Boston Scientific was ordered to pay more than $100 million to a woman in Delaware who experienced pelvic mesh injuries after being implanted with its product. According to Reuters, $25 million of those damages were compensatory, while $75 million were punitive.
The Lasting Effects of TVM Complications
The plaintiff, Deborah Barbara, was implanted with Boston Scientific’s device nearly six years ago. Barbara then went through two surgeries to attempt to have it removed. The mesh product couldn’t be removed in full, however, so Barbara still faces complications from her pelvic mesh injuries every day.
The ultimate verdict? The jurors involved in the case decided that Boston Scientific had been negligent when developing and marketing its TVM product and had not adequately warned doctors or patients about the risks. While Boston Scientific was ordered to pay damages to Barbara, it vehemently oppose the court’s decision and hope to appeal it. Despite its insistence that its products are not faulty, the company has agreed to pay nearly $119 million to resolve transvaginal mesh lawsuits.
A Disastrous Device
Boston Scientific certainly isn’t the first company to be hit with transvaginal mesh lawsuits, however. Many other makers face the same legal pressure, thanks to device dangers and lack of clinical testing the predated its release onto the market.
TVM was designed to treat organ prolapse, a condition that generally occurs in woman after they’ve given birth or as they age. It can also treat urinary incontinence or vaginal vault prolapse, the latter of which happens after a hysterectomy. The device works by holding up organs in this area of the body, preventing them from falling into the vagina.
Pelvic Mesh Injuries Happen Early, and Often
The problem with TVM, however, begins early. Due to the nature of the vagina, which is filled with its own naturally occurring bacteria, the surgery is inherently contaminated. This can cause the device to create an unhealable wound that allows for enough decay to pass through the vaginal wall entirely. Other times, the device can shift, causing vaginal scarring and horrible pain. TVM frequently makes intercourse painful or impossible for both parties, and it can occasionally even cause the urinary incontinence it is sometimes inserted to treat.
The most disastrous part of the device, however, might be how difficult it is to remove. Because it’s made of mesh and often creates wound decay, it can be impossible to remove in its entirety. In some cases, like the one faced by Barbara, it’s completely impossible. This creates lifelong pain, often scarring the patient both mentally and physically. What’s worse, the FDA has stated that pelvic mesh injuries of this nature are not uncommon and occur in a shockingly large number of women.
Speak With an Attorney
If you were implanted with TVM and experienced subsequent pelvic mesh injuries, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. Before filing your case, it’s a good idea to have an attorney review your case. He or she will be familiar with mass torts of this nature and can help you be more successful moving forward – and getting the compensation you deserve.
Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.