Avaulta Plus Mesh Device Lawsuit Restarts after Mistrial

(LegalLaw247.com, August 03, 2013 ) New York, NY -- The second trial in a lawsuit involving C.R. Bard Inc began this week in Charleston, West Virginia. This lawsuit is the first in more than 3,300 federal claims against Bard (manufacturer of the Avaulta Plus mesh device) and is the bellwether for the cases yet to be heard.

The first trial ended in mistrial when Dr. Lennox Hoyt testified that no companies sell this type of device anymore and no doctors implant them. There are 23,000 cases claiming the mesh type devices caused serious and painful complications, with other manufacturers such as Cook Medical, Boston Scientific and Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon facing similar lawsuits in the same court.

In mid-July, U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin ruled that the withdrawal of this type of device from the market could not be mentioned in the trial. When Dr. Hoyt made his statement, defense attorneys called for a mistrial because the testimony was prejudicial to the jury.

Attorneys for the first plaintiff, Donna Cisson of Georgia argued that the jury should just be instructed to disregard the statement but Goodwin disagreed. “Because I don’t think it’s a bell that can be unrung,” Goodwin says. “And I want to say this in the context of, to my knowledge, never declaring a mistrial in a civil case in nearly 20 years on the bench. I think it would have been very difficult for the jury to disregard it.”

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules and regulations, if presented to the jury, would only confuse them more, as the judge sees it. “It is my belief that a so-called curative instruction would simply have made the problem worse and focused the jury’s attention more on the fact that nobody, even though that’s not true, nobody is using mesh products,” Goodwin said.

Designed for the treatment of pelvic floor disorders, transvaginal mesh surgery is not as invasive as other treatments. The procedure does come with its own complications though. The mesh has been known to erode and pass through the vaginal wall, where it may perforate other organs. Vaginal scarring, bleeding and painful sexual intercourse may result. Attorneys for the first plaintiff, Donna Cisson, are claiming the device caused internal pain as well as bleeding and required several surgeries to remove.

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