BOSTON — Medical device manufacturing giant Boston Scientific has announced its first major settlement resolution in almost 3,000 cases for its defective transvaginal mesh products.
In the face of thousands of lawsuits and multiple big verdict losses, the Massachusetts company has reached a settlement of approximately $119 million for 2,970 cases. This settlement, however, is not the company admitting any guilt or wrongdoing by the company or its product. Rather, it is a conditional settlement in which Boston Scientific will create an escrow account and deposit $119 million into the account by October 1, 2015. A settlement procedure will be created and announced for victims who are eligible to participate.
The Dangers of Transvaginal Mesh
Transvaginal mesh is a synthetic netting that is most commonly used to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the pelvic muscles become so weak that the organs in the area (bladder, rectum, and uterus) fall through into the vagina. The mesh acts as a means of shoring up the muscles and providing support by holding the organs in place. It can be quickly inserted in a minimally invasive procedure through the vagina.
Transvaginal mesh instead has been found to cause considerable pain, discomfort, and other health complications for recipients of the implant. The mesh has been found to move out of place and break off into pieces. Complications of this include pain, nerve damage, infection, bleeding, internal scarring, organ perforation or damage, painful intercourse, and pelvic organ prolapse. While it is possible to undo the damage, it is a challenging process. The mesh was designed to be permanent so the body quickly grows around it. It requires multiple revision surgeries to remove each individual mesh piece from the body.
Boston Scientific is one of seven major manufacturers that have been hit with lawsuits over defective transvaginal mesh devices. In a single federal court in West Virginia, the company is facing almost 17,000 cases. The total across the country in both federal and state court is closer to 25,000 cases.
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