| July 30
July 30 A Massachusetts jury has cleared Boston
Scientific Corp of selling dangerous and defective
transvaginal mesh devices, in the first out of more than 20,000
lawsuits waiting to go to trial.
The verdict came Tuesday in a suit brought by Diane
Albright, who in 2012 claimed that the Pinnacle device she was
implanted with was faulty, causing complications that included
pain, bleeding and incontinence.
Following a trial of almost three weeks, jurors found that
Boston Scientific was not liable for Albright's injuries.
"While we were disappointed with the verdict, it was a
privilege to represent Mrs. Albright and to give a voice to her
story," said her lawyer, Fidelma Fitzpatrick of Motley Rice.
Boston Scientific spokeswoman Denise Kaigler said the
company was pleased with the trial outcome and stood behind the
importance of transvaginal mesh as a treatment option.
Transvaginal mesh devices are used to treat stress urinary
incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
Albright had claimed that the device's material was
biologically incompatible with human tissue, prompting an immune
response in some recipients. It could cause the pelvic tissue to
break down, creating serious complications and sometimes
requiring additional surgery to remove or replace the device,
her lawsuit said.
She claimed that Boston Scientific knew about these risks
but failed to warn users and their physicians. The company has
denied that it was liable for plaintiffs' injuries.
Boston Scientific is facing more than 20,000 claims over the
devices, including 1,700 that have been assigned to a single
judge in Massachusetts state court and more than 12,000 that
have been consolidated before a federal judge in West Virginia,
according to a May 8 regulatory filing.
The next trial in Massachusetts is set for Aug. 11,
Fitzpatrick said. The first trial in the federal cases is
scheduled for Nov. 3.
Several other major medical-device manufacturers are facing
claims over similar devices, including C.R. Bard Inc and Johnson
& Johnson's Ethicon unit. In April, one defendant, Endo
International Plc, said it would pay $830 million to resolve
thousands of claims brought against its American Medical Systems
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a safety
communication in 2011 saying that reports of serious
complications in patients using transvaginal mesh devices were
not rare, and that it was continuing to monitor the devices.
The case is Albright v. Boston Scientific Corp, Middlesex
County Superior Court, Massachusetts, No. 12-909.
(Reporting by Jessica Dye in New York; Editing by Ted Botha and