DALLAS – A 12-person jury awarded $73 million in a transvaginal mesh lawsuit Sept. 8, 2014 for injuries a woman suffered from a plastic mesh sling used to treat stress urinary incontinence.
Update: Tort deform lowered the jury award by half, and the entire verdict has been appealed by defense; so no recovery has been made despite the verdict.
Judge Ken Molberg presided over Salazar vs. Boston Scientific, Corp. in the two-week trial in Texas’ 95th Judicial District Court. The case is No. DC-12-14349.
The woman’s attorney, David Matthews, presented evidence that, prior to surgery for incontinence, 38-year-old Martha Salazar had been gainfully employed by one company for 20 years, until she was implanted with plastic mesh that destroyed the quality of her life and work. Tim Goss, Rich Capshaw, Sheila Bossier were also part of the plaintiff’s team.
42 Mesh Procedures
The sling procedure left Ms. Salazar with a pronounced limp and permanent pain. The plastic mesh led to 42 additional procedures to remove it and treat complications.
Ms. Salazar’s attorneys charged that, over a seven-year period, Boston Scientific failed to warn doctors and women of the Obtryx sling’s serious complications, though the company was aware of them. Boston Scientific also withheld from doctors a clinical study that showed serious complications.
$73.4 Million Jury Award
The Salazars were awarded a total of $23,465,000 in actual damages. The jury was instructed that all twelve of them needed to unanimously agree on any amount they set for exemplary damages. Matthews had asked the twelve to give whatever they thought would get the attention of the company, to change the way it does business, and to change its safety policies. The jury awarded $50 million in punitive damages. See the Salazar Jury Charge.
Boston Scientific spokesperson Kelly Leadem emailed Bloomberg News a statement that read: “We strongly disagree with the jury finding and intend to appeal based on the strength of our evidence.”