Boston Scientific Corp. disclosed yesterday that it had reached an agreement to settle nearly 3,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits for a total of $119 million. Court documents indicate that the settlement is the first agreed to by the company, which is facing more than 25,000 such claims in U.S. courts.
According to a Reuters report, Boston Scientific is working on establishing a procedure to allow vaginal mesh claimants to participate in the settlement. It will pay settlement funds into an escrow account by October 1st.
The announcement of the settlement comes in the wake of several jury trials involving Boston Scientific lawsuits. The company won the first two cases, which were heard in Massachusetts state court. In November, however, a jury hearing a case in West Virginia federal court awarded four women damages ranging from $3.25 million to $4.25 million for pelvic mesh complications caused by its Obtryx mesh implant. A week earlier a federal jury in Miami awarded $26.7 million to four other women who were injured by Boston Scientific’s Pinnacle devices.
In September 2014, another Obtryx victim was awarded $73 million by a Texas jury, but the court later cut that award by nearly half to comply with state law on punitive damages. That case, which was subject to appeal, was among those included in yesterday’s settlement announcement.
In reaching the new accord, Boston Scientific did not admit any liability for the vaginal mesh complications allegedly suffered by any of the affected plaintiffs.
Boston Scientific is one of seven manufacturers currently named in pelvic mesh lawsuits. The others include American Medical Systems, Inc., Boston Scientific Corp., C.R. Bard, Inc., Cook Medical, Inc. and Neomedic. Some 75,000 claims are pending in separate multidistrict litigations underway in U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia, while thousands of others are pending in state courts.