Teresa Stevens, 46 year-old West Virginia native, was implanted with a Boston Scientific transvaginal mesh, the Obtryx-Halo Urethral Sling System made of Marlex in October 2014, to treat incontinence. Soon afterward she began having complications – urinary tract infections, shooting pains in her abdomen and painful sex.
She grew despondent, not unlike many of the 55,000 other women who receive a Boston Scientific transvaginal mesh implant every year. But Teresa Stevens v. Boston Scientific Case no. 2:16-cv-00265, stands out from the 91,000 other defective product cases filed in multidistrict litigation in West Virginia.
In January 2016, Texas-based firm, Mostyn Law, along with the Bell Law firm of Charleston, WV, filed a federal racketeering class action lawsuit against Boston Scientific – the first RICO lawsuit filed in transvaginal mesh litigation. Racketeering Influenced and Corruption Organization (RICO) alleges fraud, and the statute has long been used to target organized crime such as the Hell’s Angels, the Gambino family and even pedophile priests.
Leading a class action of injured women, Stevens, alleges for the class that Boston Scientific engaged in a pattern of unlawful activities including fraud, intentional misrepresentation, and negligent misrepresentation, violations of WV trade or consumer practices, and unjust enrichment. It seeks unspecified damages on behalf of the women who would have received a BSC pelvic mesh made since September 2012, the date after which Boston Scientific allegedly defrauded the women by using the fraudulently obtained polypropylene resin to make its mesh.
Amber Mostyn of Mostyn Law recently told CNN Money, “The primary goal is to get an injunction to halt the sale of Boston Scientific’s vaginal mesh implants. The suit is also seeking class action status, which could include thousands of women.”
RICO lawsuits can level both civil sanctions and criminal penalties and jail time, not to mention threefold the damages if successful.