September 9, 2014 — Bloomberg reports that a jury in Texas has ordered Boston Scientific to pay $73 million to a woman who alleges that the company’s Obtryx vaginal mesh is defective and caused her severe injuries.
The plaintiff, Martha Salazar, was awarded about $23 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages. It is the largest jury award in the ongoing vaginal mesh litigation, which now encompasses seven medical device manufacturers and over 60,000 lawsuits.
Salazar, 52, was implanted with the Obtryx sling in 2010 to treat stress urinary incontinence. She now suffers from constant pain, nerve damage, and is unable to sit normally or exercise as a result of her injuries.
This is the third lawsuit against Boston Scientific to go to trial. The device-maker won the first two trials and has vowed to appeal this loss. More than 23,000 lawsuits are still pending against the company. Most of the cases are centralized in federal court in West Virginia, where the first trial is set to begin in October.
According to Bloomberg, her attorneys presented evidence that Boston Scientific knew about the risks but failed to warn doctors. An August 2000 e-mail from Alex Robbins, a Boston Scientific executive, told salespeople not to disclose a company-funded study raising questions about the sling’s safety. The jury found that the mesh was defectively designed and Boston Scientific failed to adequately warn about its potential side effects.
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