In November 2014, four women were awarded $18.5 million in damages for serious complications they suffered due to dangerous transvaginal mesh devices. A jury found that Boston Scientific Corp.’s Obtryx Transobturator mesh device was defectively designed. Boston Scientific appealed the verdict, claiming that the consolidated nature of the four cases resulted in juror confusion and prejudice.
Earlier this month, a federal appeals court upheld the verdict, citing Boston Scientific’s failure to provide evidence of confusion or prejudice.
“Here, there is little reason to be suspicious of the verdicts given that BSC had a chance to fully develop its defenses and that the judge properly instructed the jury throughout the trial to keep the cases separate,” wrote the Court. “What is more, the four plaintiffs did not receive identical damage awards, but instead received damages that varied by $1 million across plaintiffs. That the total damages awards were of the same order of magnitude appears to reflect the very similarities between the cases that justified consolidation in the first place.” A Boston defective medical products attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been harmed.
Sadly, Boston Scientific is far from the only company accused of manufacturing and marketing dangerous transvaginal and pelvic mesh. These devices are typically used to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, two painful and embarrassing conditions that affect nearly 50 percent of post-menopausal women. But Boston Scientific is among the worst offenders, admitting that it is facing more than 48,000 liability claims due to the defective implants. In 2015, Boston Scientific agreed to settle nearly 3,000 cases to the tune of about $119 million.
Why is Transvaginal Mesh So Dangerous?
Transvaginal mesh has been linked to serious complications in tens of thousands of women. The complications range from severe pain and vaginal scarring to nerve damage and organ perforation. The most common serious complications include:
- Pain during intercourse
- Organ perforation
- Urinary problems
- Nerve damage
- Autoimmune problems
- The need for revision surgery
In 2008, the FDA began investigating the growing list of adverse event reports. In 2011, the agency issued a warning that complications associated with mesh devices were not rare, as previously thought. And in 2016, transvaginal mesh devices were reclassified as Class III (high risk) by the FDA. A MA injury lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured by a transvaginal mesh device.
Hope for the Future
Scientists from the University of Sheffield have developed an alternative to the dangerous mesh products on the market today. There is mounting evidence that softer, more elastic materials are better for use in the pelvic area. Further, a device that releases estrogen can help the body to heal more effectively. As such, scientists at the university’s Material Science and Engineering department have developed a polyurethane-based device, which is more elastic than its polypropylene predecessor. Continue reading