MIAMI — In a defining verdict, Boston Scientific Corp. was ordered by a federal judge to pay $26.7 million after being found liable for supplying dangerous transvaginal mesh.
In the company’s first federal bellwether trial, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida found that the vaginal mesh manufacturer Boston Scientific must pay four women compensatory damages between $6.5 million and 6.7 million. Mania Nunez was awarded $6.53 million, Juana Betancourt and Amal Eghnayem were each awarded $6.72 million, and Margarita M. Dotres was awarded $6.76 million. The verdict, however, did not require the company to pay any punitive damages.
During the trial, the plaintiffs’ lawyers accused Boston Scientific of failing to conduct critical safety studies prior to introducing its Pinnacle Pelvic Floor Repair Kit to the market in addition to using substandard materials. The women in these lawsuits claimed because of the use of the mesh, they suffered severe injuries including chronic pelvic pain, bleeding, infection, scar tissue development, painful sex, and organ perforation. The company countered the accusations and denied any wrongdoing – instead claiming that the women and their doctors knew of the potential risks.
After an 8-day trial, the Miami-based jury deliberated for only four hours before announcing the four separate verdicts. The jury found the Pinnacle transvaginal mesh device was defectively designed and Boston Scientific failed to properly warn doctors and patients about the risks of using the device. The jury found the device was defective at the time of sale and it did not meet the reasonable expectations of the doctors or the patients. Any possible benefits to using the Boston Scientific’s transvaginal mesh was outweighed by the significant health risks.
A lawyer for one of the plaintiffs, Jim Perdue, said, “This company needs to understand that jurors will understand what they did, and will not hesitate to award the damages necessary.” Kelly Leadem, a representative for Boston Scientific, stated the company disagreed with the verdict and planned to appeal.
Transvaginal mesh is a type of plastic surgical mesh used by doctors to treat pelvic floor disorders such as stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the bladder, rectum, or uterus drop into the vagina due to weakened pelvic muscles. These are conditions that women usually face after childbirth, menopause, or a hysterectomy. Doctors initially used surgical mesh designed for hernias to treat these issues until specially designed transvaginal mesh products were produced.
Manufacturers like Boston Scientific sold the mesh in “kits” that came prepackaged with mesh, special tools, and instructions. Because of inadequate testing and flawed designs, the mesh erodes or passes through the vagina causing pain, infection, and bleeding. It also can pierce or perforate other organs causing damage serious enough to require additional surgery.
Boston Scientific is one of seven companies that is now facing lawsuits over its dangerous, defective, and now recalled transvaginal mesh products. The company is facing other lawsuits in West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, Missouri, Texas, and California.
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Our dangerous device attorneys can help if you or someone you care about was harmed by a transvaginal mesh implant. Lawsuits have been filed against the device maker by both patients and their families seeking compensation for injuries caused by the dangerous device. You may be entitled to a settlement. We do not charge any legal fees unless you receive a settlement and we pay all of the case costs. If your claim is not successful for any reason, you do not owe us anything. We put it all in writing for you. Our transvaginal mesh lawyers will help you file your lawsuit.
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