Bard Avaulta Award Upheld
Written by Faith Anderson on October 28, 2013
$2 Million Transvaginal Mesh Award Upheld by Federal Judge
A $2 million jury verdict delivered in favor of the plaintiff has been upheld in the very first federal Bard Avaulta vaginal mesh trial.
The federal judge presiding over all vaginal mesh litigation has upheld the jury verdict delivered in the first trial involving Bard Avaulta mesh, denying attempts by the manufacturing company to overturn a $2 million plaintiff award for damages. On October 18, U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin rejected a motion filed by Bard Avaulta maker C.R. Bard, to reverse the verdict in a complaint brought by Donna Cisson, which was the first vaginal mesh lawsuit to reach a federal jury. A jury in West Virginia returned a $2 million verdict in favor of Cisson, including punitive damages designed to punish Bard for its actions involving the design and sale of the Avaulta Plus Posterior BioSynthetic Support System. If you believe you have been adversely affected by Bard Avaulta mesh or another potentially dangerous consumer product, consult a knowledgeable attorney in your area for legal help.
Possible Side Effects of Vaginal Mesh
In his decision, Judge Goodwin determined that the jury saw sufficient evidence during trial that could have reasonably led to its verdict against Bard. The judge cited evidence indicating that Bard knew some materials used in the vaginal mesh were not suitable for human use, and went out of its way to obtain the materials “surreptitiously,” so the companies manufacturing the materials weren’t aware how they were being used. During the trial, Cisson’s lawyers argued that the polypropylene material used in the Bard Avaulta Plus product caused the plaintiff to suffer complications like mesh erosion, extrusion, inflammation and excessive scarring, among other injuries. As a result, Cisson suffered pain during intercourse, during gynecological exams and while simply sitting.
Bard Avaulta Removed from Market
Surgical mesh devices like Bard Avaulta are designed for surgical repair of conditions like pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in women, and since its introduction, Bard Avaulta has been widely used in surgical procedures throughout the United States. Unfortunately, thousands of women now claim that transvaginal mesh products were defectively designed, and are prone to erode through the vagina, causing serious infections and other life-altering vaginal mesh complications. In light of these claims, C.R. Bard has since removed Bard Avaulta mesh from the market in the United States.
Bard Accused of “Conscious Indifference”
Following Cisson’s trial, the jury found Bard liable and awarded the plaintiff $250,000 in compensatory damages, in addition to $1.75 million in punitive damages. In post-trial motions, however, Bard argued that the jury was not shown evidence that could reasonably lead to that conclusion. Judge Goodwin disagreed, writing: “I find that a reasonable jury could find by clear and convincing evidence that Bard’s conduct exhibited an entire want of care raising the presumption of conscious indifference to the consequences.” Judge Goodwin went on to detail how far the surgical mesh maker went to use polypropylene resin in its product, despite the fact that Bard was “on notice that products made from [the material] should not be permanently implanted in the human body.”
Lawsuits Filed Over Transvaginal Mesh Complications
In the U.S. federal court system, six different multidistrict litigations (MDLs) have been centralized before Judge Goodwin for coordinated pretrial proceedings, involving lawsuits against C.R. Bard, Boston Scientific, American Medical System, Cook Medical, Ethicon and Coloplast Corp. It was recently reported that Bard and several other transvaginal mesh makers may be negotiating a settlement to resolve thousands of product liability cases. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries that you believe to be related to a surgical mesh device like Bard Avaulta, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers harmed by potentially dangerous medical products and pharmaceutical drugs, and we can put you in touch with a qualified product liability lawyer in your area.