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Boston Scientific Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits Survive Limitations Challenge

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In  personal injury and Mass Tort cases, most states have a 2 year Statute of Limitations, which typically begins to run from the date of the injury or when the injured party knew or should have know that the injury was cause by the defective drug or medical device.

This is a method by which the courts and by states legislatures to put a hard time limit on cases so that folks cannot bring cases for injuries that happened years ago, otherwise there would be no end to litigation.

Boston Scientific Summary Judgment Motion

According to the federal judge presiding over the vaginal mesh lawsuits, the motion for summary judgment filed by Boston Scientific in one of the cases was denied, rejecting an attempt by the manufacturer to have the case dismissed based on the statute of limitations.

A complaint filed by Roseanne Sanchez has been selected as one of Boston Scientific mesh lawsuits that are prepared for early trial dates, which are to begin on March 10, 2014 and July 14, 2014.

U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin denied a Motion for Summary Judgement in the Sanchez case. The manufacturer argued that the claim is time-barred based on California’s two-year statute of limitations and that the lawsuit should be dismissed because the complaint was filed more than two years after she underwent four revision surgeries.

Plaintiff Sanchez Mesh Injuries

In January 2010, Sanchez underwent treatment with a Boston Scientific Pinnacle Pelvic Floor Repair Kit and Advantage Transvaginal Mid-Urethal Sling System to treat her stress urinary incontinence (SUI), pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and cystocele. After surgery Sanchez developed complications which resulted in four different vaginal mesh revision surgeries between April 2010 and September 2010

According to Boston Scientific, these surgeries put Sanchez on notice of her claim, and should have started the two year vaginal mesh statute of limitations. Judge Goodwin rejected this argument, allowing the case to move forward.

According to Sanchez , she only became aware that her injuries may be related to the Boston Scientific product when she saw a television advertisement in August 2011. She subsequently retained counsel and filed her complaint on September 21, 2012.

Vaginal Mesh Litigation MDL Status

Judge Goodwin is presiding over 37,000 lawsuits that are centralized in six different federal multidistrict litigations (MDLs) against different manufacturers of vaginal mesh and bladder sling devices, including Boston Scientific, C.R. Bard, American Medical Systems (AMS), Ethicon, Coloplast and Cook Medical.

The MDLs are centralized in the Southern District of West Virginia for coordinated discovery and consolidated pretrial proceedings, and a series of “bellwether” trials that will be held involving each manufacturer.

Mesh Trial Verdicts

Four vaginal mesh cases have reached trial, with two cases before state court juries and two cases in federal court. In July 2012, a California state court jury awarded $5.5 million in damages against C.R. Bard and a New Jersey state court jury awarded $11.1 million in damages against Ethicon in March 2013.

In July 2013, a federal jury awarded $2 million in damages against Bard, including punitive damages. A second Bard case settled during the first day of trial for a confidential sum.

2014 Mesh Bellwether Trials

Throughout 2014, a series of nine additional bellwether trials are scheduled involving claims brought against Ethicon, Boston Scientific and AMS. The first Boston Scientific bellwether trials are currently set to begin in March 2014 and July 2014.

The March trial involves a complaint filed by Carol Lynn Fawcett, who was implanted with a Pinnacle mesh system. If the Fawcett case settles or is dismissed before trial, the Sanchez case has been identified as the back-up case for that first trial date. The Sanchez case is expected to go during the second Boston Scientific trial date, on July 14, 2014.