Last week, a jury deliberated for three hours before awarding a plaintiff the largest vaginal mesh compensation to-date. Although there have been thousands of lawsuits filed against vaginal mesh manufacturers, many of the cases have not yet been heard and are pending as part of a multi-district litigation (MDL) in West Virginia. This record-setting verdict was good news for plaintiffs whose claims are still pending, as it demonstrates juries may be very sympathetic to the plight of vaginal mesh patients.
A dangerous medical device attorney can provide victims their options in terms of vaginal mesh litigation. Victims may be able to file independent civil lawsuits or may have their claims become part of the MDL.
Plaintiff's Record-Setting Vaginal Mesh Verdict
According to the West Virginia Record, the plaintiff who recently was awarded the largest vaginal mesh verdict had her case heard in Dallas County. She was 42-years-old and a relatively healthy woman with a full-time job who was experiencing minor problems with bladder control. The vaginal mesh was supposed to solve these problems when it was inserted as part of a minimally-invasive surgery. Unfortunately, because of the problems with the mesh, she is now in constant pain.
Jurors determined that she was entitled to $73 million in compensation. To compensate her for her losses, the jury decision made on September 8, 2014 awarded her the following damages:
- $1.5 million for past physical pain and mental anguish.
- $10 million for future physical and mental pain.
- $750,000 for the past physical impairment resulting from the mesh.
- $5 million for future physical impairment.
- $3 million for future medical care that she will need due to the mesh problems.
- $1.7 million in lost earning capacity because she is no longer able to work as she did prior to having the mesh implanted.
- $15,000 to the victim's husband for past loss of household services the woman can no longer provide.
- $500,000 to her husband for the loss of household services in the future that the mesh injuries will prevent her from offering.
- $250,000 for future loss of consortium damages to her husband, since she is no longer able to have a normal sex life.
- $750,000 for future loss of consortium damages to her husband.
- $50 million in punitive damages because the defendant displayed gross negligence.
The majority of the award was in punitive damages. Unlike economic and compensatory damages, which are intended to "make the victim whole" or provide full compensation for actual loss like doctors' bills and pain and suffering, punitive damages are designed to punish a defendant and deter future bad behavior.
There are caps on punitive damages in Texas, so the large award is likely to be reduced. The vaginal mesh manufacturer in this case, Boston Scientific, is also expected to appeal the verdict and there is a chance that the verdict will be overturned or the damage award reduced on appeal. Still, this large verdict sends a message to vaginal mesh companies that they will be held accountable for releasing a dangerous product onto the market and causing harm to so many women.
If you have been harmed by a drug or medical device in Florida, contact DeCarlo Law today at 877-572-0065 or visit http://www.decarlolaw.com/ to schedule a consultation.