Missouri Jury Sides With Defendant in Complicated Vaginal Mesh Case

 

On February 4, 2016, a Missouri jury returned a 10-2 verdict in favor of transvaginal mesh manufacturers Boston Scientific and C.R. Bard. The vaginal mesh lawsuit was brought by Eve Sherrer, a woman who wanted a solution to mild urinary incontinence but instead found a nightmare.

Ms. Sherrer underwent her first surgery to treat mild urinary incontinence issues. However, after doctors implanted Boston Scientific’s Solyx transvaginal mesh sling, she became completely incontinent. The device produced the opposite result she had hoped for. Ms. Sherrer’s attorneys said the product was poorly designed and made with subpar materials. In response, Boston Scientific’s attorneys argued it may have been improperly implanted by the doctor, but their product was not the cause of Ms. Sherrer’s injuries. Therefore, Boston Scientific should not be liable.

In hopes of correcting the worsening issue, Ms. Sherrer underwent a second surgery in which part of the Solyx was removed and Bard’s transvaginal mesh sling device, Align, was implanted. Still, Ms. Sherrer’s pain didn’t fade. Bard argued the Align did not contribute to Ms. Sherrer’s injuries, using her history of other medical issues as the scapegoat.

Unfortunately, the jury sided with Boston Scientific and Bard. They rejected the arguments that the products were defective and that they caused Ms. Sherrer’s injuries. This double defense verdict is not only an insult to Ms. Sherrer, but also to the tens of thousands of women suffering from the serious side effects of transvaginal mesh seeking justice against those responsible.

Although a defense verdict is never good news for an individual plaintiff, the result here doesn’t change anything for our current cases at TorHoerman Law LLC. That said, we look carefully at other cases to learn how juries are responding so that we can better serve our clients.

The possible negligence of Sherrer’s implanting surgeon seems to have decided the outcome in her case more than the defective transvaginal mesh devices implanted in her. Defense strategies often center on blaming other parties. As a result, attention is drawn away from their defective products, as was the case here. When defendants win a trial based on facts other than the defective products themselves, it does little to decrease the amounts discussed in settlement negotiations.

Additionally, the presence of two different meshes complicated Ms. Sherrer’s case. Given how complicated court procedures are even in a car accident case, it is difficult for plaintiffs raising claims against two different complicated medical devices to keep the jury focused on the real issues. In cases involving just one mesh, juries have regularly found in favor of plaintiffs where the defense has been unable to blame injuries caused by transvaginal mesh products on others. At TorHoerman Law LLC, we feel optimistic in our ability to bring those truly responsible for our clients’ injuries to justice without allowing them to place the blame elsewhere.

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