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Jury Hits Bos Sci with $100M Verdict for Faulty Transvaginal Meshes

Jury Hits Bos Sci with $100M Verdict for Faulty Transvaginal Meshes
A Delaware state court ordered Boston Scientific to pay $100 million to a woman hurt by its faulty transvaginal mesh products.  

In its third-quarter earnings call last October, Boston Scientific's chief financial officer said that the company upped its legal reserves to $945 million, a $139 million increase from the second quarter of the year.

A development Thursday might lead the Marlborough, Massachusetts company to dip into that pot.

News reports surfaced that a Delaware jury ordered the company to pay $100 million to a plaintiff related to two transvaginal mesh products - the Advantage Fit and Pinnacle.

After the plaintiff Deborah Barba had pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, she was treated with these two products in May 2009, according to a news release from MotleyRice, the legal firm that represented her against Boston Scientific.

Immediately after she experiences complications and had to have two revision surgeries, but despite these portions of mesh remain inside of her, according to Motley Rice. The $100 million verdict included $75 million in punitive damages.

"The punitive damages the jury awarded in this verdict speak very boldly for themselves. With all the evidence we presented, the jury chose the damages according to the irresponsible behavior it thought Boston Scientific demonstrated. We are pleased that Boston Scientific may finally be receiving the message about the dangers of its transvaginal mesh where it hurts most, its wallet,” said Fred Thompson, a Motley Rice attorney in a statement.

A Boston Scientific spokeswoman responded that the company will be appealing the decision.

"We strongly disagree with the jury’s finding and intend to appeal based on the strength of our evidence," Kelly Leadem said in an email noting that the company takes patient safety very seriously and devotes significant resources to develop high-quality products.

In April, Boston Scientific announced that it would settle pay $119 million to settle 2,970 cases. That included a case in Texas where Boston Scientific was asked to pay $35 million and which it was appealing. 

The FDA has stated that the most common complications that the agency received from patients who underwent the procedure include "mesh erosion through the vagina (also called exposure, extrusion or protrusion), pain, infection, bleeding, pain during sexual intercourse (dyspareunia), organ perforation, and urinary problems."

“I am thankful for the jury’s verdict and hope my story can help other women who are suffering from mesh complications to receive the resolution they deserve,” said Barb, the woman who received the $100 million verdict from the Delaware state court in a statement. “While difficult to share, I hope my case demonstrates to all mesh manufacturers the dangers of their products and the justice they owe victims.”

Arundhati Parmar is senior editor at MD+DI. Reach her at [email protected] and on Twitter @aparmarbb 

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