C.R. Bard Pays $3.6 million in Precedent Setting Scott Pelvic Mesh Case

Jane Akre
November 5, 2015
Christine Scott

Christine Scott from The Bakersfield Californian

MND, November 4, 2015 ~ It largely slipped by unnoticed, until now.

In July 2012, Plaintiff Christine Scott went to trial against C.R. Bard over her Bard Avaulta Plus mesh kit in a Bakersfield, California courtroom. It would be the first trial to be held naming a major mesh manufacturer.

In a precedent setting decision, the jury found the company was negligent and awarded the Scotts $5.5 million which included $500,000 for loss of consortium for her husband. The surgeon charged with 40% of the fault.

That left the company to appeal its $3.6 million judgment, which it did. See the story here.

Bard, of Murray Hill, N.J., has now exhausted its appeals and the amount was paid on March 20, 2015. The information is contained in the company's 10-Q quarterly report to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued October 23, 2015. See it here.

See the Opinion as posted here. It's a good summary of the case.

aaabard logo

The implanting physician Dr. Tillaikaransi Kannappan who had received a one day training lab on the Avaulta taught by Susan Tate, a urogynecologist. Dr. Kannappan was not told Avaulta should not be used in women who are sexually active or for mild prolapse. Scott had incontinence while participating in sports and mild pelvic prolapse of the bladder and rectum. As a treatment, in January 2008 Dr. Kannappan implanted a mesh sling and two Avaulta Plus mesh kits one for anterior one for posterior. Dr. Kannappan says she did not read the instructions for use on the Avaulta plus but did watch a DVD on the surgical technique about a week before Scott’s surgery.

Bard Avaulta, Miklos and Moore website

Bard Avaulta, Miklos and Moore website

In an interview with KGET-TV 17 in Bakersfield, attorney Elaine Houghton said that the TVM product was tested on “16 rats, 12 rabbits, four sheep and, by their own researcher’s admission, the next living being this product went into was women.”

On appeal the decision was affirmed by the appellate court in November 2014. Then Bard filed a petition to have the issue go before the California Supreme Court. That was denied in February of this year.

This is not only the first trial over transvaginal pelvic mesh, but the first one to be paid following a jury trial and not a settlement. Her attorneys were Houghton and Gene Lorenz of Bakersfield.

The Cisson case followed. It was the first bellwether trial naming Bard in multidistrict litigation also over its Avaulta Plus. See the story here. In August 2013, Cisson was awarded $2 million, but the company filed an appeal. The next two cases to be heard in Charleston, Vigil and Queen, received settlements before they went to trial.

Bard is facing in excess of 21,000 product liability lawsuit over its Women's Health Product (transvaginal mesh). As of this week, there are 12,735 of those cases filed in multidistrict litigation (MDL) in federal court in Charleston, WV. The Master Complaint was filed in the MDL in July 2012. See it here.

Upon winning her lawsuit, Scott was quoted as saying "Thank you God. We can finally get the word out to women." See the story here.

Bard stopped selling the Avaulta in July 2012 right after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requested three-years of post approval monitoring. #

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