In August, a West Virginia jury awarded Donna Cisson $2,250,000 to both compensate her for injuries related to Bard’s Avaulta transvaginal mesh and to send a message to the company for its malicious behavior. The jury heard almost two weeks of testimony and deliberated 12 hours before deciding its verdict.
The jury found that Mrs. Cission had proven her claims that the Bard Avaulta transvaginal mesh was defective in design and that the company failed to warn her and her physician of the true risks associated with the product. Despite the jury’s findings, Bard recently filed post-trial motions to overturn the verdict. Essentially, this is a last ditch effort by a defendant to argue that no reasonable jury could find for the plaintiff, as this jury did here. In its motion, Bard argued that the verdict was not supported by sufficient evidence.
The Honorable Judge Goodwin denied Bard’s attempt to escape liability. On October 18, 2013, he issued an order upholding the jury’s verdict. He determined that there was sufficient evidence to support the verdict. Thus, the evidence submitted by the plaintiffs was enough to allow a reasonable jury to conclude that the Avaulta transvaginal mesh contained design defects and that Bard failed to adequately warn physicians of the risks.
Currently, tens of thousands more cases are pending against the manufacturers of transvaginal mesh, including Johnson & Johnson, Boston Scientific, Coloplast, Bard and Cook Medical.
There are more trials to come, which will allow us to gage the various manufacturers’ approaches to these cases. Johnson & Johnson bellwether trials are scheduled for January, May, and June 2014, with one more to be announced. Boston Scientific trials are scheduled in March and July 2014.