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Woman wins suit, warns others about hazards of medical device

After a patient was implanted with a synthetic mesh sling designed to cure minor urinary incontinence, she began to feel sharp, tearing pain. She alleged that the serrated edges of the synthetic mesh sling were acting like miniature saw blades in her pelvis.

The woman filed suit against the maker of the mesh device, Boston Scientific. At trial, her lawyers presented internal documents from Boston Scientific showing that even after the product was being marketed, the company’s own researchers recommended “longer follow-up.” Rather than take this advice, Boston Scientific circulated an internal memo cautioning employees against sharing the recommendation with physicians who might use the synthetic mesh slings on patients.

It did not even take three hours of deliberation for the jury in this case to return a verdict in the patient’s favor. She was awarded $74.3 million in damages.

The woman told WFAA news, “It felt like something was tearing inside me.” She now has permanent damage, and mesh may still be imbedded inside her, but she is hopeful that her case can serve as a warning to other women to think long and hard before saying yes to mesh, emphasizing: “So that they don’t go through the same pain. That their kids don’t suffer, their husband doesn’t suffer. The people around them.” Boston Scientific plans to appeal the verdict.

If your doctor is recommending a synthetic mesh sling, this case should give you something to consider. But if it is too late and you have already suffered harm, you too may have a legal claim to recover monetary compensation.

Source: WFAA 8, “Garland woman warns about medical device,” Janet St. James, Sept. 16, 2014