C.R. Bard Loses $5.5 Million in Landmark Vaginal Mesh Lawsuit

Jul 24th, 2012 | By | Category: Featured

 

Christine Scott, KGET-TV, Bakersfield, CA.

July 24, 2012 ~ BREAKING NEWS!

“Thank You God. We can finally get the word out to women.”

Those are the words of Christine Scott, 53, a former runner who had a vaginal mesh implant to treat stress urinary incontinence in 2008. After that her health went downhill as the synthetic mesh eroded into her colon.

KGET-TV 17 in Bakersfield reported late Monday night (here)  that the Bakersfield woman won a $5.5 million lawsuit she filed against mesh maker C.R. Bard. In the product liability action, Scott said she had the Avaulta Plus Biosynthetic Support System to correct some urine leakage, but it left her in chronic pain, incontinent, and unable to have intercourse.

“I don’t know if I have one or 100 surgeries ahead,” she said to the tv station.

The jury returned the verdict late Friday in Kern County Superior Court before Judge William Palmer. Scott told jurors she could only urinate with a catheter for five months. She then had to undergo eight additional removal surgeries. The Avaulta remains in her body as many surgeons feel the permanent implants cannot be safely removed.

The jury awarded Scot $5 million and her husband $500,000 for the loss of their relationship.

The lawsuit is a landmark victory and the first of its kind in the nation against a major mesh manufacturer. There are another 650 mesh cases pending against C.R. Bard and thousands pending against five other mesh manufacturers consolidated in multidistrict litigation.

Tested on Rabbits and Sheep

Attorney Elaine  Houghton said, “ They tested this on they tested 16 rats 12 rabbits 4 sheep  and by their own research the next living product this went into was a women.”

Houghton and her law partner, Gene Lorenz represented Scott.

KGET reports Bard stopped selling the Avaulta medical device on July 1, 2012 in the United States because the FDA wanted more clinical trials done.

The Bakersfield woman said the hardest part was having to keep quiet watching women continue to be hurt. In 2010 an estimated 200,000 women had synthetic mesh implanted to treat stress urinary incontinence. The actual complication rate is unknown since the U.S. does not monitor medical devices after they are implanted.

Synthetic meshes used to treat incontinence are  petroleum-based polypropylene. They are considered a Class II medical device and manufacturers are not required to conduct clinical trials for safety and efficacy before they are marketed.

When I got that verdict it was, Thank you God. Now we can do something,” said Scott.

FDA- Complications “Not Rare”

Scott filed a lawsuit against Bard and her doctor in January, 2009. In October 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration filed the first of two Safety Notifications warning the public that there was a  degree of “rare” but “serious” complication association with mesh placement in some women. One year ago, the federal agency revised that notification and said that complications were “not rare.

Many doctors have assumed that the FDA warnings primarily focus on synthetic transvaginal mesh for pelvic organ prolapse, not incontinence. This judgment flies in the face of that assumption.

Scott says she will start a support group. Patient Right to Know.org for people who have questions about surgical mesh.

C.R. Bard of Murray Hill, New Jersey plans to appeal. The Avaulta Plus is no longer sold in the U.S. but is sold globally.   #

 

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17 Comments to “C.R. Bard Loses $5.5 Million in Landmark Vaginal Mesh Lawsuit”

  1. cathy munsey says:

    christine,

    yay!!!!!! i too am having that problem with the mesh. i now have cancer on top of that so it is too late for me. yes i will go to your website and do what i can.
    thank god!!!!
    cathy

  2. anurse says:

    As a nurse and injured patient, I am estatic to read that this company is being held accountable for the harm in has caused in this couple’s (and many, many others) lives. Thank you jury!

    • meshmessvictim says:

      As an injured victim myself, my soul is screaming YES YES YES. These products need to be banned for ALL sales, NOT just US sales. people are people, human life HAS value. It is clear to see now these products CAN NOT be deemed safe, look manufacture rather stop sales, verses more testing to insure safety. How sad, when profit and FAT wallets have been given more value than Human Life. How many women thought after FDA July 13th ,2011 statement, that “these” products were no longer sold. Very misleading, many Americans today think products they see listed as “Bad Drugs” on the media or NO LONGER SOLD and that recalls have taken place. NOT SO. Become informed. Vaginal mesh has ruined my life, and stretched my marriage to its limits on so many levels. YES manufactures need to be held liable, sneeking in under FDA 510 K clearance SNEEKY SNEEKY. manufactures knew they were basing new products on RECALLED version. No amount of money will make right the wrongs that have taken place. Homes Lost, couples divorced or on verge of, womens health ruined. Come on , when will it be enough to warrant and all recall demand of these types of products.

  3. Pat says:

    Way to go Scott’s! I too was implanted in 2005 with a mesh device for SUI. From all the horror stories I read I fear my time will come. I feel so sorry for the many people that have been affected by these devices. My heart goes out to each of you. And I like anurse applaudes the jury!!! Great job!!

  4. kelipp says:

    It’s a shame to see an active runner whose life gets turned upside down by a surgery that was supposed to fix her. I’m thankful that there was some justice here. Never tested in humans?? What was Bard thinking? Oh right…they were seeing dollar signs.

  5. Jane Akre says:

    There have been some suggestions that women who file lawsuits of this kind are going after money. Do you all mind enlightening the unenlightened…. thanks.

    http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/health/x475201431/Bakersfield-woman-wins-5-5-million-in-first-of-trials-related-to-medical-device?utm_source=widget_182&utm_medium=latest_entries_widget&utm_campaign=synapse

    • LisaRmro says:

      Hello,
      Christine is my aunt. She is an amazing woman. She just lights the whole room up with her smile. She’s loving person with a big heart. My Aunt Chrissy (as I call her) was never in it for the money never has been. When she had her 1st surgery back in Jan 2008 she immediately had complications. I’ve seen what my aunt has gone through after 8 surgeries and is still having complications. My aunt is a young woman still and has a whole lot of life in her. Aunt Chrissy is the go getter. She ran 5/10k marathons, she worked out daily, bike rides you name it she did it. My aunt is a fighter. After researching these products it’s a shame these mogul medical companies do this to innocent people. I was there for most of the trial, and I was disgusted after hearing this product was never tested in humans, but yet cadavers. When she won against this medical company it wasn’t a win for just her it was a win for the hundreds and hundreds of cases out there. My aunt’s story needs to be told not only to the women who are having complications but to these mogul medical companies that they need to take proper measures with research and testing before selling their products on the market and harming these women. Aunt Chrissy’s main focus is to let the women out there who have given up hope and the will to fight that they aren’t alone. She wants to let these women know that their voices to can be heard too. Please keep her and the others who have been affected in your prayers.

      • Jane Akre says:

        Lisa- I’ve been trying to contact your Aunt today. Would you please let her know I would love to do a Patient Profile. I’ve been reporting on the the vaginal mesh mess for more than 2 years now and hope we could help her tell her story. Please have her contact me through the contact below…. and thank you!
        Jane Akre

    • freda says:

      Jane it is not the money that we are suing for it helps alittle but I had the mesh surgery last year the doctor did not say anything about complications and I ask him so I had the surgery and in 6 weeks had to have it again by another doctor, well my husband and I can’t have sexual intercourse because the mesh is sticking him and hurts, I can’t have surgery again cause i don’t have insurance anymore.. Neither doctor told me about the problems my second doctor said that they are cutting me open and there is less complications

      • Jane Akre says:

        Hi Freda- I understand that most people are not motivated solely by money…. they want justice and money is the language that speaks volumes to corporations and is a small way to hold them accountable. Most people would rather have their health returned to them…. I’m sorry…

  6. Jane Akre says:

    Businessweek is reporting that Bard was found 60% responsible, the doctor who implanted the mesh 40%.

  7. EH says:

    This whole thing is making me sick. I have at least 2 more surgeries to go through, after the 6 I’ve already been through, not including the implantation. We love to break things down into 60/40 or whatever. The pharms lied to the Dr.’s and gave false info. They remove things so that they won’t be held accountable. Dr.’s do not check out what they’re doing, and assume they know. All the while so many have lost their “quality of life – nothing but recliner sitting, TV, while taking pain meds. Our families pay, our churches (or other responsibilities feel losses). Staying married throughout all of this is a miracle – so much stress. I long for a world where the hypocratic oath actually means something. Whether it be the pharms, the Dr.’s both, etc. Deniable plausability – what a joke. I am thankful for Christine Scott and her husband – but don’t forget – still a lifetime of prison in a body that hurts! No amount of $$$$ would replace her pain. Or her families. Oh how I wish I could have missed out on this one!!

  8. Liz Reece says:

    This is a brilliant start. When, oh when, will the UK wake up to the mess mesh. I cannot believe how often women are told they are the ‘only ones’ suffering awful pain and complications. I was one of the lucky ones and had my mesh safely and totally removed. Too few are given this option, too many are implanted when there shouldn’t be any more of these vile implants.

    Thank you Jane, for all your tireless work bringing so much to the public eye.

  9. Evelyn says:

    I had two slings surgery (Polypropelene Mesh) in my vagina, in 2006, as well as the repair of the vagina wall which had torn loose. I have had problems such as the bottom sling fraying during my recovery time, after the surgery, I had a server coughing asthma attack. The frayed sling was repaired in the doctor’s office, but did not stay that way. Now I not only have a frayed sling, I leak urine as well as flood urine when I do not go in time to reach the restroom. I can not control it even with doing the Kegel Exercises At night I have to get up at least 3 times or more and when I do raise up to get out of bed, I urinate on myself. I also have had lots of pain in my lower abdomen. I have been to my Gastrenoligist and there is no problem with my stomach, causing the pain, in my lower abdomen. I have for some time but it is getting worse…not being able to have a bowl movement. I take two douches of Milk of Magnesia every night and on the third night I have a very small bowel movement. I stop taking the laxative for a few days and no results. I have tried taking other laxatives, but the same results. I talk Extra Strength Acidophilus every day, eat lots of fruit, veggies and I am very active. I eat prunes but they just give me gas and no bowel movement. Water is my favorite chose of drink. I drink at least 8 or more 8 once glasses of water a day, if not more. My husband and I have stopped trying to have Sexual Intercourse due to the pain, that I have and the bleeding afterwards (Pink to Red Blood). It is very painful for him and leaves large painful purple bruises on his Penis, because of the frayed sling. My vagina has become to small for him to get into me. My lower abdomen as well as my vagina was in pain for a day or so after Intercourse. At this time my abdomen hurts all the way down to my knees, when I am on my feet very long. i have problems with my lower back causing such pain when I am on my feet also. It has been at least a month since we tried and all I can say is the enjoyment is gone out of our Sex Life for both of us…it turns into an argument of who’s fault it is. We both know where to put the blame and it is not my doctor. My nerve ending are like little shocks all through my body, without taking my pain pills 3 times a day and my sleeping pill at night. They are prescribed for me by my doctor at the Pain Institutes, in Bakersfield. I would love to have some relief, so I am returning to my Urologist that did the Polypropelene Mesh Sling Surgery, in 2006. My appointment is on Monday, August 6th, 2012, to see what can be done. I don’t feel that there is much they can do, so what happens to me. My marital life of almost 27 years, is a shambles. Intercourse is not an on our list any more. I just can’t do it and he does not want the pain for himself nor I. It makes us both crabby people. We use to laugh and enjoy each other. I have had a stroke and a nervous breakdown and I feel like we are just living together to keep things together. I don’t know how long a marriage with these problems can keep it together. I will be 65 years old and he will be 70 in November. I had no problems like this before the surgery except the urinating on myself.
    As my husband says,” it was better sex before the Sling Surgery, even if you did urinate on yourself and me. Now, I can’t even get inside of you, as well as knowing that you are in such pain, you can’t relax. All the Gynecologist I have been to say that your vagina is getting shorter and tissues thin, so the best to do is put lots of KY Jelly on both of you. That does not help and look at the sheets and us”.
    I agree with him. By the time we do all of that the mood is over and we are discussed with the whole thing and each other. Does any one have a solution? I had a Tubule in 1976 and then a Historicity in 1977 because my uterus came completely out of me in 1972, when I had my second child. It did the same thing after my third child in 1976. I am 5 feet & 1/2 inches tall and weight about 128 Lbs. I am getting so depressed with this, and all my health problem, I am not sure it is worth getting older. I pray that things will just mend itself…but that is not realistic!

  10. Jane Akre says:

    Evelyn- Depending on the type of insurance you have, you may be able to have a mesh removal. Our Face book pages and group has lots of discussion by people who have had their mesh removed. Please join them on FB and find some answers as it doesn’t appear that you are being sent in the right direction.

    Jane A.

  11. Sandy says:

    I too have had problems with a pelvic mesh made by AMS. I was sure I asked my doctor who put it in al the right questions. I thought I was an educated person. Well it took me a year of pain and infections before I finally went to another doctor. He said the mesh was casuing the problem and had to come out. I thought great, now it will be over! Well no such luck. I am in pain ever day, my husband and I can’t have sex anymore due to the pain and each day is a fight. I hurt every day from sitting at work. I try to stay at work but I know my performance is suffering. So what do you do when your life has been destroyed by a surgery like this. I talked to an attorney but he says we just have to wait until after December 2013 and find out if AMS will be held responsible. But he could not tell me what to expect. So us women who have had our lives turned upside down and destroyed are told to just wait and see. Mean while I sit here in pain. I have a great doctor now who wants to help me but I am still in pain. So here is my question, what can we expect. I never wanted to sue someone but they have changed my life forever! If I can’t sit all day at work I will need money to live off of. Perhaps invest in something where I can get something back from. I would in a New York minute go back to not having this happen but it did. So if they say everyone of us women deserve 1 Million dollars, then what? By the time you pay medical bills and attorneys fees what can we hope for? When someone hurts you so they cna get rich they deserve to pay. But I am sure all of us will never get what we deserve.

  12. Paula says:

    Happy……Happy……Happy……………… Good for her

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