Jury Awards $2 Million to Donna Cisson in First Federal Transvaginal Case Against C.R. Bard

Jane Akre
August 15, 2013
Scales of Justice, WikiCommons

Scales of Justice, WikiCommons

Breaking News ~ 5: 31 pm

The jury just awarded Donna and Dan Cisson $1,750,000 in punitive awards in their product liability lawsuit against C.R. Bard & Co. The punitive phase was entered into after the compensatory award of $250,000 was announced late this afternoon.

That brings the jury award to $2 million.

Here is that story:

On Thursday afternoon the jurors in the Donna Cisson v. Bard trial decided the 55-year-old woman's injuries were severe enough to award her $250,000 in compensatory damages.

The product liability case went to the jury Wednesday morning. It took the six jurors 12 hours to render a decision against the New Jersey-based C.R. Bard, the maker of the Avaulta line of polypropylene meshes used to treat pelvic organ prolapse.

Jurors in first Cisson trial, July 2013, art by Akre

Jurors in first Cisson trial, July 2013, art by Akre

The six jurors found Mrs. Cisson had proven her claims the Bard Avaulta Plus mesh implanted in her in 2009 was defective in both its design and in a failure to warn her implanting physician, Dr. Brian Raybon of Toccoa, Georgia.

The jury also found Bard did not prove its assumption of the risk defense and that Mr. Cisson did not prove his claim for loss of consortium.

The jurors decided there is a basis for punitive damages which was decided in the courtroom after the compensatory damages were announced.

This is the first federal case, one of more than 28,000 pending in this federal court that allege the polypropylene medical device was not suitable for human implantation.

Bard had argued that Donna Cisson's damages should be mitigated by her failure to lose weight has she had been told to do by her doctors and by a failure to use estrogen cream.

Linda Gross

Linda Gross, Courtesy Courtroom View Network

Last February, jurors in Atlantic City, New Jersey found for plaintiff Linda Gross and awarded her $11.1 million in her product liability lawsuit against Ethicon, (Johnson & Johnson), including $7.76 million in punitive damages. That award is on appeal.

Also on appeal is a California state case naming defendant C.R. Bard that rendered a $5.5 million verdict over the Bard Avaulta mesh for plaintiff, Christine Scott and her husband.

Christine Scott September, 2012

Christine Scott September, 2012

This was the first of more than 4,100 cases filed naming manufacturer C.R. Bard. There are five other defendants and about 28,000 cases consolidated in the same court waiting for their day before Judge Joseph R. Goodwin. Last January the cases were transferred there by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML).

The other defendants include Ethicon (Johnson & Johnson), Boston Scientific, American Medical Systems, Coloplast and Cook.

There are 4,193 cases pending against C.R. Bard and more than 28,000 filed naming all six defendants.

The women all contend that the mesh implants can erode, cause infection and pain, bleeding and require mesh-removal surgeries. Often the mesh cannot be entirely removed because the arms are deeply embedded because the device is intended to be a permanent implant.

The next trial, Wanda Queen v. C.R. Bard (2:11-cv-00012) will begin August 19 in the same federal courtroom. In all there will be four back-to-back trials naming C.R. Bard as a defendant alleging the mesh it made was defective in its design and in its failure to warn. #

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