligent in its manufacture of the Obtryx. Each woman was awarded an additional $1 million in punitive damages. See Mesh News Desk story here.

Last September in a Dallas courtroom, the jury awarded Martha Salazar $73.5 million for the injuries she received from the Obtryx Mid-Urethral Sling. That amount was later reduced by half under state caps. Story here.

Maria Cardenas lost her product liability trial to Boston Scientific last August in the Massachusetts Superior Court of Middlesex County. (No. 12-02912). See the Mesh News Desk story here.

Reportedly, her lawyers were not allowed to introduce to the jury the Material Safety Data Sheet. That is a breakdown of raw materials that is issued by petroleum companies that sell the raw resin used to make a polypropylene pelvic mesh implant, in her case the Obtryx pelvic mesh. It contains a warning the resin is not to be used to make an implantable medical device. See background story here.

The Obtryx remains on the market

In July, 2014, the company won its first bellwether case in Albright v. Boston Scientific. Ms. Albright was also implanted with the Pinnacle mesh. See her story here. Mesh News Desk reported August 4, 2014 the problems with the Albright case (Albright v. Boston Scientific No. 12-0909) here.

Since then Judge Diane Kottmyer has retired from the federal bench in Middlesex Co. Mass., the headquarters of Boston Scientific.

The Pinnacle Pelvic Floor Repair Kit is no longer on the market in the U.S.

Boston Scientific used polypropylene mesh known as Marlex to make its pelvic mesh implants to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). The Pinnacle Pelvic Floor Repair Kit was the largest among all mesh kits ever made among all manufacturers to treat POP. It was voluntarily recalled from the market by Boston Scientific in 2011.

On May 10, 2011, Boston Scientific sent an “URGENT MEDICAL DEVICE RECALL-IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED” letter to all affected customers concerning its Class 2 recall for the Pinnacle Pelvic Floor Repair Kit because ‘the device may exhibit low tensile strength between the needle and suture and led to needle detachment during mesh leg placement.”

There are more than 1,000 pelvic mesh cases filed in Massachusetts naming Boston Scientific and 16,664 filed in federal court in Charleston West Virginia (here)

where 75,000 cases against seven manufacturers have been consolidated.

Boston Scientific along with C.R. Bard, Ethicon (Johnson & Johnson) Coloplast and Cook have been called to a status conference before Judge Joseph Goodwin June 2, 2015 to update any efforts to reach settlement in the outstanding product liability actions. See Judge Goodwin's order here. #

Learn More:

Drugwatch on Boston Scientific

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