The recent jury award totaling $11.1 million for Linda Gross, a transvaginal mesh Plaintiff, gives hope to the hundreds of Plaintiffs with Avaulta lawsuits. It also will have an effect on the women who have sued more than 30 other manufacturers of the faulty product. As we reported in the last issue, the jury in New Jersey awarded Ms. Gross $7.76 million in punitive damages, which was in addition to the $3.35 million compensatory damages previously awarded. Both awards are being appealed by pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, the Defendant in the case.
The win in the Gross case serves as a beacon of hope for other transvaginal mesh sufferers, including those women experiencing problems with Avaulta mesh. At last count there are well over a thousand reports of major problems with the Bard Avaulta mesh implant since 2005. Hundreds of victims are participating in the C.R. Bard multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia under Chief Judge Joseph R. Goodwin. As previously reported, those trials are just getting underway.
While Bard mesh is only one of several similar products on the market, the complications suffered by women are also similar across the entire product spectrum. Ms. Gross, who did not have the Bard Avaulta, insisted she had a competing product manufactured by J&J. Nonetheless, Ms. Gross experienced horrific adverse events related to her mesh implant. Further, she was required to undergo no fewer than 18 subsequent surgical procedures in an effort to address the problems caused by her transvaginal mesh.
This past July, a Kern County Superior Court jury awarded Christine Scott, an Avaulta pelvic mesh Plaintiff, and her spouse, $5.5 million. The former runner was the picture of good health until she received the Bard mesh product and her health has deteriorated ever since. Mrs. Scott received the Avaulta mesh system in order to treat Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) – a common complaint among middle-aged women who have borne children. In her case, the problematic mesh migrated toward her colon, cutting her colon in the process and allowing tissue to grow through the tiny holes in the mesh. As of July 2012, Mrs. Scott had already undergone eight surgical procedures in an attempt to correct the problems allegedly fostered by the Bard Avaulta mesh.
The FDA determined that pelvic mesh, including Bard Avaulta, should be considered high risk for the treatment of SUI and Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP). More than 30 manufacturers of transvaginal mesh, including Bard, have been ordered by the FDA to continue studying their product post-market. The Scott case is in the Superior Court for Kern County, Calif. (Bakersfield).
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