A West Virginia federal judge upheld a $14.3 million verdict against Boston Scientific, ruling that the verdict was supported by evidence and law. The company tried to have the verdict tossed by arguing that the jury issued its decision against the weight of evidence. Boston Scientific also claimed that the verdict was influenced by flawed closing arguments and jury instructions. U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin rejected these claims.
The verdict was issued in November 2014 to three plaintiffs who alleged injuries from the Obtryx Transobturator Mid-Urethral Sling pelvic mesh device. The plaintiffs alleged that Boston Scientific defectively designed the device and failed to warn of serious complications. The lawsuits filed on their behalf also allege that the transvaginal mesh was not properly tested before it was marketed. Jurors reached a verdict 10 days after the case went to trial in 2014.
“Indeed, the remedies of a directed verdict or a new trial should be applied only in exceptional circumstances,” Judge Goodwin wrote, according to Law360. “[Boston Scientific] has failed to show that such circumstances exist here.”
The case involved four plaintiffs. Boston Scientific agreed to settle the case of one plaintiff, but wanted the court to grant judgment or a new trial with the other three women.
Boston Scientific has faced substantial litigation over transvaginal mesh throughout the years, yielding several large verdicts. In 2014, a couple won a $73 million jury verdict that was later reduced by the trial court. Boston Scientific reached a $34.5 million deal with the couple in October.
Transvaginal mesh is used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Plaintiffs in the pelvic mesh litigation point out that these devices were approved without significant clinical testing because device makers were able to gain approval through 510(k), which allows devices onto the market if the manufacturer can show that it is “substantially equivalent” to a previously approved device. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has since reclassified pelvic mesh as “high-risk”, meaning now they can only be approved with clinical testing for safety and efficacy.