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Tort Reform Cuts $73M Boston Scientific Vaginal Mesh Verdict to $34M

Transvaginal Mesh Litigation Update graphic with closeup of mesh

The punitive damage award was reduced simply as a matter of Texas law, and does not in any way reflect negatively on the jury's findings.

A Texas judge cut a $73 million verdict recently awarded to a plaintiff in a transvaginal mesh lawsuit filed against Boston Scientific Corp. to $34 million. According to court documents dated October 2, Texas District Court Judge Ken Molberg cut the plaintiff's punitive damage award to $11 million.

Among other things, Judge Molberg noted that Texas caps punitive damages at no more than two times a plaintiff's economic losses, plus up to $750,000 in non-economic losses. (Salazar v. Lopez, No. DC-1214349, District Court for Dallas County, 95th Judicial District of Texas (Dallas).

Last month, a jury ordered Boston Scientific to pay $23 million in compensatory damage plus $50 million in punitive damage to a woman who had been injured by the company's Obtryx sling. Court records indicate that the Texas jury agreed with the plaintiff's assertion that the pelvic mesh device was defectively designed, and that Boston Scientific's handling of the product amounted to gross negligence.

"It's important to understand that the punitive damage award was reduced simply as a matter of Texas law, and does not in any way reflect negatively on the jury's findings. This remains a very significant verdict," says Jeffrey S. Grand, partner in Bernstein Liebhard LLP, a law firm representing victims of defective drugs and medical devices. The firm continues to offer free legal reviews to women who suffered mesh erosion, pain, scarring, infection and other serious transvaginal mesh complications, allegedly due to products marketed by a number of manufacturers.

14,000 lawsuits

Boston Scientific is a defendant in more than 14,000 vaginal mesh lawsuits currently pending in U.S. courts. The majority of these claims have been filed in a federal multidistrict litigation now underway in U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia, where attorney Grand, is serving on the Plaintiffs Steering Committee. (In re: Boston Scientific Corp., Pelvic Repair Systems Products Liability Litigation - MDL No. 2326)

Court records indicate that more than 60,000 vaginal mesh lawsuits are currently pending in several litigations underway in the Southern District of West Virginia. In addition to his involvement with the Boston Scientific Steering Committee, Mr. Grand is a also a member of the Plaintiffs Steering Committee for a number of these litigations, including those involving American Medical Systems, Inc. (MDL No. 2325), C.R. Bard, Inc. (MDL 2326) and Ethicon, Inc. (MDL No. 2327).

Grand was also appointed Co-Liaison Counsel in two consolidated proceedings established for C.R. Bard and Ethicon mesh lawsuits in New Jersey's Atlantic Superior Court. He was also a member of the trial team on the first Ethicon trial, which ended in March 2013 with an $11 million verdict for the Plaintiff. (In re: Pelvic Mesh/Gynecare Litigation, No. 6341-10; In re: Pelvic Mesh Litigation/Bard, No. L-6339-10)

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