Boston Scientific Corporation has agreed to pay $188.7 million to settle claims by most U.S. states that it deceptively marketed its transvaginal mesh devices to women. According to a Reuters news report, the settlement with 47 states and Washington D.C. was announced this week by several state attorneys general. As part of this settlement, Boston Scientific also agreed to describe the safety and risks of using the surgical mesh devices more accurately to consumers.
Manufacturers Face Backlash
Johnson & Johnson and its Ethicon unit, which also made these vaginal mesh devices, reached a similar $117 million multistate settlement in 2019 while Becton Dickinson and its CR Bard unit reached a $60 million agreement last September. The devices have also spurred a number of product liability lawsuits from women who have been severely affected.
Lawyers for some of the plaintiffs have estimated that settlements between the industry and more than 100,000 women may hit $11 billion. In April 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered Boston Scientific and the Danish company Coloplast A/S, the two remaining makers of transvaginal surgical mesh implants for pelvic order prolapse, to halt sales.
Serious Side Effects
Transvaginal mesh devices, which are also known as pelvic mesh devices, were intended to be implanted in the pelvic floor to treat conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. However, tens of thousands of women have reported suffering serious side effects. Instead of improving women’s lives, many have reported experiencing horrific symptoms including excruciating pain. In some women, the mesh cut into the vaginal lining causing infections and even nerve damage. Others could not sit down or urinate without a catheter.
Some patients even had to be hospitalized or stop sexual intercourse because the symptoms had become so painful and unbearable. The states in their action essentially accused Boston Scientific of concealing the potential risks of using the devices including chronic pain, urinary dysfunction, and new onset of incontinence. New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement that Boston Scientific was putting profits before the health of people who needed care. Many women were put in harm’s way.
If you or a loved one has suffered side effects as a result of getting vaginal mesh implants, you may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, permanent injuries, disabilities, cost of rehabilitation, pain, and suffering, and emotional distress. An experienced product defect lawyer can help you better understand your legal rights and options.