Today jurors in the Donna Cisson v. Bard trial awarded the 55-year-old woman $250,000 in compensatory damages, and $1,750,000 in punitive damages, due to severe injuries caused by transvaginal mesh used in her pelvic organ prolapse surgery. This case is called a “product liability case” and was presented to jurors yesterday morning. It only took them twelve hours to render a verdict against the maker of the Avaulta line of polypropylene mesh medical devices, C.R. Bard.
The six jurors found for Mrs. Cisson in her claim that in 2009, the Bard Avaulta Plus transvaginal mesh implanted in her was designed defectively. It was also determined that her surgeon, Dr. Brian Raybon of Toccoa, Georgia, failed to warn her of the dangers of this implant. In addition to her $250,000 victory, the jurors are currently deciding on possible punitive damages that may be awarded to Mrs. Cisson.
This is the first federal case, but just one of over 25,000 pending that also allege the polypropylene mesh was not suitable for human implantation. Bard argued that Donna Cisson’s damages should be mitigated (lessened) because she failed to lose weight and use an estrogen cream as instructed by her doctors, but the jury wasn’t “buying it.”
This past February in Atlantic City, New Jersey, jurors found for the plaintiff Linda Gross in a similar case against Ethicon, (Johnson & Johnson), awarding her $11.12 million in her product liability lawsuit, as well as $7.76 million in punitive damage. The case is now under appeal. A California state case also under appeal is against C.R. Bard, in which the jury awarded a $5.5 million verdict to Christine Scott and her husband over the Bard Avaulta mesh medical device.
C.R. Bard and other manufacturers of transvaginal mesh medical devices could be in big trouble, as this was the first of thousands of similar cases filed. There are five other defendants and approximately 20,000 cases consolidated in the same court, and awaiting their day at trial. The other defendants include Ethicon (Johnson & Johnson), Boston Scientific, American Medical Systems, Coloplast and Cook. In total, there are 4,193 cases pending against C.R. Bard and more than 28,000 filed naming all six defendants.
All of the women who filed these suits have suffered severe physical and emotional injuries, and claim that the mesh implants can erode, cause infection, enormous pain, bleeding and even additional surgeries to remove the mesh product. But often the mesh can’t be completely removed in these surgeries because the device is so deeply implanted in the victims. Ironically, that’s exactly what the mesh was designed to do – function as a permanent implant.
The next trial, Wanda Queen v. C.R. Bard will begin August 19 in the same federal courtroom. There will be a total of four trials occurring back-to-back that name C.R. Bard as the defendant, alleging the mesh is defective in design and doctors failed to warn their patients of the dangers in advance.
These transvaginal mesh medical devices have literally destroyed the lives of thousands of women. We can only hope justice is served in these cases. If you or someone you know has had a transvaginal medical device implanted during surgery, contact Dallas’s expert medical device attorneys at Reyes Browne Reilley. Call us today at 214-526-7900, or submit the short case review form on the right.