Boston Scientific Hit with Biggest Mesh Verdict Yet

Qmed Staff

June 1, 2015

2 Min Read
Boston Scientific Hit with Biggest Mesh Verdict Yet

A jury found that the company hid design flaws related to its vaginal mesh products from doctors. The jury awarded a $100 million award to the plaintiff in the case.

Qmed Staff

Boston Scientific is compelled to pay $100 million in a transvaginal mesh case after a Delaware jury sided with a 51-year-old woman who had brought a suit against the company in 2011. The sum was comprised of $25 million in compensatory damage with an additional $75 million in punitive damages.

The sum is the biggest yet related to Boston Scientific's mesh products and is currently the eighth highest U.S. jury verdict of the year, according to Bloomberg.

The case hinges around Boston Scientific's Pinnacle and Advantage Fit mesh products, which are one of the several vaginal mesh products that have proven to be a lawsuit magnet for Boston Scientific.

In this case, the plaintiff Deborah Barba was treated with the above devices in 2009 to treat treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Barba would suffer severe pain and underwent two surgeries to address the complications she suffered. Nevertheless, components of the products remain lodged in her body, continuing to cause her pain.

Jurors in the case concluded that the manufacturer had been negligent in designing the devices and that the company wittingly hid design flaws and did not adequately warn patients or physicians of its potential risks.

Boston Scientific's legal bills have been especially high in the past couple of years, as it wrestles with more than 25,000 lawsuits related to vaginal mesh.  

Last year, the company was forced to pay $73 million to a Texas woman treated with the company's Obtryx mesh device. In that case, jurors at a Texas state court in Dallas awarded the patient, Martha Salazar, approximately $23 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages.

In a separate case from last year, Boston Scientific was required to pay a total of $26.7 million to four women who claimed the company's Pinnacle pelvic inserts injured them.

Also in 2014, the company paid $119 million to settle roughly 3000 additional vaginal mesh lawsuits.

Last year, the company spent $1.036 billion in lawsuit expenses, of which $485 million was held in qualified settlement funds for mesh product liability settlement. These totals puts Boston Sci near the top of the medical device industry as far as legal bills are concerned.

Brian Buntz is the editor-in-chief of MPMN and Qmed. Follow him on Twitter at @brian_buntz.

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