Since the products were first released on the market several years ago for treatment of pelvic prolapse and other conditions, tens of thousands of women have filed lawsuits alleging major complications. Many patients had to undergo revision surgery – sometimes numerous revision surgeries – to correct problems associated with the device.
In essence, these devices were poorly designed by manufacturers that failed to test the long-term safety of their materials in the human body. The products were not subject to rigorous testing typically required for medical devices by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because manufacturers exploited a loophole through the 510(k) program allowing them to assert their device was “substantially similar” to an existing product.
Today, many of these complex lawsuits are making their way to court, and our product liability attorneys know many are resulting in verdicts favoring plaintiffs.
They have required extensive work by plaintiff lawyers, but the result has largely been fruitful. In some cases, the result has been large verdicts. In other cases, settlement offers have been extended.
Boston Scientific Corp., one of the biggest companies involved, has lost two important cases involving multiple plaintiffs, including a federal bellwether trial that resulted in a $27 million verdict.
In Enhnayem, et al. v. Boston Scientific Corp., the defendant was ordered by the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, to pay that amount to four women who suffered complications related to the Pinnacle Pelvic Floor Repair Kit. All the plaintiffs presented evidence they had suffered pain, infections, bleeding, and other complications as a result of having the device implanted to treat pelvic organ prolapse. The company was accused of rushing the product to market without conducting adequate studies proving its effectiveness and safety.
In another federal case against the same company just weeks later, the company was ordered to pay $18.5 million to four other women following a 10-day trial in which many of the same complications were alleged. In that case, jurors also awarded $1 million in punitive damages to each plaintiff in the lawsuit, indicating the company’s actions displayed gross negligence and reckless disregard for the lives of others.
There have been a number of other multi-million dollar verdicts in recent years. Defendants have included:
- American Medical Systems, Inc.
- Boston Scientific Corp.
- C.R. Bard, Inc.
- Endo Healthcare Pharmaceuticals
- Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon
Last summer, Endo settled claims involving three of its mesh products (Apogee, Elevate, and Perigree) for $55 million. However, that covered only a small fraction of the lawsuits pending against the firm.
Last summer in California, a trial court awarded $5.5 million in Scott v. C.R. Bard, Inc. to a plaintiff and her husband after she underwent eight revision surgeries following implantation with vaginal mesh. However, that award was later reduced by 40 percent when the trial court – in a decision recently affirmed by the appellate court – apportioned that percentage of fault to her first surgeon, who was not named as a defendant in the original case.
These cases must be handled by a legal team with extensive resources and experience. Contact our offices today to learn more about how we can help.
The Ferraro Law Firm handles claims resulting from defective medical products or dangerous pharmaceuticals. Call 1-800-275-3332 for a free and confidential consultation. Offices in Miami and Washington, D.C.
Scott v. C.R. Bard, Inc., Nov. 19, 2014, California Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District
More Blog Entries:
Payne v. Novartis Pharm. Corp. – Failure-to-Warn Claim Will Proceed, Sept. 2, 2014, Product Liability Lawyer Blog