Lori Cohen Northjersey.com

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, April 16, 2018 ~ C.R. Bard, of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, plans to appeal the record McGinnis transvaginal mesh jury decision, the company has announced.

“We are disappointed with the outcome of the trial and we plan to appeal,” said Troy Kirkpatrick, a company spokesman to North Jersey.com.

Any implantable medical device carries inherent risks as well as clinical benefits. While we appreciate that Mrs. McGinnis is dissatisfied with the outcome of her procedure, it is important to note that thousands of women over many years have benefited from these products and have improved lives because of them.”

Mary McGinnis was implanted with two meshes made by Bard- the Avaulta Solo mesh and Align transobturator. Both are now off the market.

Adam Slater (Mazie Slater), who represented Ms. McGinnis, tells Mesh News Desk,

“This is an important verdict that demonstrates, after listening to the evidence presented by these injured women, the jury will award substantial verdicts and punitive damages to punish the manufacturers.  Mary McGinnis said after the trial she did this, not just for herself, but for all the injured women and to help the thousands of other women who need justice as well.”

“I’ve very grateful,” Mary McGinnis, told Northjersey.com as she left the courtroom with her husband. “This case was fought for all the victims of mesh, whom I hold in my heart.”

It took the jury three hours to deliver a $35 million punitive damages award on Friday, which, when added to the $33 million compensatory award, makes this at $68 million,  the highest jury award so far in mesh litigation.  (Other cases have initially been awarded more but in both cases, they were reduced due to tort reform and caps. Read the stories here).

The jury found that Bard showed “malicious intent” or “wanton and willful disregard” for the plaintiffs’ health when they put the products on the market in 2008. The Avaulta and Align were found to be defective in their design, and the warnings given to doctors were found to be inadequate.

*New Add* Under New Jersey law, there must be clear and convincing evidence that the defendant showed either a wanton or willful disregard for others, or actual malice that creates a high probability that  someone will be harmed, in order for punitive damages to be awarded.  Read more here.

Defense attorney, Lori Cohen (Greenberg Traurig) in her closing said there was “no malicious intent, no evil minded act” on the part of the company.

In speaking directly to the jury, Slater said he didn’t hear the company say it would do things differently or be more careful in the future.  To punish and to deter Bard he urged jurors to send a message, “You can do better.”

Slater encourages other lawyers to take their pelvic mesh cases to trial. And he is willing to help.

“For all the women who haven’t settled their cases yet, there is video available of the lead expert, if lawyers reach out for that information. Dr. Richard Bercik (ob-gyn) from Yale University, on general causation and defective design in Avaulta, Solo and Align transobturator. All exhibits, video and power point, opening and closings can be made available for other firms to take their cases to court.”~ Adam Slater

Slater has another multi-plaintiff trial facing Ethicon in May.

LEARN MORE:

Richard S. Bercik, MD Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and of Urology.  Yale Medicine.
https://medicine.yale.edu/obgyn/people/richard_bercik.profile

In June, 2010 Dr. Bercik travelled to Australia to demonstrate new techniques for vaginal repair surgery. During this visit, Dr. Bercik not only performed surgery in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, and Perth, but also presented several lectures on these topics.

http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(11)01018-0/fulltext
In a 2002 study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Bercik and other report that after one year among 65 participants half had mesh and half traditional repair,  after one year prolapse was better both methods but the mesh participants had a higher reoperation rate and 15.6% had mesh exposures. This is the study with Cheryl Iglesia. At Georgetown u school of medicine.  January 2012.

See more at Research Gate here

Diminished vaginal HOXA13 expression in women with pelvic organ prolapse
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19423998