Christine Scott’s case involved C.R. Bard’s Avaulta mesh, one of several transvaginal mesh manufacturers. Not only did the jury find the medical device company responsible for her irreversible injuries; the lawsuit also alleged that the TVM ruined the couple’s love life and the jury agreed, awarding the woman’s husband $500,000. The jury found that Bard was negligent in their handling of the devices, used to treat pelvic organs prolapse (POP), and stress urinary incontinence (SUI), according to Elaine Houghton, the plaintiffs attorney.
Christine Scott, age 53, is one of the worst cases. In 2008 she had the device implanted twice to treat occasional urinary incontinence. According to Houghton, the medical device began to cut her colon and she had tissue grow through the tiny holes in the mesh. Complications from the TVM resulted in eight separate surgeries and she might have to undergo further surgeries.
After a year of suffering, the couple filed a lawsuit against Bard and its Avaulta Plus transvaginal mesh device in 2009.
In an interview with KGET-TV 17 in Bakersfield, attorney Houghton said that the TVM product was tested on “16 rats, 12 rabbits, four sheep and, by their own researcher’s admission, the next living being this product went into was women.”
“Thank you, God. We can finally get the word out to women,” said Christine, in response to the verdict.
Attorney Holly Ennis believes this verdict will set a precedent for upcoming cases. “This verdict gives validity and merit to women’s transvaginal mesh claims and illustrates the gravity of some of the injuries sustained,” said Ennis.
So many federal lawsuits have been filed against transvaginal mesh manufacturers that five—and possibly more-- multidistrict litigations (MDL) have been filed to streamline the process. They include C.R. Bard (MDL 2187), American Medical Systems (MDL 2325), Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon (MDL 2327 ) and Boston Scientific (MDL 2326).
READ MORE TRANSVAGINAL MESH LEGAL NEWS
Despite hundreds, possibly thousands, of complaints and reports to the FDA, and more than 250 lawsuits over C.R. Bard vaginal mesh filed in federal courts throughout the US, the medical device company continued to keep its Avaulta products-- including the Avaulta Biosynthetic, Avaulta Plus and Avaulta Solo devices—on the market until they pulled it from the shelves in the US at the beginning of July 2012. The products were pulled only when the FDA asked for more clinical trials to determine their safety.
Incredibly, Bard is still selling its Avaulta line in other countries.