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Sullivan V Boston Scientific Pelvic Mesh Case Settles on Eve of Trial

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas

Mesh News Desk, (MND) March 1, 2017~ The March 13th pelvic mesh trial of Sullivan v. Boston Scientific will not be heard because it has settled. There is no word on the specifics of that settlement. It is the first of many cases poised to go to trial in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. 

Sullivan v. Boston Scientific, Inc. et al (Case ID 130700971) named as its defendant Boston Scientific (BSC) from Natick, Mass and Secant Medical Inc. of Perkasie, PA and Prodesco Inc also of Perkasie, PA.

The Kline Specter firm represented Ms. Sullivan.

The case had received a Trial Date Certain from Judge Arnold New of March 13th.

Susan Donnelly Murphy

Now MND has learned Sullivan has settled. Specifics are not available but yesterday, February 28, Susan Donnelly Murphy petitioned the court to be brought into the Sullivan case.

“She has a successful record of resolving lawsuits via trial, mediation, arbitration & dispositive motions,” says a write up on her Murphy & Riley law firm of Mass.

In her 30-page  complaint, Sullivan received the Uphold vaginal support system to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.  Secant Medical and/or Boston Scientific designed, tested, inspected, wove, cut, treated, packaged, manufactured and marketed the mesh made from polypropylene. Secant sold the mesh components of BSC products.

Marlex Mesh, Phillips Petroleum ad

On November 22, 2010 Sullivan was implanted with one or more of BSC mesh products and or Secant’s mesh components, by Dr. Stephen A. Metz at Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, Mass. He is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology.

He performed a bilateral sacrospinous ligament colposuspension, posterior colporrhalphy with repair of the perineal body, and a cystoscopy.

Uphold Lite from BSC website

Uphold is made of Marlex polypropylene, a double-armed mesh placed using a Capio device.  Its design is based on the Pinnacle mesh, with the difference being the shape of the mesh.  There were no trials pre-market to determine whether the new design was safe and effective.

Uphold was placed on the market through the FDA’s 510(k) clearance for marketing on August 22, 2008. It has been replaced by Uphold Lite.

On July 14, 2011, Dr. Metz excised the exposed mesh from the vaginal wall and placed an AMS Monarc mid-urethral sling in Ms. Sullivan.

“As a result of having the Pelvic Mesh Products and/or the Mesh Components implanted in her, Plaintiff has sustained permanent injury, undergone corrective surgery, and has experienced, and will continue to experience, significant mental and physical pain and suffering, financial or economic loss, including, but not limited to, obligations for medical services and expenses.”

“Injuries include, but are not limited to, mesh erosion, exposure, contraction, infection, inflammation, scar tissue, organ perforation, dyspareunia, blood loss, pelvic floor damage, pelvic pain and/or recurrent urinary incontinence.”

AUGS conference

The Complaint goes on to say the Defendants market their Pelvic Mesh Products to the medical community through carefully planned, multifaceted marketing campaigns and strategies.  Direct to consumer advertising, aggressive marketing to health care providers at medical conferences, hospitals and private offices.  BSC has failed to report high failure injury, complication rates, failure to perform as intended, re-operations and severe irreversible injuries.

BSC has “consistently under reported and withheld information about the propensity of their Pelvic Mesh Products and/or Mesh components manufactured by the Secant medical Defendants.

They know their disclosures to the FDA were and are incomplete and misleading and that their mesh components are causing numerous patients severe injuries and complications Boston Scientific consistently suppresses this information and failed to share with the FDA, health care providers and the patients.   BSC provides insufficient and misleading training and information to physicians to increase its use.  “As a result, the Defendant Boston Scientific actively and intentionally misled and continues to mislead the public….”

There were safer alternative designs and products as well as suitable alternative procedures and instruments for implantation and treatment of POP.

The Defendants failed to properly and adequately warn the Plaintiff or her physician.  They were negligent in the manufacture, warning, sale and training of doctors to implant the mesh. Common law fraud means the Defendant falsely and fraudulently represented their medical device as safe and effective with a “callous, reckless, willful, and depraved indifference to the health, safety, and welfare of Plaintiff.”

Negligent infliction of emotional distress, Breach of Express Warranty- safe and fit for use by consumers.  Breach of implied warranty, violation of consumer protection laws by making false deceptive representations and advertising, violating statutes that were enacted to protect consumers.  Gross negligence is malice fraud, grossly negligent disregard for the rights of others. 

The complaint is signed by Thomas R. Kline, Lee Balefsky and Michelle Tiger as well as attorneys from Aylstock Witkin Kreis and Overholtz of Pensacola.  


A call into Boston Scientific’s media office about whether or not BSC has conducted its clinical testing of its pelvic mesh products as ordered by the FDA, January 2012, was not answered by publishing time. It will be added if there is a response.

A Mass. appeals court decided last September that the Albright case against Boston Scientific should receive a new trial because of information omitted by the Massachusetts trial court judge. See MND coverage here.

A RICO case was filed last June in federal court in Charleston, WV alleging Boston Scientific purchased counterfeit Marlex to make its pelvic mesh from a Chinese counterfeiter.  See MND coverage here.

A North Carolina jury found for Boston Scientific and its Uphold mesh in the trial of Carlson v. Boston Scientific, October, 2015.  See MND coverage here. 



  1. Kitty says:

    The plaintiffs account was scathing. Does she have another claim from AMS?. So very sorry for BS ladies

  2. j says:

    when are the rest of the cases
    scheduled to pay off? I was awarded
    around June 2016 still haven’t seen any money

    • Still standing says:

      That is a question you should ask your attorney. It could be that your firm did not get the required percentage of plaintiffs to agree to settle. If they cant deliver about 95%’of their clients to the settlement agreement the settlement deal will fall through. It could also be that after holding back 25% for lein searches, paying your attorney 40% of the gross award and paying your case costs, there may not be much left for you. All your costs should have been spelled out in the settlement agreement. Call your attorney. He or she owes you an answer to that question. They should not be just holding the money and not paying it out as soon as possible.

    • KSB says:

      I received a letter from my attorney in Nov. 2016 stating to expect disbursement of funds in mid-February 2017. Don’t know if this was just for my attorney or for all in the BS settlement but just thought I’d let you know. My case had some legal complications that are currently being resolved, so once this happens, I am going to contact my attorney again and find out when to expect the settlement funds to be dispersed. I anticipate the next thing they are going to say is they are waiting to hear from insurance carriers re: any liens from them on the funds. I had private insurance during all of my surgeries. (NO MEDICARE OR MEDICAID). Does anyone know if private insurance carriers are requesting reimbursement of funds out of the settlement dollars and if so, how much are they asking for? Do they want back all of the money they paid to every provider (hospital and doctor)? Also, does anyone have any experience with how long it takes to find out about outstanding liens? I anticipate it’s going to take months, just like it has for about everything else. What I want to know is why haven’t they been looking into potential liens from the very beginning? I mean, they have known all along that we signed the settlement agreement…why couldn’t they have initiated the process of discovery from the get-go? MEANWHILE>>>WHERE THE HECK IS ALL THIS MONEY? IS THE SPECIAL MASTER SITTING ON ALL OF IT AND ACCRUING THE INTEREST? This is just so frustrating. Meanwhile, how are we expected to pay our bills…for those of us who have been promised we will receive this money and all that’s happening is more and more time keeps going by and more and more creditors keep knocking on my door wanting their money. All I know is you can’t get blood from a turnip…I have nothing to give right now. I need this nightmare to end and to get whatever is coming to me to get here FAST!! Anyone in the same situation as me? Please share…..

  3. Diana says:

    So I keep calling my attorney and they tell me b.s. hasn’t settled yet us this trur do i need a new attorney

    • Jane Akre says:

      Diana- Has your law firm filed your case? Do you have a case number? Did your law firm pass you along to another firm? These are questions you need answered. They may have no idea the status of your case because they passed it on!

  4. Wanda says:

    Where do I go on the internet to find out the results of some of the settlements? I have been waiting but all my attorney keeps saying is that we are close to reaching an end. I have singed so many papers with information regarding my health since my surgery in 2008. Funny how they pulled the mesh off the market in 2011. I really am tired of only getting half a story. I would really like to understnd more.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Wanda use the Search Bar here and type in “winners and losers” or “Mesh Trials, Winners and Losers” You will get a list of the cases heard so far…….. thank you.

  5. MASHONA says:


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