On July 8 the United States District Court in West Virginia began the first bellwether trial in the C.R. Bard, Inc. Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). Bard is a manufacturer of transvaginal mesh (TVM) products. After opening statements by the parties and the testimony of at least one witness, the Court declared a mistrial after a physician inadvertently testified that manufacturers were no longer selling the type of mesh product at issue in the case. The Court declared the mistrial because the Court determined the testimony violated a rule that prohibits evidence of a subsequent remedial measure. The trial started again on July 29, 2013. “Bellwether” trials are used to define issues in the litigation and give the parties some guidance for the rest of the litigation.
Transvaginal mesh products are used to repair conditions in women such as pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Pelvic organ prolapse is the bulge of organs/structures surrounding the vagina into the vaginal or extending beyond the vaginal opening, caused by a laxity of supporting tissue of the vagina. Stress Urinary Incontinence is the involuntary leaking of urine associated with an increase in intra-abdominal pressure that may be caused by straining, physical activity, coughing or sneezing.
On July 13, 2011, the FDA issued a safety update concerning “serious complications associated with transvaginal placement of surgical mesh for pelvic organ prolapse.” The FDA concluded that serious complications associated with the use of surgical mesh for transvaginal pelvic organ prolapse (POP) repairs were “not rare,” it was not clear that transvaginal mesh repair was safer than traditional non-mesh repairs and transvaginal mesh repair could present greater risks to the patient. The FDA report noted that the most common reported complication was erosion of the mesh material but contraction of the mesh material was also a reported complication. Both could lead to severe pelvic pain, painful sexual intercourse or the inability to engage in intercourse. Other serious complications can include organ perforation, bleeding, urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, infection and the need for corrective surgeries.
The retrial of the West Kenya case started on July 29th. Lawyers in our Mass Torts section are heavily involved in the TVM litigation. They are investigating claims where women have experienced organ perforation, bleeding, urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, pelvic pain, infection, discomfort during intercourse and the need for corrective surgeries following the transvaginal placement of mesh for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or stress urinary incontinence (SUI) repair. If you or a loved one has suffered such an injury, please contact Leigh O’Dell or Chad Cook, lawyers in our Mass Torts Section, at 1-800-898-2034 or by email at Leigh.Odell@beasleyallen.com or Chad.Cook@beasleyallen.com.
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