A Delaware jury ordered Boston Scientific Corp. to pay a Newark woman a record $100 million in damages for injuries she suffered from the company’s transvaginal mesh device.
Deborah Barba, 51, was awarded $25 million in compensatory damages and $75 million in punitive damages, making it the highest dollar judgment against a medical device company involving injuries caused by transvaginal mesh. The previous highest award, handed down in September, was $73 million to a Texas woman.
Transvaginal mesh, also known as a bladder sling or vaginal mesh, is a type of surgical mesh used to treat pelvic floor disorders including pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. The devices have been associated with serious complications including erosion into tissues and protrusion into organs resulting in chronic pain, scarring, infections, incontinence and disability.
Barba had surgery in May 2009 during which she was implanted with Boston Scientific’s Advantage Fit and Pinnacle mesh for pelvic organ prolapse, which was causing urinary incontinence. Afterward she suffered serious complications and had to undergo two surgeries. Barba filed a malpractice lawsuit against her doctor in August 2011, but later dropped those claims and targeted Boston Scientific for its role in manufacturing the device.
Barba’s lawsuit accused the medical device company of negligent product design, negligent manufacturing, failure to warn, breach of implied warranty of merchantability, fraud, fraud by concealment, and violations of Delaware consumer protection law.
Barba’s is one of hundreds of lawsuits against manufacturers of transvaginal mesh alleging that the devices were defective and not properly tested before marketed, and that the companies did not adequately warn consumers or doctors of the potential complications with the devices.
“While difficult to share, I hope my case demonstrates to all mesh manufacturers the dangers of their products and the justice they owe victims,” Barba said in a statement through her attorneys.