Cases & Deals

Mentor wins dismissal of class action seeking medical monitoring

Clients Mentor Corporation

On August 5, 2008, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri granted Jones Day client, Mentor Corporation's, motion to dismiss. In Ratliff, plaintiff filed a putative class action seeking medical monitoring for the Missouri statewide class of plaintiffs who received ObTape, an implantable synthetic suburethral sling used to treat stress urinary incontinence in women. Mentor removed the case from state court to federal court and then moved to dismiss the complaint. Mentor argued that the holding in Meyer v. Fluor Corp., 220 S.W.2d 712 (Mo. 2007), in which the Missouri Supreme Court recognized medical monitoring claims in a toxic tort case involving children allegedly exposed to lead by smelter operators, should not be extended to product liability claims involving prescription medical devices. In its opinion, the district court sided with Mentor and refused to extend Meyer "outside of the toxic tort context." Noting that "[t]he Missouri Supreme Court chose its words carefully in Meyer," the district court predicted "that the Missouri Supreme Court would dismiss medical monitoring claims that do not result from exposure to toxic substances." Plaintiff's complaint was dismissed with prejudice. The case was recognized as one of the top 10 drug and device decisions of the year by the Drug and Device Law blog.

Ratliff v. Mentor Corp., No. 08-3198-CV-S-RED (W.D. Mo.), 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62623