GEORGETOWN, Del. — A plaintiff in Delaware was originally awarded a $100 million verdict by the jury in her transvaginal mesh lawsuit against Boston Scientific. However, the judge has now reduced the amount that Boston Scientific will have to pay by 90 percent — down to $10 million.
Although the judge did think that the award was too high, she did not order a new trial or set aside the verdict completely like Boston Scientific requested.
The judge’s decision was made in part based on other similar transvaginal mesh cases where verdicts ranged from $1.75 million to just under $8 million for similar injuries. This monetary reduction is significant, but it still bodes well for other pending transvaginal mesh lawsuits and for prospective plaintiffs since the judge essentially upheld the jury’s finding on liability of the mesh manufacturer. The jury had concluded that Boston Scientific had failed to warn consumers and physicians about the risks of their product.
Transvaginal mesh placement has become a popular procedure for many women in recent years for a variety of conditions usually after women have given birth or undergone a hysterectomy. Most frequently, transvaginal mesh is placed via the vagina in order to prevent incontinence or to treat pelvic organ prolapse. Although transvaginal mesh has become a common treatment for these conditions, there have also been several troubling side effects associated with the placement of transvaginal mesh according to a warning issued by the United States Food and Drug Administration in 2011. The FDA’s warning was issued after they received more than 1,000 reports of complications over the course of only three years and references “erosion through vaginal epithelium, infection, pain, urinary problems, and bowel, bladder, and blood vessel perforation during insertion.” According to the FDA’s warning, there is also a risk of the prolapse recurring or of the patient developing or redeveloping incontinence complications.
Due to the disturbing and potentially debilitating side effects that have been linked to transvaginal mesh, several women have brought lawsuits against various transvaginal mesh manufacturers alleging that their injuries were caused by the mesh placement and that the manufacturers failed to adequately warn them of the risks. There are currently eight transvaginal mesh manufacturers who have been named in similar lawsuits, including Johnson & Johnson, Boston Scientific and C.R. Bard.
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