Boston Scientific loses $18.5 Million Federal Verdict

Boston Scientific Corp. (BSX) just lost a transvaginal mesh trial for the second time in two weeks.  In a West Va. federal courtroom on Nov. 20, jurors found the company had sold defective vaginal mesh implants to four women who had brought suit against the company.

Jurors deliberated for more than six hours, then awarded $18.5 million in total damages to the women who sued the company for failing to warn their doctors and them about defective transvaginal mesh slings which were implanted in the women and left them in constant pain. The jurors awarded punitive damages of $4 million.

All the women had been implanted with Boston Scientific’s Obtryx slings, which were designed to treat incontinence.

As with a Nov. 13, 2014 verdict in Florida for $27 million against Boston Scientific, the West. Va. jurors found Boston Scientific liable for damages to the women. All eight women in both trials testified that the mesh inserts eroded inside their bodies and caused permanent pain pain.

FDA ordered Studies

After several thousand lawsuits had been filed by 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson and more than 30 other transvaginal-implant manufacturers to study rates of organ damage and complications linked to the implants.

Several thousands of the mesh-insert cases against Boston Scientific have been consolidated before U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin in Charleston, West Va., while others have been filed in state courts that include California, Delaware, Missouri,  New Jersey,  Texas.

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.

Defective Products with Substandard Materials

Lawyers for the women argued the implants are made of substandard materials, cause pain and make sex uncomfortable.

A state court jury in Texas in Sept.ordered Boston Scientific to pay $73 million in damages to a woman who also blamed the Obtryx line of implants for her injuries.

The consolidated West Virginia case yielding the $18.5 million verdict is titled Jacquelyn Tyree v. Boston Scientific Corp., No. 12-cv-8633, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia (Charleston).

According to SEC filings, Boston Scientific still faces some 23,000 suits over its plastic transvaginal implants in U.S. state and federal courts, and in Canadian and U.K. courts. Boston Scientific pulled Pinnacle, the subject of last week’s $27 million verdict,  from the U.S. market in 2011.

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