A woman who was awarded more than $73.4 million last month in a transvaginal mesh lawsuit against Boston Scientific Corp. will be receiving significantly less than that due to Texas regulations that cap the amount of punitive damages companies are required to pay.
BusinessInsider.com reported on October 3rd that punitive damages were dropped to just over $11 million, after a Dallas County Judge cited stipulations in a Texas law that permitted jurors to award punitive damages equal to no more than two times the plaintiff’s economic losses, in addition to $750,000 in other losses. Following the original verdict, which found Boston Scientific grossly negligent in designing, manufacturing and marketing its Obtryx transvaginal mesh sling, the company announced that they planned to appeal. The plaintiff in this case also received more than $23 million in compensatory damages.
A lawyer for the transvaginal mesh plaintiff said he was not surprised at the reduction, but maintained that the award was “still a very significant finding for a single case.”
According to the Business Insider, this is one of 23,000 claims now filed against Boston Scientific in U.S. federal and state courts. Women in these lawsuits allege that Boston Scientific knew its pelvic mesh was defective, and may cause chronic pain, pain during sexual intercourse, bleeding, infection and other injuries that may require removal via multiple surgeries.
Many of the lawsuits against Boston Scientific are now pending in a federal litigation underway in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia, where a number of separate proceedings have been created for lawsuits involving products from the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, Ethicon, American Medical Systems and C.R. Bard, among other manufacturers.
On September 30th, the parent company to American Medical Systems, Endo International Plc announced its agreement to pay $400 million in a settlement of lawsuits against its subsidiary. This may resolve more than 10,000 lawsuits, for $48,000 each, according to a recent article from Bloomberg.com, who also noted that the company’s reserve for mesh-related suits now totals $1.6 billion. Injuries alleged in these cases were sustained by women who received Apogee, Perigee and Elevate implants from American Medical Systems.