As lawsuits against manufacturers of transvaginal mesh (TVM) products go to trial, our team of TVM lawyers are happy to announce victories on behalf of severely injured women. In one of the latest verdicts, a woman in Delaware was awarded $100 million by a jury, though the judge later reduced the award to $10 million.
The original award to Deborah Barba was the largest ever in a trial involving TVM products. She filed a claim against Boston Scientific, one of seven TVM manufacturers collectively facing more than 100,000 injury lawsuits.
Barba received the mesh in 2009 to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). The mesh caused extensive health problems for Barba, including recurring bladder infections, severe pain, and two additional forced surgeries. She filed suit against Boston Scientific in 2011.
Over the course of her 14-day trial, Barba argued that Boston Scientific was negligent in designing and making its TVM devices, and failed to warn both doctors and patients about the possible risks.
The jury agreed with this, finding Boston Scientific negligent and liable for Barba's injuries. They awarded her $25 million in compensatory damages and $75 million in punitive damages, which are meant to punish defendants for especially fraudulent behavior. The judge reduced the award, believing it too high in comparison to other TVM verdicts, which range from $1 to $7 million.
Seven Companies, Over 100,000 Lawsuits
Another TVM plaintiff in Missouri, Eve Sherrer, recently made her final plea to the jury on Monday, February 1, 2016. She filed her TVM lawsuit against Boston Scientific and C.R. Bard, claiming the devices rendered her incontinent. The devices were covered in scar tissue when removed from her body. Scarring on a TVM device causes it to shrink, harden and adhere to internal tissue, creating dangerous and painful health issues.
Both Bard and Boston Scientific agreed that this scarring is not normal and should not have happened, but blamed the woman's condition on doctor error and past medical problems. The case centers on Boston Scientific's Solyx mesh and Bard's Align mesh.
Sherrer argues that the particular materials used in these devices was not medical grade, were prone to failure, and were neither designed nor intended for permanent implantation. When the company who provided the mesh material to Boston Scientific learned what it was being used for, it terminated its contract with Boston Scientific. Boston Scientific cut a deal with the company, promising to buy 10 years' worth of the dangerous mesh and release the manufacturer from liability.
In other words, companies like Boston Scientific and C.R. Bard used mesh they knew to be unfit for women's reproductive organs, without testing, and fully knowing the complications could be devastating, in a race to profit. Because these meshes were not intended for medical use - again, which the companies knew but did not warn of - they destabilized and degraded inside women's bodies.
Despite all of this clear, irrefutable evidence, many TVM devices remain on market today. The reason for this is complicated and beyond the scope of this post. Our TVM lawyers urge women implanted with these devices or considering implantation to research the devices thoroughly.
Aside from C.R. Bard and Boston Scientific, other companies facing massive TVM injury litigation include:
- American Medical Systems, which recently set aside $1.6 billion to settle injury claims.
- Endo International, which set aside more than $400 million
- Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, which is facing more than 23,000 cases
- Coloplast, which agreed to pay $16 million to settle hundreds of claims
- Cook Medical Systems, which is facing its TVM claims in West Virginia
There have been nearly 20 TVM verdicts so far. Contact our TVM attorneys on more information on these claims and how you can take part in the litigation.