Breaking News for Transvaginal Mesh Patients: Boston Scientific Must Pay Woman Injured by TVM a Record $72 Million

Breaking News: a Dallas jury has found Boston Scientific liable for manufacturing a defective product, returning a verdict that sets a hefty record for transvaginal mesh product liability trials. The number? $72 Million.

The woman who was injured by Boston Scientific’s transvaginal mesh implant and has been suffering since January 17, 2011 —the date when the transvaginal mesh was implanted to treat her incontinence. The surgery lasted a mere 15 minutes. But the damage to unfold… that lasted much longer.

There are two things we’d like to discuss with this verdict today.

The first is: Wow, that’s a lot of money. Especially considering another verdict that was won in favor of women injured by TVM that came in this week as well. This other verdict was for $3.27 million, to be paid to a woman who was seriously injured by a mesh product manufactured by Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson. While the $3.27 and $72 million-dollar sums are both large and will both help these two women pay for the massive medical bills and expenses they face, there is no denying the big gap between the two.

Here is the phrase that sums it up: Punitive Damages. The Ethicon verdict did not include punitive damages while this Boston Scientific verdict did.

The definition of punitive damages in lawyer-speak is:

Damages intended to reform or deter the defendant and others from engaging in conduct similar to the conduct that formed the basis of the lawsuit.

Now, in everyday terms, here’s what punitive damages means:

Dollars, dear readers, are used to encourage Big Pharma, Big Business and any other defendants facing a lawsuit to not repeat whatever they did to hurt people — i.e., whatever they did to spur that lawsuit, punitive damages are used to deter them from going back to business as usual. As you may have guessed, punitive damages work to stop negligence in its tracks because it lets big corporations know that we are onto them, so to speak, and that the actions they did to maximize their bottom line hurt people… and that we won’t stand for it any longer.

The punitive damages in this Boston Scientific verdict accounted for $65 million of the $72 million verdict. That’s a lot of dollar bills to get Boston Scientific and other Big Pharma companies like Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon to rethink what they’re doing that may be hurting women around the country. And it comes in addition to the money that the jury awarded to the woman injured by the mesh to help her pay for her medical bills both past, present and future.

Which brings us to our second point today:

The woman who filed this lawsuit against Boston Scientific underwent a mere 15-minute surgery to have the device implanted for her incontinence. She said that her condition was minor, only an issue when she was actively exercising, sneezing or coughing.

Yet once she had the device implanted, she began to suffer: general pain, painful intercourse, irreversible nerve damage to her femoral and obturator nerves and damage to her adductor in her right leg. She now walks with a limp. The woman had just undergone her fourth major surgery to remove the mesh, a surgery that took hours, and she is facing more invasive and seriously dangerous surgeries in the future. That brief surgery will impact her life for years to come.

*We’ll discuss another transvaginal mesh liability trial that has just been won in favor of the patient as well in a coming blog post. Please sign up for our email updates or follow our Facebook page so you can be in the loop.

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