Boston Scientific’s latest in a Series of Mesh Sling Trials

Boston Scientific Corporation (BSC) is an international medical device manufacturer and creator of a transvaginal mesh device that is used to treat incontinence and a condition called pelvic organ prolapse in women. Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the bladder drops (prolapses) from its normal place in the lower belly and pushes against the walls of the vagina.

The number of women who have undergone vaginal mesh surgery is quite staggering. The FDA estimates that hundreds of thousands of women have undergone implantation of a vaginal mesh device by various manufacturers, including BSC. Unfortunately, in various studies reported to the FDA, it has been estimated that 10% of the women that receive an implant will experience mesh erosion within 12 months of surgery and more than half will need to undergo an additional surgery to remove the mesh.

Boston Scientific is one of seven major manufacturers named in lawsuits filed by thousands of women who have experienced injuries as result of surgical mesh implants. In fact there are more than 49,000 federal lawsuits against these manufacturers and BSC is facing about 23,000 defective product lawsuits. Plaintiffs in these cases claim that BSC knew about the risks and dangers associated with the mesh implant and failed to warn consumers.

Earlier in the year, in September, a state court in Texas ordered BSC to pay $73 million dollars to a Martha Salazar who claimed injuries due to BSC’s product. The state court later reduced the damages to 34.6 million dollars.

The first in the series of federal lawsuits against BSC was decided November 13, 2014 in Miami where the jurors found in favor of a group of four woman, and ordered that BSC pay $26.7 million to them. November 20, 2014, one week after the Miami case was decided, a jury in West Virginia awarded four more women 18.5 million dollars in damages which included 4 million dollars for gross negligence. In all of these cases the compensatory damages far exceed the punitive damages. Where injured parties received 1 million in punitive damages and the remaining, starting at 3.25 million, in compensatory damages. These initial cases that have been heard in federal court are bellwether cases, and while they are not binding on the remaining cases yet to be heard, they display an indication of how courts may allocate damages if BSC is found guilty.

These large verdicts may put pressure on BSC and other companies facing mesh sling injury claims, to settle prior to avoid going before a jury. There are actual strong rumors that BSC and other manufacturers are presently engaged in settlement discussions to globally settle the cases against them. In fact, Boston Scientific has reserved $945 million for settlement and defense costs according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Thus, for anyone who has a potential claim arising from a transvaginal mesh device, it is important to contact an attorney skilled in handling pharmaceutical cases as soon as possible.

Legal Help

If you have had a vaginal mesh implanted and are experiencing problems, contact an experienced attorney at Jacoby & Meyers for a free consultation.

Alexandra Bhatti, student intern Jacoby & Meyers, LLC.