On July 11, 2014, Judge Joseph R. Goodwin of the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, ruled that a lawsuit filed against Boston Scientific in connection with its Obtryx transvaginal mesh device was time barred under Massachusetts’ three year statute of limitations because the plaintiff was aware of the cause of her injuries occurred more than three years prior to her filing her of the lawsuit.
Plaintiff, Carolyn Smother, a Tennessee resident, claimed she was injured after being implanted with Boston Scientific Obtryx Transobturator Mid-Urethral sling. She sued Boston Scientific in the District of Massachusetts on July 10, 2013 and the action was transferred to the Multi District Litigation (“MDL”) 2326 (In re Boston Scientific Corp. Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2326).
Defendant, Boston Scientific moved for Summary Judgment, arguing that Plaintiff’s action is timed barred by Tennessee’s one year statute of limitations. However, Plaintiff asserted that Massachusetts’ three year statute of limitation should apply to her cause of action.
Judge Goodwin assumed that for the sake of argument that Massachusetts’ three year statute of limitations applied. That being said, the Judge ruled that the Plaintiff’s claims are timed barred because she was implanted with the sling on May 11, 2009, more than three years before she filed her lawsuit and according to Carolyn Smother’s testimony, she knew that the sling was causing her injury as early as three weeks after implantation.
In his order, Judge Goodwin stated, “it is clear from her testimony that the plaintiff was on notice that she had been harmed, and that her harm was attributable to the Obtryx sling as early as three weeks after implantation, which is June 1, 2009.” The Judge further stated, “No reasonable jury should infer otherwise. The Plaintiff’s notice that the Obtryx caused her harm ‘creates a duty of inquiry and starts the running of the statute of limitations.’”