Another Big Win for Defective Products Victims
A Delaware woman recently won a $100 million jury verdict, after her lawyers convinced a jury that Boston Scientific’s faulty pelvic mesh implant was responsible for her injuries. The case may cause other medical device manufacturers to settle defective product cases more quickly.
Pelvic mesh implants were once hailed as a cure for incontinence in females. But the devices can deteriorate over time, leading to a host of medical problems, including severe pain during sexual intercourse. These problems can trigger a series of expensive corrective surgical procedures. The month before the verdict was announced, Boston Scientific agreed to pay $119 million to settle some 3,000 similar claims, including a $35 million verdict from a Dallas County jury. Last year, another Texas woman won $73 million in a case stemming from a defective Boston Scientific pelvic swing, a similar device.
Boston Scientific and two other pelvic mesh manufacturers are actively settling individual cases before the juries hear about the severe injuries these victims suffered.
Defective Medical Devices
While a new drug may remain in development for many, many years and costs hundreds of millions of dollars to develop, the Food and Drug Administration may approve a medical device in as little as five years. Under the Expedited Access Pathway program, devices can be approved even sooner, if they meet certain criteria. Instead of extensive review, the FDA must only be reasonably certain that a device is safe and effective.
Given the lack of oversight, more dangerous products are available for public use. To prevail in a products liability case, a plaintiff must generally show either a:
- Design Defect: Many devices, such as the pelvic mesh, are unsafe when they are still on the drawing board, typically because the manufacturer chose to take shortcuts so the product could be released more quickly and at a lower cost.
- Manufacturing Defect: Sometimes an error in the manufacturing process, such as a screw hole that in a few degrees off-center or a component that is installed improperly, can make an otherwise safe product quite dangerous. If the error occurred before the device left the manufacturer’s control, that entity is liable for damages.
Punitive damages are nearly always awarded in these cases, because the device makers often try to conceal their mistakes and sell products they know to be hazardous.
Dangerous products injure South Texas practically every day. For a free consultation in this area, contact an experienced personal injury attorney in New Braunfels. The Bettersworth Law Firm has a small-town atmosphere to go along with nationwide resources.