HOUSTON – A state district judge has issued an order prohibiting Boston Scientific Corp. from destroying suspect material used to make surgical mesh implants that allegedly have harmed thousands of women.
The Jan. 31 order, issued by Harris County District Court Judge Jaclanel McFarland, bars the company from disposing or altering its supplies of a polypropylene resin that Boston Scientific obtained from sources in China, court records show.
The company turned to a foreign supplier after the U.S. manufacturer concluded that the plastic resin should not be used in the human body and refused to provide it for surgical mesh, according to a press release released by the Mostyn Law Firm in Houston.
As previously reported, a related federal racketeering lawsuit filed last month accuses Boston Scientific of conspiring with its Chinese supplier to import a counterfeit version of the U.S.-made resin, known as Marlex.
In addition to ordering the company to retain its supply of the suspect resin, the Houston judge ordered the company to avoid destroying or altering "records, invoices, shipping data, customs forms, communications with suppliers" and other documents that could shed light on Boston Scientific's Chinese supply chain.
The court order came at the request of Mostyn Law, the same firm that filed the federal lawsuit.
In both cases, attorneys Steven and Amber Mostyn are representing women who have allegedly suffered complications from the plastic mesh implants, which are used to treat urinary incontinence and shore up pelvic organs.
The Houston lawsuit accuses the Boston Scientific of negligence.
The federal lawsuit, filed in West Virginia, on Jan. 12, is believed to the first that invokes the Racketeering and Corrupt Organizations Act against a company that makes vaginal surgical mesh.
The RICO statute is typically used by federal law enforcement agencies to target organized criminal gangs.
On Jan. 26 U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin directed the plaintiff in the federal case to ask the Federal Drug Administration for a determination on the safety of Boston Scientific products.
Goodwin suspended action on the case in this court but retained jurisdiction to give the FDA time to act.