On May 28, 2015, a Delaware jury ordered Boston Scientific Corp. to pay $100 million to a woman who was injured by transvaginal mesh. The verdict is the largest so far against Boston Scientific over its vaginal mesh products.
Barba v. Boston Scientific Corp.
The case, Barba v. Boston Scientific Corp., was argued in the Superior Court of Delaware (Wilmington). Deborah Barba, the plaintiff, is a 51-year-old Delaware resident and former bank teller. Barba was implanted with Boston Scientific’s Pinnacle and Advantage Fit transvaginal mesh products to treat pelvic organ prolapsed and stress urinary incontinence. However, as Barba argued, after implantation the mesh products eroded and caused her to have a scarred vagina and to experience constant pain and dyspareunia so that she was unable to have sexual intercourse. Barba underwent two subsequent surgeries to try to resolve her problems; however, parts of the transvaginal mesh device are still in her body, causing continuous pain.
In Barba’s case, the state court jury found Boston Scientific’s Pinnacle and Advantage fit products were defectively designed and company executives hid the problems with the devices from consumers like Barba. They also found that Boston Scientific engaged in fraud by failing to alert doctors to the devices’ faulty designs. The jury awarded $25 million in compensatory damages and $75 million in punitive damages, totaling a verdict of $100 million against the company. A spokeswoman for Boston Scientific announced that the company intends to appeal the verdict.
Boston Scientific’s Recent Legal Woes
In April 2015, Boston Scientific announced that they had reached agreements to pay about $119 million to resolve about 3,000 cases involving transvaginal mesh. The verdict in Barba’s case was the sixth so far against Boston Scientific, and it is the largest against the company over its vaginal mesh products. Last year, Boston Scientific won the first two trials brought against it involving the transvaginal mesh products. There were also three verdicts in favor of plaintiffs. A Texas jury awarded a woman a $73.4 million verdict in a suit involving Boston Scientific’s Obtryx sling, which was later reduced to $34 million. Plaintiffs also won trials against the manufacturer involving groups of four women in West Virginia and Florida.
One of Seven Defendants
Boston Scientific is one of seven manufacturers that face thousands of lawsuits over transvaginal mesh devices in U.S. federal and state courts. In 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered Boston Scientific and more than 30 other vaginal-implant manufacturers to study rates of organ damage and complications linked to the devices. Many of the lawsuits against transvaginal mesh manufacturers allege that the mesh products are made of substandard materials and shrink once they are implanted, which causes persistent pain, organ damage, painful intercourse, and other complications. More than 70,000 mesh cases have been consolidated before U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin in Charleston, West Virginia. Others have been filed in state courts in Delaware, New Jersey, Missouri, Texas, and California. Judge Goodwin has been pushing manufacturers to consider settling the cases brought against them.
Have You Been Injured?
Ashcraft & Gerel is currently working with women who have experienced serious injuries due to transvaginal mesh inplants, similar to Ms. Barba. Our team of experienced lawyers, led by nationally-known Michelle Parfitt, is here to help you. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured by a Transvaginal mesh implant, contact us online or call (800) 674-9725 for a free and confidential consultation with one of our defective medical device attorneys.