Recent court documents show that a Massachusetts woman’s vaginal mesh lawsuit will move forward after an October 9 appellate court decision.
When plaintiff Billie Allen filed her lawsuit over meshes made by Boston Scientific and American Medical Systems, she claimed that the device caused her to suffer from complications. The complications listed in her complaint included erosion, vaginal scarring and pain. The Suffolk County Superior Court originally dismissed her complaint by stating that her complaint did not meet pleading standards. However, the appeals court ruled that her claims were adequate enough to go trial.
One attorney has offered an explanation on the ruling and how it will affect other plaintiffs who have filed vaginal mesh claims.
“Fortunately, the appellate court rectified an error made by the trial court,” said Rochelle Rottenstein, a lawyer watching the case. “Appellate courts have the prerogative to review — and, as appropriate, undo — decisions of lower courts. In this case, the review resulted in the reinstatement of the claims of the plaintiff.”
So far, there are more than 30,000 lawsuits that were filed against various manufacturers of similar vaginal mesh devise. Judge Joseph Goodwin of the Southern District of West Virginia is the current presiding judge who reigns over 6 different MDLs concerning vaginal mesh devices made by different companies. Those companies include Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit, C.R. Bard, American Medical Systems (AMS), Boston Scientific, Coloplast Corp. and Cook Medical. Manufacturers are starting to settle various claims filed against them after jury awards were handed down in at least two of the cases that went to trial so far. AMS alone has already paid out more than $50 million in vaginal mesh settlements, and C.R. Bard is currently negotiating settlements of its own. The FDA has already gone on to express that the types of complications listed in vaginal mesh lawsuits are not rare, and numerous studies are verifying the claims. More settlements will likely be reached.