Boston Scientific won a defense verdict in the first transvaginal mesh (TVM) case to go to trial in Middlesex Superior Court. The jury ruled that plaintiff Diane Albright had not proved that her Pinnacle vaginal mesh device was defectively designed, or that it lacked adequate warnings. While Boston Scientific won this round, we believe that there are four reasons to believe that TVM cases going forward will be won by the plaintiffs.
1. This plaintiff never had her mesh implant removed.
She hadn’t undergone revision surgery – the device was not removed from her body despite the pain it had caused her since implantation in 2010. One of the plaintiff’s attorneys, Jonathon D. Orent, commented “Ms. Albright’s doctors ultimately concluded that it would be more dangerous for her to have surgery to try and remove the mesh. I think the jury had difficulty in identifying with her injuries because of her doctors’ decision not to pursue aggressive surgery.”
2. This case was tried using Ohio law.
Because Ms. Albright lived in Ohio and had the Pinnacle mesh device surgically implanted in the state of Ohio, Ohio law controlled the result. The Ohio Product Liability Act, passed in 2005, requires a different, more difficult burden of proof than would be required under common law, and limits the theories under which a plaintiff can pursue a claim against a product manufacturer.
3. This plaintiff didn’t argue polyproplyene isn’t fit for human implantation
The plaintiff’s attorneys argued that the Pinnacle transvaginal mesh device was defective because it contained too much polypropylene, not that the polypropylene shouldn’t have been used at all. The plaintiffs’ lawyer’s decision to argue the case this way was likely because the plaintiff could not have the device removed. Despite the fact that the decision not to remove the device was based on the advice of her doctors, jurors may have concluded that if it shouldn’t have been used at all, wouldn’t she have had it removed?
4. This was a case the defense picked.
Finally, this case was selected as a bellwether trial by Boston Scientific precisely because they believed it was a weak case that they could win. Other bellwether trials of cases selected by plaintiffs’ counsel will likely lead to very different outcomes.
Thornton Law Firm’s Drug and Medical Device lawyers represent women in transvaginal mesh claims against Boston Scientific Corp., as well as Caldera, C.R. Bard, Inc., Ethicon (subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) and Sofradim/Covidien. If you have a transvaginal mesh implant and have suffered complications including pain, mesh erosion, mesh contraction, additional surgeries, urinary problems, severe pelvic pain, infection, bleeding, vaginal tightening or shortening, painful sexual intercourse, inability to engage in sexual intercourse, or organ perforation, and would like a free, confidential evaluation of your legal claim, please tell us your story here or call us at our toll free number 888-341-1405.