Transvaginal Mesh Implant Verdict: Bard Ordered To Pay $2M In Damages
Marilyn T. McGoldrick on Aug 20, 2013 10:44:00 AM
On August 15, 2013, a West Virginia jury awarded Donna Cisson a $2 million verdict, $250,000 in compensatory damages and $1.75 million in punitive damages, against C. R. Bard for injuries caused by its Avaulta. Donna Cisson’s attorneys presented evidence that her vaginal mesh implant caused bleeding, constant intractable pain and bladder spasms. Ultimately Cisson endured several surgeries to remove much of the surgical mesh; she still has 22 inches of mesh inside her body and the constant pain.
Other transvaginal mesh device manufacturers including Johnson & Johnson and Boston Scientific Corp. are facing similar lawsuits in six different federal Multi-District Litigations (MDLs); all are consolidated before Judge Goodwin in federal court in West Virginia.
C.R. Bard used plastic unfit for human use in its implants
During the course of discovery, plaintiffs’ attorneys unearthed the fact that C.R Bard used dangerously unsafe plastic in its surgical mesh. C.R. Bard had gone so far as to create a different company, a wholly-owned subsidiary called Red Oak Sales Co., to buy the plastic unfit for human implantation from Phillips Sumika, in order to conceal from the supplier that Bard was indeed using that plastic in a surgical mesh sold for human use.
Transvaginal mesh is a net-like device made from a plastic called polypropylene that helps support internal organs and fix stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and (POP). These two conditions usually happen in women after a hysterectomy, a childbirth, or during menopause. SUI happens when the bladder leaks during normal activity, and the mesh helps supporting the uretra and preventing leaks. POP happens when the pelvic muscles weaken and the bladder, rectum and/or uterus fall into the vagina. The mesh acts as a hammock, supporting the internal organs and keeping them in their proper place.
While transvaginal implantation is less invasive than other surgical treatments for pelvic floor problems, it has a much higher rate of complications. The mesh can erode or go through the vaginal wall. After erosion, the mesh may perforate other organs. Other complications include bleeding, painful sexual relations, and scarring of the vagina.
Cisson v. C.R. Bard Inc. is the first in four bellwether trials in the federal court for the Southern District of West Virginia before Judge Joseph R. Goodwin. This case is one of several thousand consolidated in federal court related to Bard’s line of Avaulta devices. Another vaginal mesh lawsuit against Bard starts a trial before Judge Goodwin this week.
If you have suffered complications from a transvaginal mesh implant, contact the surgical mesh attorneys at Thornton Law Firm for a free consultation and evaluation of your legal rights. You can tell us your story online or call Marilyn McGoldrick at 888-341-1405.