C.R. Bard, a maker of one of the faulty vaginal mesh implants that have caused significant injuries to many of the women who received them, has been ordered to pay $5.5 million in damages. This is the first product liability suit involving the vaginal mesh devices to go through trial and have a jury rule on it. The specific product involved in the California case was the Avaulta Plus vaginal implant.
There are hundreds of lawsuits nationwide, with more expected to come, involving a wide range of vaginal mesh devices. Complaints have been raised concerning devices from Johnson & Johnson, Boston Scientific, Bard and other companies. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has ordered more than 30 makers of vaginal mesh products to study the impact of the devices, including potential links to organ damage, incontinence, severe pain and other serious complications. In August of last year, an FDA report said the devices should be classified as posing a “high risk” to patients because of the reports of side effects.
Many women’s health groups have called for all such devices to be recalled until the true impact is known. With the studies scheduled to last three years, many women could be exposed to the harmful devices before the manufacturers’ reports are completed.
Officials at Bard expressed disappointment over the jury verdict and contend that company conduct was not the cause of the woman’s injuries. The verdict is not likely to be the last as there have been numerous complaints of severe pain after the implantation of vaginal mesh.
Source: Bloomberg News, “California jury orders C.R. Bard to pay $5.5 million for faulty mesh device,” 25 July 2012