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October 7th, 2014

Texas Woman Awarded $73M in Vaginal Mesh Lawsuit

A Texas woman was awarded $73 million last month in a vaginal mesh lawsuit against Massachusetts-based Boston Scientific.

Martha Salazar, a 42-year-old former property manager, sought treatment for minor urinary incontinence and received a Obtryx bladder sling implant. In the lawsuit, Salazar said that after the mesh sling was implanted, she could no longer able to walk or sit normally. She suffered from severe pain and internal injuries that required 42 additional procedures and four major surgeries.

Salazar’s legal team argued that Boston Scientific was aware the medical device was potentially defective.

After a two-week trial, a Dallas jury found that Boston Scientific acted with gross negligence in failing to warn doctors and patients, allowing for a punitive award of $50 million in addition to $23 million in compensatory damages.

The company denies liability and said it plans to appeal the decision.

Salazar’s case is first trial loss for Boston Scientific after winning two claims; an additional 23,000 vaginal mesh lawsuits are still pending against the manufacturer.

More than 60,000 cases have been filed against several mesh companies, with some already settled out of court. American Medical Systems offered $830 million to settle its vaginal mesh claims, and Coloplast settled cases for $16 million.

New Jersey-based Ethicon, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, faces the largest number of federal claims for defective medical devices and has already lost several claims, including a recent West Virginia lawsuit in which the drug giant was ordered to pay $3.27 million.

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