BOSTON — In a decision that could create a positive trend for transvaginal mesh victims in other states, a court is allowing a woman’s case for punitive damages to continue against medical manufacturing giant Boston Scientific.
Story of Roseanne Sanchez
Roseanne Sanchez of California was implanted with Boston Scientific’s Pinnacle Pelvic Mesh kit to treat her pelvic organ prolapse and Boston Scientific’s Advantage System to treat her stress urinary incontinence. As with many other transvaginal mesh victims, she experienced serious health complications including mesh erosion and dyspareunia causing her to undergo revision surgery to have the mesh partially removed. Since then her urinary stress incontinence has returned and she suffers from chronic pain, bleeding, and painful sex.
Sanchez became one of thousands of women to sue Boston Scientific for their faulty product. Amongst her legal claims, she has requested the company pay punitive damages for their defective product.
Punitive damages are designed to punish companies for egregious and grossly negligent behavior and deterring such behavior in the future by holding them accountable for huge verdicts that are beyond one’s medical costs, pain and suffering. Essentially, it is a way of setting an example. In the context of the drug and medical device world, this often falls under the umbrella of failing to warn patients when the company knew there were dangers or for selling an incredibly defectively designed product.
However, many states do not allow punitive damages. Boston Scientific is headquartered in Massachusetts where punitive damages are not allowed unless expressly authorized in state law. California, where Sanchez is from, does allow punitive damages to be awarded. The judge found that California law should apply in the case for Sanchez because the state has a clear interest in applying the law to punish companies for harming California residents.
This is ruling will hopefully set a trend for other transvaginal mesh cases, especially as the larger verdicts are being rendered against manufacturers like Boston Scientific. If you or a loved one is suffering from injuries caused by transvaginal mesh or mesh-related surgery, please contact an experienced attorney.
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