Boston Scientific Corp. Prevails in Bellwether Pelvic Mesh Trials


Shook, Hardy & Bacon represented Boston Scientific Corp. in the first cases to go to trial over the company's pelvic mesh products. Plaintiffs across the country filed tens of thousands of lawsuits against several pelvic mesh manufacturers, including Boston Scientific Corp., alleging that the companies neither properly developed nor properly warned consumers of potential side effects of the implanted devices.  Before the trial, juries had hit other manufacturers with million-dollar judgments, and some companies had agreed to settlements of as much as $830 million.

Before and during the first trial testing Boston Scientific Corp.'s liability, Shook attorneys won key evidentiary rulings, including the exclusion of testimony from a regulatory expert for the plaintiffs whose opinions had previously been barred from consideration against the company. After a three-week trial, the jury returned a full defense verdict, finding that the Pinnacle Pelvic Floor Repair Kit was not defectively designed and that Boston Scientific Corp. adequately warned of the device's risks. Albright v. Boston Scientific Corp., No. 12-909 (Mass. Super. Ct., Middlesex Cnty. 2014).

One month later, a second Massachusetts jury delivered a defense verdict following a trial determining Boston Scientific Corp.'s liability for the alleged degradation of the Obtryx® sling in the plaintiff's body. Before and during the trial, Shook attorneys again won challenges to the appropriateness of the plaintiff's evidence, including the testimony of the implanting doctor, and they showed through expert testimony that the mesh has a history of safe use supported by more than 20 clinical studies. Following a two-week trial, the jury's verdict found no design or warning defect for Boston Scientific Corp. Cardenas v. Boston Scientific Corp., No. 12-2912 (Mass. Super. Ct., Middlesex Cnty. 2014).

Shook continued its successful representation of Boston Scientific Corp. in two later cases—Carlson and Sherrer—as well.