In the culmination of the first federal trial over vaginal-mesh products manufactured by C.R. Bard, Inc., a jury ordered the medical equipment manufacturer to pay $2 million dollars in damages for concealing flaws about their vaginal mesh implants. The verdict, which was awarded last week, is substantial and may possibly set the tone to future litigation against Bard.
Jurors in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia deliberated for a total of 12 hours over a period of two days before delivering their decision. Ultimately, the jury awarded the plaintiff $250,000 in compensation for her injuries and $1.75 million in punitive damages – a form of damages designed to punish wrongdoers for gross acts of negligence and / or intentional acts of misconduct.
Such a large punitive damage award highlights the seriousness of Bard’s actions. Throughout the past several years, Bard has come under scrutiny for actively concealing the dangers posed by resin-based plastics used to make its Avaulta vaginal mesh products. Court documents in this particular case – which is the first of many – reveal that executives at Bard knew of the health risks and hazards created by its products. Still, it continued to manufacture vaginal mesh products using the dangerous plastic, even resorting to misrepresentations and omissions when working with resin manufacturers and suppliers.
During the case, the woman’s attorneys argued that Bard placed profits above safety concerns of consumers. Although the jury’s decision agreed with this argument, Bard representatives stated that they plan to appeal. Many other medical device manufacturers face similar claims from victims injured by defective vaginal mesh products. Bard, which is based in New Jersey, still faces more than 8,000 similar claims over its Avaulta device. Many of these claims have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) actions.
Although transvaginal mesh devices have become a widely used and generally effective product for treating certain female reproductive disorders – including stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse – they have become a heated topic in defective product litigation. Many women throughout the country who have had these products implanted have experienced a number of serious side effects and adverse consequences. In fact, more than 15% of women who have had a surgery for vaginal mesh implantation have experience adverse health reactions such as scar tissue, health complications, and other serious injuries. As a result, many have suffered immense pain, infections, and the difficulties of painful revision and correctional surgeries.
If you, a loved one, or someone you know has suffered damages after undergoing a transvaginal mesh operation, we encourage you to contact a New York City personal injury attorney from Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek to learn more about your rights, your legal options, and how our firm can help. Allow a member of our legal team to review your case and determine whether you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your damages, including your pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost work wages, among others.