CT to receive $1.8 million from settlement with medical-device manufacturer

Photo of Paul Schott
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, center, New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker, right, and Connecticut Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull, left, speak at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn. Tong and Seagull announced March 24, 2021 that Connecticut would receive about $1.8 million through a 47-state settlement with medical-device manufacturer Boston Scientific.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, center, New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker, right, and Connecticut Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull, left, speak at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn. Tong and Seagull announced March 24, 2021 that Connecticut would receive about $1.8 million through a 47-state settlement with medical-device manufacturer Boston Scientific.

Peter Hvizdak / Hearst Connecticut Media

Connecticut will receive approximately $1.8 million from a nearly $189 million settlement that 47 states and the District of Columbia have reached with Boston Scientific Corp., to resolve allegations that the company deceptively marketed transvaginal surgical-mesh products, state officials announced Wednesday.

Boston Scientific misled millions of women through marketing that disguised the dangers of surgical mesh, with thousands of women suffering serious complications, alleged state Attorney General William Tong.

In addition to the fine, the settlement requires Boston Scientific to undertake marketing, training and clinical-trial reforms to “ensure this type of preventable and unacceptable tragedy never happens again,” Tong said in a statement.

Surgical mesh is a synthetic woven fabric implanted in the pelvic floor through the vagina to treat common health conditions including stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Such conditions are due to a weakening in pelvic-floor muscles caused by factors including childbirth and age.

“This case is another example of the serious consequences deceptive advertising can have on consumers,” state Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull said in a statement. “The terms of this settlement are an important step toward protecting women from further harm due to the poor marketing and misrepresentation of the risks associated with surgical mesh by Boston Scientific.”

The state alleges that Marlborough, Mass.-headquartered Boston Scientific misrepresented the safety of its products by failing to fully disclose “potential serious and irreversible complications” caused by mesh, including chronic pain, voiding dysfunction and the new onset of incontinence.

“We feel this settlement, which is not an admission of misconduct or liability, is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders,” Boston Scientific said in a statement. “We are pleased to resolve this dispute and to continue focusing on delivering innovative products and solutions to physicians and patients.”

The investigation that resulted in the settlement was led by California and Washington along with Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas.

From Connecticut’s $1.8 million settlement share, $200,000 and $100,000 will, respectively, be allocated to funds maintained by the Attorney General’s Office and Department of Consumer Protection that support consumer-protection programs. The remainder of the settlement money will go to the state’s general fund.

During the past year and a half, Connecticut has reached two other, similar settlements related to allegedly deceptive marketing of transvaginal surgical-mesh devices.

Last September, it joined a 48-state agreement that required C.R. Bard Inc., and its parent company Becton, Dickinson and Co., to pay $60 million.

In October 2019, it participated in a 40-state settlement requiring Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon Inc., to pay nearly $117 million.

pschott@stamfordadvocate.com; twitter: @paulschott