Verdicts & Settlements

Jury in Delaware awards $100M to 51-year-old woman in transvaginal mesh case

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Delaware is not a state known for big jury verdicts in individual personal injury cases.

But on Thursday a jury there awarded a 51-year-old former bank teller $25 million in compensatory damages and $75 million in punitives against Boston Scientific Corp. Deborah Barba said she suffered constant discomfort, urinary tract infections and painful sex—despite two corrective surgeries—because of being implanted with the company’s transvaginal mesh.

The verdict in the Delaware Superior Court case is the eighth-largest in the country so far this year and leaves in the dust a $73 million Texas jury verdict against Boston Scientific last year in another vaginal mesh case, Bloomberg reports. (The $73 million verdict was later reduced to $34 million, Reuters reports.)

A spokeswoman said Boston Scientific plans to appeal.

The punitive damages award, in particular, is surprising, law and business professor Erik Gordon of the University of Michigan told Bloomberg.

“Corporation-friendly Delaware juries rarely award punitive damages,” he said. “A good portion of Delaware’s economy is driven by its business of domiciling most of the country’s largest corporations.”

The cases in Delaware and Texas were among the earliest to be tried of some 100,000 vaginal mesh lawsuits, in state and federal court, against Boston Scientific, C.R. Bard and the Ethicon unit of Johnson & Johnson, Reuters reports.

Last month, Boston Scientific said the company would pay $119 million to settle nearly 3,000 of the suits.

Related coverage:

Wilmington News Journal: “Del. woman wins $100 million in transvaginal mesh case”

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