A woman injured by transvaginal mesh intended to treat urinary incontinence has received the largest jury award of any plaintiff to date in a transvaginal mesh lawsuit. Boston Scientific was ordered by a West Virginia jury to pay plaintiff Martha Salazar $73 million for injuries she received from the company’s bladder sling device.
Salazar, 42, claims she was a healthy woman with a full-time job when she underwent surgery to repair a condition causing urinary incontinence. But she says the transvaginal mesh that was implanted in her – the Obtryx mesh – was defective, causing severe chronic pain.
The $73 million awarded includes $50 million in punitive damages and $23 million in compensatory damages. Salazar’s husband was also awarded $1 million for loss of consortium plus an additional $515,000 for loss of household services.
A patient activist, Aaron Horton, who calls himself the “mesh warrior” calls the judgment an important symbol for all women suffering from injuries caused by transvaginal mesh.
“For 12 jurors to come to a unanimous decision that large of a punitive damage is necessary, is validation for all of these women,” Horton told the Dallas Observer. “People have family members who don’t believe they’re in as much pain as they are. People have doctors who don’t believe they’re in as much pain as they are.”
Transvaginal mesh can erode into tissue and perforate organs causing complications including chronic pain, hemorrhaging, infections and incontinence.
Salazar’s lawsuit is just one of about 23,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits filed against Boston Scientific alleging injuries from the company’s defective transvaginal mesh devices.
Other transvaginal mesh manufacturers face similar lawsuits, some of which have already been resolved. For example, Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon was ordered to pay plaintiff Jo Huskey $3.27 million after it was determined she was suffering injuries from the company’s TVT-O.
Source: Dallas Observer