March 23, 2021 (SAINT PAUL) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison today announced that his office and a broad multistate coalition of states have reached a $188.6 million multistate settlement with Boston Scientific Corporation over allegations that Boston Scientific deceptively marketed its transvaginal surgical mesh devices, which harmed consumers nationwide. Minnesota will receive more than $3.3 million from the settlement. As part of the settlement, Boston Scientific also agrees to significant marketing, training, and clinical-trial reforms.
The settlement, reached between Boston Scientific and the attorneys general of 47 states and the District of Columbia, concludes a multistate investigation into Boston Scientific’s alleged misrepresentations and failure to adequately disclose serious and life-altering risks of surgical mesh devices, such as chronic pain, voiding dysfunction, and incontinence, among other complications.
This is the second multistate settlement of its kind that Minnesota has joined that holds a manufacturer of transvaginal surgical mesh devices accountable for deceptive marketing. On September 25, 2020, Attorney General Ellison announced a similar settlement with C.R. Bard in which Minnesota received more than $1 million.
Surgical mesh is a synthetic woven fabric that is permanently implanted in the pelvic floor through the vagina to treat conditions in women such as pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. These are common conditions faced by women due to a weakening in their pelvic floor muscles caused by childbirth, age, and other factors.
Thousands of women implanted with surgical mesh have made claims that they suffered serious complications resulting from these devices, including erosion of mesh through organs, pain during sexual intercourse, and voiding dysfunction. Although use of surgical mesh involves the risk of these serious complications and is not proven to be any more effective than traditional tissue repair, millions of women were implanted with these devices.
“All Minnesotans should be able to trust that the medical procedures they undergo are safe and reliable,” said Attorney General Ellison. “That is essential to affording your life and living with dignity, safety, and respect. Boston Scientific falsely touted the safety of its surgical mesh products despite the severe risks these products presented. By reforming Boston Scientific’s practices and holding the company accountable for its misconduct, this settlement is a win for all Minnesotans.”
Boston Scientific Corporation has agreed to pay $188.6 million to the 47 participating states and the District of Columbia. Minnesota’s share of the settlement is $3,377,302.
Under the terms of the consent judgment, which will be filed with the Ramsey County District Court, Boston Scientific has also agreed to strong injunctive relief, including:
Attorney General Ellison encourages consumers who have been implanted with a transvaginal surgical mesh device and have questions about this settlement to contact the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office by calling (651) 296-3353 (Metro area) or (800) 657-3787 (Greater Minnesota), or by submitting a complaint on the Attorney General’s website.
In addition to Minnesota, the multistate group is comprised of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.