| Sept 9
Sept 9 A Texas jury has ordered Boston
Scientific Corp to pay $73 million to a woman who said
she suffered serious injuries from a transvaginal mesh device,
the first loss for the device maker in one of thousands of suits
over the products.
The damage award and finding of gross negligence against the
company came Monday evening following a two-week trial in a
state court in Dallas, Texas, according to court filings.
Plaintiff Martha Salazar, 42, was implanted with an Obtryx
sling four years ago to treat urinary leakage, her lawyer David
Matthews said. She now suffers from permanent nerve damage and
constant pelvic pain, he said. Her lawsuit accused the company
of designing and marketing a product it knew was defective. The
company denied that it was liable.
Following only a few hours of deliberations, the 12-person
jury awarded Salazar approximately $23 million in compensatory
damages for her actual and future suffering and $50 million in
punitive damages after finding the company was grossly
negligent, according to a court filing said.
A representative for Boston Scientific, Kelly Leadem, said
the company was strongly disappointed with the verdict and
planned to appeal.
The verdict comes in the third case to go to trial against
Boston Scientific over the devices. The first two, which were
tried in Massachusetts, resulted in verdicts absolving the
company of liability.
Boston Scientific is facing more than 23,000 lawsuits over
transvaginal mesh devices, which are used to treat stress
urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, according to a
recent regulatory filing.
Thousands of the federal lawsuits against the company have
been consolidated in West Virginia, where a first trial is
scheduled to begin in October.
Boston Scientific is among seven device makers to face a
wave of litigation over transvaginal mesh devices. Other
defendants include C R Bard Inc and Johnson & Johnson's
Ethicon Inc unit.
In April, Endo International's American Medical
Systems subsidiary became the first major manufacturer to
largely settle the suits against it for $830 million.
Only a handful of other mesh suits have gone to trial so
far, and Salazar's award is the largest so far.
Last week, a jury in West Virginia awarded a woman who was
implanted with an Ethicon device $3.27 million. The first
federal trial over an Ethicon device ended earlier this year in
a win for the company.
Juries in New Jersey and Texas previously awarded women
suing Ethicon $11 million and $1.2 million, respectively. C R
Bard was hit last year with a $2 million verdict in the first
mesh trial in federal court.
The case is Salazar v. Lopez, District Court for Dallas
County, No. DC-12-14349.
(Reporting by Jessica Dye in New York; Editing by Alexia
Garamfalvi and Cynthia Osterman)