In Dallas, Boston Scientific Corporation was just ordered to pay $73 million to a woman who claimed she suffered serious injuries from a transvaginal mesh device made by the company, the Obtryx sling, which had been implanted in her to treat incontinence.
The jury’s verdict in this case marks the first loss for Boston Scientific and comes amid tens of thousands of suits being mounted nationwide against manufacturers of these dangerous devices.
Massachusetts based Boston Scientific is facing 23,000 of these lawsuits over its vaginal mesh implants. The suits all contend that their mesh slings erode in the body and cause innumerable painful complications that require surgery to remove the device.
All the cases come after the makers of these devices were ordered by the FDA in 2012 to study rates of organ damage and complications linked to the mesh products. Since then a wave of lawsuits has been filed against companies who make mesh implants. Thousands of the federal lawsuits have been consolidated in West Virginia and the first trial there is scheduled to begin next month.
Only a handful of mesh cases have gone to trial so far and this award is the largest to date. The jury returned the verdict against Boston Scientific after only a few hours of deliberation and, according to the court filing, the defendant was awarded $23 million in compensatory damages for her actual and future suffering and $50 million in punitive damages after finding the company was grossly negligent.
While the makers of these dangerous mesh products continue to deny responsibility for the horrible problems experienced by women who have received the devices, justice is slowly catching up with them. This verdict in Dallas is an early shot across the bow and the manufacturers, like Boston Scientific, will eventually have to take responsibility for the dangerous mesh products they sold.