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Parade of Trials Continues for Avaulta Mesh

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Charleston, WVThe Avaulta mesh lawsuit that recently ended in a ruling favoring the plaintiff could set the tone for similar lawsuits regarding the Bard Avaulta mesh implant and other implants designed to treat Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) and Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI). One of the points argued by plaintiff lawyers at the trial was that officials with C.R. Bard Inc. allegedly knew that the plastic used to manufacture the Avaulta mesh carried, it was alleged, a warning that the material should not be permanently implanted in humans.

Jurors at the trial, according to a report in Bloomberg News (8/15/13), were told by plaintiff lawyers that Bard continued with production.

Plaintiff Donna Cisson and the events fostering her Avaulta lawsuit appears to be a fair representation of what other plaintiffs are alleging in thousands of additional lawsuits currently in the pipeline.

Cisson, a public health nurse, received her Bard Avaulta in 2009 in an effort to treat POP. The latter is a condition often affecting women at midlife or later - and especially women who have borne children - when organs begin to sag and collapse into the pelvic region. The use of surgical mesh, such as Bard Avaulta mesh, to shore up migrating organs in a sling-like fashion has replaced traditional procedures that involved more invasive surgery to stitch a patient’s own tissue, harvested from elsewhere, into a sling.

Cisson’s implant, however, proved problematic. The plaintiff required several surgical procedures to remove the mesh after Cisson began encountering bladder spasms, pain and bleeding.

Other plaintiffs have alleged similar complaints, including but not limited to uterine perforation and pain during sexual intercourse for both partners.

In 2012, a state jury in California found for the plaintiff in a case that was the first to go to trial in US court, according to Bloomberg News. Jurors awarded the plaintiff $5.5 million, although Bard is described as only having to pay $3.6 million of the award according to state laws in California.

Cisson was awarded $250,000 in compensatory damages for her injuries and $1.75 million in punitive damages. It is not known if Bard will appeal the ruling. However, it should be noted that the Cisson trial was the second go ’round for the case, after the first attempt ended in a mistrial last month. According to Bloomberg News, a witness commenced testimony reflecting Avaulta marketing and the Avaulta mesh recall that occurred last year at the behest of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The judge under whose jurisdiction consolidated mesh implant lawsuits are based had ruled previously that plaintiffs could not reference the withdrawing of the products.

Bard is one of over 30 manufacturers of mesh implants ordered by the FDA to study rates of injury, complication and adverse reaction post-market. Jurors in the Cisson case deliberated for 12 hours over two days before delivering the verdict for the plaintiff in federal court in Charleston, West Virginia. Another trial alleging injury stemming from the Bard Avaulta mesh implant - in this case, the Avaulta Plus - was scheduled to go to trial also in West Virginia this month.

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