Patients depend upon their doctors for sound medical advice and treatment. Doctors, in turn, rely upon the manufacturers of medical devices and pharmaceuticals to make sure their products are safe and effective before putting them on the market. Unfortunately, some manufacturers of medical products are so eager to make a profit that they allow dangerous and defective products to make their way to patients without adequate testing.
One medical device that has received a lot of attention lately is the urogynecologic surgical mesh implant, frequently called a pelvic mesh device. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, these surgical mesh devices are used to provide additional support when a doctor repairs weakened or damaged tissue. Such surgeries are relatively common in middle-aged or older women who suffer incontinence or organ prolapse.
Thousands of lawsuits against mesh manufacturers are pending across the country, alleging that the mesh is defectively designed and capable of causing severe injuries. Recently, a sizable verdict was announced after a two-week trial in central Texas.
What the Plaintiffs Alleged
A Texas woman filed a product liability lawsuit against the Massachusetts-based Boston Scientific Corporation in the District Court for Dallas County, Texas. She alleged that her doctor implanted a transvaginal sling in her pelvic area to treat urine leakage. After implantation of the device, which was part of the Obtryx Transobturator Mid-Urethral Sling System, the woman had complications including nerve damage and difficulty walking.
The Jury’s Verdict
Jurors in the Texas state court that tried the case found that the transvaginal sling used on the claimant was defectively designed and that the defendant failed to warn doctors about such defects. The jury also found Boston Scientific grossly negligent and awarded $73.4 million in damages to the plaintiffs, including $50 million in punitive damages.
According to the claimant’s attorney, the punitive portion of the jury’s verdict was likely based upon evidence concerning what Boston Scientific knew – but did not tell physicians, such as the doctor who implanted the claimant’s device – about the potential dangers of the Obtryx sling. This evidence included an internal communication that a particular study, which was unfavorable concerning the product, should not be shared with physicians.
Boston Scientific maintained that is very concerned with patient safety and that it disagreed with the jury’s verdict. An appeal is expected.
What to Do if You Have Been the Victim of a Defective Medical Device
The attorneys of the Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III, are here to help you if you have been injured by a dangerous product. You can contact us online or on the phone at (888)262-6664. We are in the business of helping people who have suffered injuries due to the actions of a negligent business or individual. If you live in the Plymouth, Hyannis, or greater Cape Cod area, we welcome the opportunity to speak with you about your case.
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