$5.5 Million Jury Award in Case against C.R. Bard
On July 23, 2012, a California jury awarded a 53-year-old Bakersfield woman $5.5 million for transvaginal mesh injuries. A former runner, Christine Scott first saw doctors in 2008 for stress urinary incontinence. She was implanted with transvaginal surgical mesh to treat it, but that “solution” morphed into a nightmare. The synthetic mesh eroded into her colon. In the product liability action, Ms. Scott said that the Avaulta Plus Biosynthetic Support System left her in chronic pain, incontinent and unable to have intercourse. She could urinate only with a catheter for five months. The jury returned the verdict in Kern County Superior Court before Judge William Palmer.
Ms. Scott also underwent eight additional removal surgeries, but the Avaulta still remains in her body. Many surgeons feel it cannot be removed safely. The jury awarded Ms. Scott $5 million, her husband $500,000 for the loss of their relationship.
The lawsuit is the first of its kind in the U.S. against a major mesh manufacturer. Another 650 mesh cases are pending against C.R. Bard, while thousands are pending against five other mesh manufacturers consolidated in multidistrict litigation.
Veteran Houston personal injury attorney David Matthews, who represents thousands of women in predicaments similar to that of Ms. Scott, said of the verdict: “It’s tragic how little this mesh was tested before being unleashed on women. They tested on a couple dozen animals, on rats, rabbits and sheep, and I guess none of them complained. And nobody is even discussing the fact that animal testing, not just in the case of mesh but in many drug and other cases, fails to translate for human beings; even if something appears to work on a rat or sheep does not mean it will work on a human being. Ms. Scott is not unusual in having undergone several subsequent surgeries to remove the mesh, and the problem continues for her as it does for many of our clients.”
“I don’t know if I have one or 100 surgeries ahead,” Ms. Scott told KGET-TV17 in Bakersfield following the verdict.
See the full KGET-TV17 story here.