November 20, 2014 — A federal jury in West Virginia has ordered Boston Scientific to pay $18.5 million to four women who were injured by vaginal mesh.
Plainitffs Jacquelyn Tyree, Carol Sue Campbell, Jeanie Blankenship and Chris Rene Wilson were implanted with Boston Scientific’s Obtryx Transobturator Mid-Urethral Sling System.
They allege that the device was defective because it is made from polypropylene, which had a warning not to be permanently implanted in the human body. When the mesh erodes into the body, complications can include nerve damage, infection, organ damage, and pain during sex. The women accused Boston Scientific of failing to perform sufficient safety tests or warn about these risks.
After a 10-day trial and 6 hours of deliberation, jurors found that Boston Scientific acted with “gross negligence” and awarded each woman $1 million in punitive damages. The women were also awarded compensatory damages ranging from $3.25 million to $4.25 million, according to Reuters.
Last week, a jury in Florida ordered Boston Scientific to pay $26.7 million to four women who were injured by the Pinnacle implant. No punitive damages were awarded. The Pinnacle was pulled off the market in 2011.
In September, a jury in Texas awarded $73 million to Martha Salazar, a woman who was injured by Obtryx mesh. However, judges slashed the award to $34 million under state law capping punitive damages.
Boston Scientific won the first two mesh trials in Massachusetts sate court earlier this year. About 24,000 lawsuits are still pending against the company, most of which have been centralized in federal court in West Virginia.
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