Many women in California experience a condition called "pelvic organ prolapsed," which happens when the muscles and tissues that support a woman's pelvic organs weaken and the organs slip out of place.
Surgeons used mesh devices to treat pelvic organ prolapse for many years, unaware that these devices have a very high failure rate and often result in painful complications.
As a result of the high failure rate of these devices, many product liability lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of transvaginal mesh implants. The success of these lawsuits often depends on the facts of a particular case and whether a woman finds out in a timely manner that her mesh implant was defective.
California Woman Sues After Receiving Defective Transvaginal Mesh Implant
One of the most recent California vaginal mesh implant lawsuits was brought against Boston Scientific Corp. The woman in that case underwent surgery in December 2006 and received a surgical mesh device made by Boston Scientific.
The device, the Obtryx Transobturator Mid-Urethral Sling System, was supposed to correct the woman's pelvic organ prolapse and restore the normal structure of the woman's organs. The device failed and the woman had to have the mesh removed by July 2007 due to "recurrent pelvic pain, erosions and recurrent infection of the tissue around the mesh."
The woman sued Boston Scientific, alleging that the company failed to adequately test the device and disclose its high failure and complication rates. The woman also alleged that the company underreported or withheld other critical safety information about its mesh implant device.
Pleading and Statute of Limitations Issues Arise in Woman's Express Warranty Claim
Unfortunately, the woman was unable to receive compensation for her express warranty claim. It is important when bringing any sort of personal liability or product liability case for an attorney to review and plead all elements of a cause of action to avoid dismissal of the case.
An express warranty under California law is "a written statement arising out of a sale to the consumer of a consumer good pursuant to which the manufacturer, distributor or retailer undertakes to preserve or maintain the utility or performance of the consumer good or provide compensation if there is a failure in utility or performance."
The definition of a "consumer good" under the code specifically includes "new and used assistive devices sold at retail," but the woman's complaint failed to allege the "sale at retail" of any assistive device.
The woman's other claims also ran into problems with California's two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases. Generally, the statute of limitations, or deadline, to bring a personal injury case starts from the date that a person first "has reason at least to suspect a factual basis" for the elements of his or her claim.
In this case, Boston Scientific Corp. successfully alleged that the woman's July 2007 corrective surgery to remove the defective mesh would have started the clock on her claim arising from the defective medical device. The woman filed her claim well after July 2009, and therefore the court was obligated to dismiss it.