Jury Awards $73.4 Million in Personal Injury Damages to Transvaginal Mesh Victim, Judge Cuts Award in Half
In a transvaginal mesh personal injury case against Boston Scientific last month, a jury awarded the plaintiff $73.4 million in punitive and compensatory damages for her pain and suffering, as well as ongoing medical expenses. Now, the Dallas-based judge has cut the award in half, to $34.6 million.
In September, plaintiff Martha Salazar was awarded $73.4 million after Boston Scientific was found liable for physical injuries incurred when Salazar received an Obtryx sling transvaginal mesh implant to treat her urinary incontinence. Not only did the device fail to prevent her incontinence, but it caused internal damage. Boston Scientific was found to be grossly negligent.
On Thursday, October 2nd, Dallas County Judge Ken Molberg ordered the punitive damages to be reduced to $11 million, based on a Texas law that damages designed to punish companies for their negligence must cap at two-times the plaintiff’s economic losses, with an additional $750,000 for non-economic losses.
Salazar’s transvaginal mesh personal injury case was the third bellwether trial in Boston Scientific’s multidistrict litigation (MDL), and the first loss for the company. Although Salazar’s attorney said he anticipated the change to the award, the ruling is still significant for plaintiffs who suffered due to Boston Scientific’s negligence with their transvaginal mesh devices.
Currently, Boston Scientific faces 12,000 personal injury claims due to problems with their Obtryx transvaginal mesh sling.
History of Transvaginal Mesh Problems
Because of numerous complaints about the transvaginal mesh devices eroding, which can cause organ perforation, bleeding, infection, severe pain, and continued organ prolapse, the FDA ordered major transvaginal mesh manufacturers like Boston Scientific and Johnson & Johnson to study the devices’ effectiveness more in depth. Recently, the regulatory agency stated that it would not allow any more transvaginal mesh devices to use the 510(k) process, which allows medical devices substantially similar to previously-approved devices to get a “quick approval.” Transvaginal mesh devices today are based on one original device, the Gynecare ProLift, which was approved in 1996 but then recalled in 1999 because of the side effects.
Endo Pharmaceuticals recently offered a large settlement to end the rest of the personal injury lawsuits in its transvaginal mesh MDL, but so far there has been no word on plaintiff approval of the settlement amount.
The six current transvaginal mesh MDLs are:
- R. Bard MDL 2187: In Re C. R. Bard, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation.
- Johnson & Johnson/Ethicon MDL 2327: In Re Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation
- American Medical Systems MDL 2325: In Re American Medical Systems, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation
- Boston Scientific MDL 2326: In Re Boston Scientific Corp. Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation
- Mentor ObTape MDL 2004: In re Mentor Corp. ObTape Transobturator Sling Products Liability Litigation
- Coloplast MDL 2387: IN RE: Coloplast orp. Pelvic Support Systems
The Strom Law Firm Fights for Women in Transvaginal Mesh Personal Injury Case
Transvaginal mesh kits were initially produced to help with pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Several varieties of mesh kits exist, but transvaginal mesh specifically was supposed to produce less scarring and pain, because the procedure was less invasive. However, vaginal mesh slings can cause a host of problems, including organ perforation, infection, internal scarring, continued organ prolapse, and bleeding. If you or a loved one has pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence, have had a transvaginal mesh device implanted, and have since experienced detrimental complications, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced lawyers at Strom Law, LLC can help. We offer free consultations, so please contact us today, and we can help get you on the road to recovery. 803.252.4800