On November 20, 2014, a jury in Charleston, West Virginia Federal court found the Massachusetts Company liable to four women following a 10-day trial and determined damages for each of the four women ranging from $3.25 million to $4.25 million for the injuries. The women used the company’s Obtryx device (Obtryx Transobturator Mid-Urethral Sling System) which was used to treat stress urinary incontinence. The jurors also found Boston Scientific had acted with “gross negligence” and awarded each woman $1 million in punitive damages, resulting in a total verdict of $18.5 million dollars. U.S. District Judge Irene Berger presided over the trial of the West Virginia suits filed by Jacquelyn Tyree, Carol Sue Campbell, Jeanie Blankenship and Chris Rene Wilson over the Obtryx inserts. (Jacquelyn Tyree v. Boston Scientific Corp., No. 12-cv-8633, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia (Charleston)). All of the Plaintiffs received their surgeries in West Virginia.
Click here to read the full Reuters article: Boston Scientific to pay $18.5 million in mesh case
This was not the only loss in November 2014 for Boston Scientific. On November 13, 2014, a Miami federal jury returned a $26.7 million verdict against Boston Scientific following a trial involving claims from four women over its Pinnacle device for treating pelvic organ prolapse. It did not award punitive damages.
Boston Scientific faces over 23,000 suits for its role in the mesh tragedy according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Boston Scientific pulled Pinnacle from the U.S. market in 2011. Boston Scientific is among seven major defendants, also including C.R. Bard and Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Inc, that together are facing more than 60,000 mesh lawsuits in federal court.
Click here to the read the full Bloomberg article: Boston Scientific Vaginal-Mesh Victims Win $18.5 Million
Vaginal Mesh Trial History
Bard has lost two jury trials, settled a third case after a jury selected, and settled a fourth before trial commenced. In July 2012, a California jury awarded Christine Scott and her husband $5.5 million after she underwent nine revision surgeries. Scott sued C.R. Bard in 2009 over its Avaulta Plus mesh product.
In February 2013, Linda Gross won $11.11 million in her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon brand over its Prolift vaginal mesh product. Gross had 18 surgeries. The New Jersey jury found that J&J failed to warn patients and doctors about the risks of its mesh products and made fraudulent misrepresentations.
On August 15, 2013, after about 12 hours of deliberation, the jury found for Donna Cisson in her vaginal mesh trial against manufacturer C.R. Bard Inc, and found damages in the amount of $250,000 and $1.75 million in punitive damages. The jury found that Bard failed to provide adequate warnings as to the defects in its vaginal mesh product and that the device was defective. Judge Joseph Goodwin upheld the 2 million verdict in October 2013 as appropriate and that Cisson’s attorneys proved the company’s vaginal mesh was the cause of her injuries. In Queen vs. Bard, starting trial immediately after Cisson, a settlement was reached after the jury was selected. Finally, Bard settled Melanie Virgil’s claims that Bard’s Avaulta Plus insert caused urinary problems before trial commenced in New Jersey.
On February 18, 2014, Judge Joseph Goodwin granted Ethicon’s Motion for Directed Verdict at the close of Plaintiff’s case in Lewis vs. Ethicon, Inc. (In Re: Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2327, Carolyn Lewis, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 2:12-4301, S.D. W.Va.).
On April 4, 2014, a Dallas jury found for the plaintiff Linda Batiste and ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $1.2 million for its defective design of the Ethicon TVT-O pelvic mesh.
Two Massachusetts juries recently rejected women’s claims that Boston Scientific’s incontinence sling was defective designed and injured women.
On September 5, 2014, a federal jury in West Virginia found for the plaintiff Jo Huskey and ordered Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon to pay $3.27 million.
On September 9, 2014, a Dallas federal jury found for the plaintiff Martha Salazar and awarded a verdict against Boston Scientific of $73 million, including $50 million in punitive damages, which was later reduced to $34 million.
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