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Negligent Misrepresentation Claim Dismissed in CL Medical Pelvic Sling Lawsuit

A negligent misrepresentation claim against CL Medical Inc., the maker of the I-STOP pelvic sling device, has been dismissed by a federal judge in Kentucky.

In a decision dated December 13, Judge Danny C. Reeves of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky granted defendant’s motion to dismiss Norma Slone’s claim in her pelvic sling lawsuit because it failed to meet federal pleading standards.

Motion to dismiss ruling in pelvic sling lawsuit

The judge’s decision in the CL Medical lawsuit was based on two findings,

  • Slone didn’t identify the allegedly false or misleading information the defendant provided to her, and
  • These allegedly false statements by CL Medical, Inc., were a proximate cause of her damages.

Misrepresentation in general is a legal term that means a false statement of fact that has the effect of inducing someone into an agreement or contract. A negligent misrepresentation claim is an allegation that a defendant did not directly lie (state something known to be false), but that it made a  representation while having no reasonable reasons for believing it to be true.

The plaintiff would not have to show any intent to deceive by the defendant, only that it was negligent in providing statements that lead to a misrepresentation. A proximate cause is the logical, foreseeable, natural outcome of an event.

Allegations in CL Medical lawsuit

Ms. Slone makes a number of legal claims in her pelvic sling lawsuit, including defective design, failure to warn, breach of implied and express warranties and negligent misrepresentation. The decision affected only the claim.  Normally plaintiffs are allowed to file amended complaints to address whatever defects a judge rules on in a motion to dismiss.

Defendant’s I-STOP vaginal mesh is a kit of a plastic sling, two needles and two plastic handles used as a pubo-urethral sling to treat female urinary incontinence. The plaintiff claims she had an I-STOP device implanted in 2007. Slone claims she subsequently suffered severe pelvic mesh complications and had the device removed in another operation in 2012. She later sued the defendant in federal court.

Slone accused CL Medical Inc. of:

  • Failing to exercise ordinary care in its representations concerning I-STOP,
  • Because it negligently failed to represent I-STOP’s high risk of dangerous complications, and
  • Breached its duty of care by representing I-STOP as having no serious side effects different than older, similar products to the plaintiff, her physicians and healthcare professionals.

Judge Reeves ruled this claim lacked sufficient factual allegations because negligent misrepresentation claims must be plead with particularity. He stated that under Kentucky law the plaintiff

  • Must identify the false or misleading information provided by the defendant,
  • Demonstrate she was a reasonably foreseeable recipient of it,
  • Justifiably relied on the information,
  • Exercised reasonable care in relying on the information, and
  • Show the false statements allegedly made by the defendant were a proximate cause of her damages.

CL Medical designs, developments and manufactures transvaginal mesh products and other surgical devices. The company is based in Sainte Foy Les Lyon, France.

  1. CL Medical, I-STOP,

  2. Cornell University Law School, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,

  3. Bloomberg Businessweek, Company Overview of CL Medical,