Mesh Medical Device News Desk, April 12, 2018 ~ The four-week trial of Mary McGinnis, implanted with two CR Bard pelvic meshes, ended Thursday afternoon with a plaintiff award of $33 million to compensate Mary and her husband, Tom.
The punitive phase will be deliberated Friday.
The product liability trial against Bard over its pelvic mesh began March 19. Today, less than four weeks later, jurors delivered the verdict and compensatory award.
The five men and three women jury will work in the punitive phase, intended to punish the company tomorrow.
In total, McGinnis, of North Carolina, was awarded $23 million in compensatory damage, with another $10 million given to her husband, for loss of consortium.
The jury decided both pelvic mesh implants – the Avaulta and Align – were defectively designed and left her with chronic pain.
During the trial, attorneys for Bard blamed her pain on preexisting conditions such as osteoarthritis. McGinnis had to stand during much of her testimony, Thursday, March 29.
Adam Slater asked McGinnis to describe her pain. “Sharp pains in the vagina,” she said, which “radiates out and can go in any direction they want, sharp, thick pains that shoot up. You realize nobody can help me – I have to tough it through. The pain is unending; the burning is horrible. It’s beyond debilitating. It hurts so much you can’t cry.”
“I never knew what severe pain was until I had the mesh,” Mary McGinnis said during the trial.
McGinnis told the court about her home-based day care during the trial. She can no longer lift children. Her husband must lift and play with the children. Tom also does shopping and cleaning. He told jurors her sense of humor is gone. “She puts on a good show, but no, she is not comfortable.”
BARD TRIALS SO FAR
This is the first trial in New Jersey for any pelvic mesh made by CR Bard.
In a 2012 Bakersfield, California trial, Christine Scott was awarded $5.5 million due to injuries from her Bard Avaulta implant, and an Avaulta case in West Virginia in 2013 ended with a $2 million award to Donna Cisson.
The 2016 Sheerer case in Missouri state court of a Bard Align and Boston Scientific Solyx ended in a defense verdict. Lori Cohen of Greenberg Traurig, who led the defense team in the McGinnis case, also represented the defendant in the Sheerer case.
McGinnis was represented by Adam Slater of Mazie, Slater, Katz Freeman of New Jersey. Slater has an unblemished record representing injured plaintiffs in a series of pelvic mesh trials.
Slater represented Linda Gross in Atlantic City, NJ in 2013 in her Prolift case against Ethicon that yielded $11.1 million for Ms. Gross, with no defective design conclusion. Slater led the Hrymoc case last December which also led to a $15 million verdict for the plaintiff.
The Joan Budke wrongful death case against Ethicon in Missouri in 2015 that Slater led, ended in an undisclosed settlement as the case was about to go to the jury.
Juries in these transvaginal mesh trials appear to be awarding greater compensatory and punitive damages over time.
Last month, the case of Barbara Kaiser in Indiana yielded $35 million in compensatory and $25 million in punitive damages against Ethicon, the maker of the Prolift mesh she was implanted to treat pelvic organ prolapse.
The Hrymoc trial, also in Bergen County, resulted in a $15 million verdict for Ms. Hrymoc. Of that, $10 million was punitive damages against Ethicon maker of Prolift and TVT-O implanted in the plaintiff.
Both the Avaulta for pelvic organ prolape (POP), and Align for incontinence (SUI) were taken off the market by Bard, in 2012 and 2016.
Bard is located in Murray Hill, New Jersey. An appeal of the verdict is customary.
Mary McGinnis and Thomas Walsh McGinnis v. C.R. Bard Inc., et al., case number BER-L-17543-14.