First Bellwether Trial against Transvaginal Mesh Manufacturer Bard in Favor of Plaintiff
On August 16th, the jury in the first bellwether trial against CR Bard decided in favor of the plaintiff, and the transvaginal mesh manufacturer has been ordered to pay $2 million for personal injury.
The Charleston, West Virginia transvaginal mesh trial was the first in a long line of over 8,000 personal injury cases in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) against the medical manufacturer, CR Bard. The jury deliberated for 12 hours over the course of two days, before deciding that the transvaginal mesh manufacturer was liable for Donna Cisson’s injuries. They awarded her $250,000 in compensatory damages, plus $1.75 million in punitive damages.
Cisson, along with other victims of failed transvaginal mesh devices, claimed that her implant caused serious pain and internal injury. The Avaulta transvaginal mesh device she received not only damaged her physically, but it damaged her relationship with her husband as she was unable to have sexual relations with him without pain.
Other transvaginal mesh MDLs are lined up against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon division, Boston Scientific Corps, and American Medical Systems.
“This jury sent a message that Bard needs to change its ways,” Henry Garrard, one of Cisson’s lawyers, said after the punitive-damages verdict was announced. “The jury is telling them this kind of conduct won’t be tolerated.”
Lawyers for CR Bard say that they will appeal the decision. They claim that Cisson failed to state a claim for which relief could be granted, and her injuries were the result of negligence on her and her surgeon’s parts, not the company’s.
“We disagree with the verdict reached by the jury and believe there are compelling grounds for reversal. We will appeal,” Scott Lowry, a Bard spokesman, said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. “Our Avaulta mesh products are safe and effective medical devices, cleared by the FDA.”
Transvaginal Mesh Manufacturer Responds to Personal Injury Claims
Last year, the FDA ordered Bard, Johnson & Johnson, and other transvaginal mesh manufacturers to make three-year studies of rates of organ damage, perforation, infection, and painful sex that have often been linked to transvaginal mesh. In just 2012, according to the FDA, 250,000 women had surgeries for incontinence problems, and 80% of those surgeries involved mesh products.
In response to the FDA’s order, Bard said they would pull their Avaulta mesh completely off the market.
The company “is simply making a business decision not to invest in clinical trials on this product,” Brenda Hammans, a vice president, said in the e-mail.
Before Donna Cisson’s transvaginal mesh case went to trial, court records were unsealed that showed that managers in CR Bard’s Davol unit used a resin-based plastic that was made by a Chevron Phillips Chemical Company unit, which the supplier officially stated that the plastic should not be permanently implanted in people. Davol used the plastic to create transvaginal mesh and hernia repair products anyway.
In 2004 and 2007, emails filed in a federal court in West Virginia show that an executive from Davol warned colleagues not to tell the plastics manufacturer that the transvaginal mesh company was using the material, despite warnings, in medical devices to be implanted in humans.
“Do not use this Phillips Sumika Polypropylene Co. material in medical applications involving permanent implantation in the human body or permanent contact with internal body fluids or tissues,” according to the warning. It continued: “Do not use this Phillips Sumika Polypropylene Co. material in medical applications involving brief or temporary implantation in the human body or contact with internal body fluids or tissues unless the material has been provided directly from Phillips Sumika Polypropylene Co. under an agreement that expressly acknowledges the contemplated use.”
The Strom Law Firm Fights for Women in Transvaginal Mesh Personal Injury Cases
Transvaginal mesh kits were initially produced to help with pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Several varieties of mesh kits exist, but transvaginal mesh specifically was supposed to produce less scarring and pain, because the procedure was less invasive. However, vaginal mesh slings can cause a host of problems, including organ perforation, infection, internal scarring, continued organ prolapsed, and bleeding. If you or a loved one has pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence, have had a transvaginal mesh device implanted, and have since experienced detrimental complications, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced lawyers at Strom Law, LLC can help. We offer free consultations, so please contact us today, and we can help get you on the road to recovery. 803.252.4800