Vaginal Mesh Award
Written by Faith Anderson on June 1, 2015
$100 Million Verdict Delivered in Boston Scientific Suit Over Vaginal Mesh Injuries
A Delaware jury awarded $100 million in damages this week, in a product liability lawsuit filed against Boston Scientific over complications from the company’s Pinnacle and Advance Fit vaginal mesh devices. According to reports, the medical device maker was ordered to pay $25 million in compensatory damages and $75 million in punitive damages to Debora Barba, who brought a defective device claim against Boston Scientific in 2011, after suffering debilitating injuries from her surgical mesh device. If you believe you have been harmed by side effects of transvaginal mesh, contact an experienced product liability lawyer today to explore your possible compensation options.
Lawsuits Filed Over Injuries from Vaginal Mesh
The Pinnacle and Advance Fit mesh devices belong to a class of medical products commonly used to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI), conditions characterized by weakened tissues and muscles in the pelvic area, common in women who have had multiple pregnancies or who have undergone a hysterectomy. However, Pinnacle, Advance Fit and other surgical mesh devices have been linked to an increased risk of serious complications, including erosion of the mesh through the vagina, injury to nearby organs, mesh infection, recurrence of POP or SUI, and bladder, bowel and blood vessel perforation.
Boston Scientific currently faces about 20,000 vaginal mesh lawsuits filed on behalf of women throughout the United States who have suffered lasting injuries from complications associated with the controversial devices. The majority of these women were implanted with vaginal mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence, and experienced serious complications allegedly caused by defects in the design of the products. In many cases, the women required multiple surgeries to remove the mesh, and some have experienced permanent injuries resulting from complications like surgical mesh erosion, infection, or injury to internal organs.
Transvaginal Mesh Settlement Agreements
This latest vaginal mesh verdict comes after Boston Scientific announced that it had reached a $119 million settlement agreement to resolve about 3,000 surgical mesh claims brought against the company, which means the medical device maker is paying out just $19 million more for 3,000 claims than it did for this single individual lawsuit. And while only a handful of cases against Boston Scientific have gone before juries so far, the company has already been hit with numerous multi-million dollar verdicts in favor of plaintiffs, with many including large punitive damage awards.
Debora Barba’s $100 million verdict is the largest verdict against Boston Scientific to date, although the company was ordered to pay $26.7 million to four women with Pinnacle mesh claims in November 2014, and $18.5 million that same month, to another four women with Obtryx mesh claims. Another significant vaginal mesh verdict was delivered last year by a Texas jury, which ordered Boston Scientific to pay $73.4 million to a woman who suffered debilitating injuries from the company’s Obtryx mesh, including $50 million in punitive damages designed to punish the medical device maker for its reckless and deceptive actions.
Boston Scientific isn’t the only surgical mesh maker facing product liability lawsuits over injuries from transvaginal mesh sold for the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Seven separate MDLs, or multidistrict litigations, have been established in the federal court system for product liability lawsuits pending against other prominent surgical mesh makers, including C.R. Bard, American Medical Systems, Ethicon, Neomedic, Coloplast and Cook Medical.
The Future of Surgical Mesh Litigation
Substantial jury verdicts delivered in cases like Debora Barba’s will likely have an impact on future lawsuits filed against the makers of allegedly defective surgical mesh products, making the companies more likely to reach settlement agreements, rather than allowing the cases to proceed to trial. In October 2014, for example, Endo International announced that it had reached a $1.6 billion agreement to settle “substantially all” of the 20,000 lawsuits pending against its American Medical Systems subsidiary, and other vaginal mesh makers are under pressure to do the same.
According to U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin, who is presiding over the bulk of the federal vaginal mesh litigation, with the tens of thousands of product liability lawsuits pending in state and federal courts across the country, it would take decades for each case to go to trial, which would effectively bury the manufacturers in litigation for years to come. This could be a significant incentive for Boston Scientific and the other medical device makers to work towards reaching settlement agreements with plaintiffs, awarding them the compensation they deserve for their vaginal mesh injuries.
Contact an Experienced Vaginal Mesh Lawyer Today
As more information comes to light about the potential risk of side effects from surgical mesh, more and more women across the country are pursuing claims against Boston Scientific and other medical device companies. If you or a loved one received a transvaginal mesh implant in the past, and you have since suffered debilitating injuries like mesh erosion, infection or injury to internal organs, contact a reputable surgical mesh lawyer today for legal help. You may have grounds to file a product liability lawsuit against the maker of the allegedly defective device, in order to pursue financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.