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McGinnis Pelvic Mesh Trial Against Bard to Start Monday

Bard Avaulta

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, March 13, 2018~ McGinnis v C.R. Bard  will start Monday, March 19th in a New Jersey courtroom, almost seven years to the day after it was filed, with attorney Adam Slater representing the McGinnis family.

She was implanted with a Bard Avaulta pelvic mesh, which is no longer on the market.

**Editor’s Note ** This story contains revisions that have come to light since it was first published.

This is a product liability trial which will attempt to prove the polypropylene pelvic mesh, Bard Avaulta, was defective in design and warnings to doctors were insufficient. Case no. BER-L-17543-14, Superior Court, Bergen Co., N.J.

Adam Slater

On March 12, 2009 McGinnis was implanted with a Bard Avaulta Support System at Wake Medical Health and Hospitals in Raleigh, NC to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP).   She was also implanted with the Align transobturator sling at the same time as a treatment for incontinence.

See McGinnis Complaint, Avaulta Jan 2018

Soon afterward she suffered erosion, scar tissue, dyspareunia, loss of bladder functioning, and severe pudendal neuralgia injury.

She has undergone three separate mesh removal surgeries, the third by Dr. Shlomo Raz in June 2016 involved extensive groin dissections to remove the transobturator arms of both devices.

According to the complaint, the defendant marketed these products as “safe, trusted products” of “unsurpassed stability” implanted by “a minimally invasive surgical procedure,” which would offer a quick recovery time. Defendants should have known that was not true yet they continued to design, manufacture and market and distribute their products.

Even after the 2008 FDA initial Public Health Notification about “Serious Complications Associated with Transvaginal Placement of Surgical Mesh,” Bard continued to market its products, exposing the plaintiff and others to risk of serious and permanent harm.  The Defendants have long been award of its dangers and “propensity to fail, erode, migrate throughout the body, and cause significant medical complications and damage to the patient’s anatomy.”

Once placed, the Bard product failed to perform as intended “due to its defects.”

C.R. Bard is located in Murray Hill, New Jersey, while Bard’s Medical Device Division is located in Covington, Georgia. Bard Urological Division is located in Covington, GA and does business in NJ.

Lori Cohen will represent the defense, the same attorney who represented Bard in the case filed by Donna Cisson and heard in Charleston, WV.

*Late Add** MND will have no electronic access to this trial courtroom feed provided by Courtroom View  Network. 

Lori Cohen, Attorney for C.R. Bard

This results from what occurred during  Kansas City trial MND was covering via a CVN feed in January 2016.  In that case, the defense attorney petitioned the judge that MND be excluded from access to the trial after a reader made an insulting comment about defense attorney, Lori Cohen.  MND hired a local lawyer to petition the court to retain access, but it was denied during that trial. While print reporters can show up, there are more restrictions placed on electronic news coverage, which CVN provides.  See Sheerer case here. Cohen also represents Bard in the upcoming  case. *

According to Courtroom View Network, there is an agreement reached during the Hrymoc trial on how CVN will proceed with its camera in the courtroom. It does not include any feed access to MND.



The Avaulta was taken off the market in June 2012 after the FDA required mesh manufacturers to conduct a three-year post-approval monitoring of women already implanted with the mesh product to assess their condition.  The company said it was making a business decision not to invest in the clinical trials for the Avaulta.

Bard manufactured various medical devices including:

      Avaulta Plus™ BioSynthetic Support System

      Avaulta Solo™ Synthetic Support System

      Faslata® Allograft

      Pelvicol® Tissue

      PelviSoft® Biomes

      Pelvitex™ Polypropylene Mesh

Which are still on the market?

Bard Align Urethral Support System, used to treat stress urinary incontinence was taken off the market in the summer of 2016. It and PelviLace were the last two on the market.  See here and here.  Its brochure (here) currently contains no products to treat POP or SUI.

In April, 2017, it was announced that Bard was to be sold to Becton Dickinson (BD) for $24 billion. The last day Bard could sell all of its SUI products was December 31, 2016, according to the company.

Bard Align and Adjust

Bard Davol still sells hernia repair and Fixation devices which includes the 3DMax Mesh, (polypropylene), 3DMax Light Mesh, AlloMax (human collagen), AlloMax (human collagen), Bard Soft Mesh (large monofilament pP), Bard Flat Mesh Sheets ( PP), Perfix Plus, and Ventralex Hernia Patch ( PP and ePTFE materials).

In 2015, Bard agreed to settle 3,000 mesh cases for $200 million and 6,254 cases are now listed as closed in this federal consolidated court case. In 2014, Bard agreed to a $21 million settlement to resolve 500 defective product lawsuits.


Bard has had a few cases go before juries and either settle or be resolved in the plaintiffs’ favor.

The Cissons enter court, Aaugust 2013

The case of Debra Wise v CR Bard (2:12-cv-01378) received a settlement offer in February 2015 just as it was about to go to trial.  The settlement dollars were undisclosed, She too was implanted with the Avaulta Plus Anterior and Posterior BioSynthetic Support System.

Donna Cisson was awarded $2 million by a Charleston, WV jury in August 2013 due to complications from her Bard Avaulta mesh.  Since that was the only case against Bard and resulted in a compensatory damages to the plaintiff of only $250,000, (the rest was punitive damages) it set a low bar on compensatory damages to Bard plaintiffs.

Cisson was from Georgia, one of a few states that takes 75% of punitive damages. See MND coverage here.

Christine Scott


Avaulta Plus was the same mesh Christine Scott of Bakersfield, California was implanted with in January 2008. She won her trial in a Bakersfield, California trial and was awarded $5.5 million. Bard appealed but eventually ran out of options and the case was finally closed in Scott’s favor.

See MND coverage here.

Linda Gross trial, Atlantic City NJ Feb 2013

Mr. Slater has represented plaintiffs implanted with pelvic mesh made by Ethicon.

He has yet to lose a pelvic mesh product liability case, though at least one, Budke, settled before going to the jury.    ###


  1. Payton says:

    Hi Jane and thank you for keeping us as informed as you do . My question is does it really come down to the amount of surgeries that one had to really be taken serious or to be a determining factor with your case . I personally have had 1 surgery for a partial removal and tension release , several injections in my vagina nerve block injections in my back for prudendal nerve damage . I know I need another surgery but I don’t want more due to I seem worst off then before and I am
    Very scared of getting all the surgeries. Why does it come down to how many times a person is cut . They know what these products have did to us why make us go through more pain and agony. Thank you .

    • Jane Akre says:

      Agreed that the system of gauging your injury is deeply flawed. What if you cannot undergo anesthesia? What if your mesh is deeply embedded in muscle and cannot be removed? What if you have compromised health since your implant? So many other factors to consider it would seem. Pudendal nerve damage is another painful, horrendous complication that your law firm should use to fight on your behalf. How can a device, used as intended, lead to such a devastating injury and not be defective? This is where law firms really need to work on your behalf for their 40% Are they?

    • Still Standing says:

      Payton, unfortunately number of surgeries is the matrix they are using. It isnt fair at all but it is what we are working under. Injections or other treatment procedures are not considered. One surgery puts you in a low injury tier.

      I dont know if your doctor has referred you to pelvic floor physical therapy for a consultation. Mesh or any abdominal surgery can exacerbate or cause hypertonic pelvic muscles, which creates a great deal of pelvic area pain including bladder pain, painful sex, sitting pain, and many others. Another surgery done on already hypertonic muscles can just generate more pain. My treating doctor does not do any surgery withiut pelvic floor physical therapy before AND after surgery. Women who were originally implanted with mesh who had existing pelvic floor disorder had a higher risk of complications.

      Here is what it comes down to. Settlement money is not going to cure your pain at all. You cant wait for that to happen to make you better. It is important to figure out with your doctor or on your own if your physician is dismissive of your complaints what makes your pain better or worse and do what you can to ease your pain and suffering. It is an intentional process to listen to your body. Resting throughout your day is important, but more than that is moving. Pain causes us to restrict motion and muscles shorten. You dont need to be doing a gym workout, but stretch and walk even short distancesduring the day. It really is one of the most important things you can do to find some relief of this horrible pain.

      • Payton says:

        Thank you Still Standing. I have been in pelvic floor therapy for almost a year with no results . I do realize that this is going to be a life longer battle I have to deal with . It’s just sad how we can be put in groups or tiers by tha a punt of surgeries one has had , very sad the amount of pain and suffering we are going through and will continue to go through means nothing to them . I’m just not willing to be cut on when the results may make it worst for any amount of money just to be on a higher tier very sad that this is what our lives and bodies have come to . It doesn’t mean anything to them that their product has destroyed our lives .

  2. Cleo says:

    I had mesh implanted in early 2011, 5 months later had a revision due to severe shrinkage. 2nd surgery one yr later for partial removal. Need another surgery to remove other half but am scared of another surgery. Also need surgery to remove the arms of the device but my Dr has told me he cannot remove them. Have had numerous tests, cystography, urodynamics etc. have more problems since mesh implant. It cuts my poor husband. Have nerve damage and continual pain. I had depositions done 4 yrs ago to work up for bellwether trial but never went any further yet. My laywers have contacted me recently and said they have made an agreement and I would be getting settlement offer soon, papers would be coming in the mail detailing everything. Terms with laywers were 33% for settlement and 40% if we went to trial. Am I going to have to pay them more since they did work up for trial ? They flew across the country for this, had to stay in hotels , meals , plus the person there to record the whole thing plus Ethicons laywers were there. Is all this going to cost me more? My Drs were even deposed. Thanks

    • Still Standing says:

      Cleo, look at your contract. If they defined going to trial as being worked up for trial, then the 40% would be in effect. The bad news here is that you have incurred a lot of “case costs” here that are over and. Above their percentage. Being worked up for trial is expensive. Doctors charge $1500/ hour for deposition time plus any chart review they do before being deposed. The court reporter is very expensive and you pay not just for their time their, but for each copy they make. This costs about $3/ page. My deposition was over 350 pages, so each document they provided was over $1000. I think I had to pay for 4. Of course the airfare, meals, hotels add up, too. When all was said and done, my case costs ( I did not go to trial) were $90,000. Four physicians were deposed as well as my psychologist. This came straight out of my settlement amount. , if you received 60%, you don’t get close to 60% because all of the case costs are subtracted from your 60% before your net amount is calculated. You will also have payments to the MDL common fund. That is 5% of your entire settlement amount, not just your take. So, if you settle for $200,000, you would pay $10,000 to MDL ( my law firm paid all but 1% of that so ask ), $80,000 to attorney for their %, which would leave you with $110,000 before case costs are subtracted. If you have travel and depositions, it could easily be $ 50,000, then your net amount would move to $60,000. But, your insurance companies and other medical providers want money back, too. Go figure. The court is required to hold back 25% of your total award for leins. Based on the $200,000 example you would get an initial check for $10,000. Once the leins are settled, a year or more, you will get another check. But dont count on more than 50% of that to be returned. I paid $1300/ month for my health insucance, yet they clawed back about $55,000. If you filed bankruptcy previously, they also can claim their money back.

      Just dont be shocked by your additional costs with depositions. I was fortunate and my attorneys negotiated a decent settlement, but, it was a shock to see how much money actually went to other people. The upside to settlements is that they are not taxable, but punitive jury awards can be. It is way to complicated a process.

      • Jane Akre says:

        Awesome advice and information. Thank you!!!

      • Cleo says:

        How do you find out if insurance is going to go after any money?

        • Jane Akre says:

          Through your law firm or through the settlement firm. If they can, they generally will.

          • Still Standing says:

            Your insurance will get money. The special master negotiates withnthem to an amount. They will not take back everything. However, as of last year my insirance paid out $1.5M for my care and this year is sharing up to be a doozy mesh complication year , 10years out.

  3. Lyndsey says:

    Jane, I don’t understand how this trial can proceed my case filed two years earlier. Can you explain? Thank you!

    • Jane Akre says:

      Has your case been selected for trial? If not, often you linger waiting for a settlement. It is not fair!

    • Still Standing says:

      Trials are not set up in order. Your attorney looks at everything that is documented to determine if your case has a chance of winning a jury trial. They don’t just look at the mesh surgeries. What are things in your fact sheet that are red flags? There can be many. Do you smoke, are you overweight, have you had mental health problems, like depression, did you follow your physicians medical advice, were you sexually promiscuous or have other social life activities such a drug addiction, etc. they look at everything and determine if this case can be a strong trial case. The defense will use every piece of information about you to discredit you or find another reason for your pain. They look to see if you are a good witness, are likable to a jury. I know this sounds harsh, but law firms put up huge sums of money to take cases to court on a contingency. They have to make business decisions as other businesses do to determine if it is worth the financial risk. They can’t take every case to trial. Trials use up incredible amounts of time. If they are all working on a trial and no one is bringing in money to keep the business going, that is a problem. Most cases will be settled. Being trial ready doesn’t mean that there will be a trial.

    • Still Standing says:

      Just one more clarification. When Judge Goodwin ordered wave cases to be worked up for trial, half of those cases were picked by the plaintiff attorneys, half were selected by the defense. Of course, the defense looks for cases they think they can win and you have no way of knowing if your case was picked by the Plaintiff attorneys in the leadership positions of the MDL or by the defense. So, not all cases picked to be worked up for trial are strong cases. That is important to know.

  4. Daniee S says:

    In my opinion Adam Slater is a great attorney.
    He is with us all injured women by this defective product.

  5. Sandra says:

    Just posted a comment. It was there and now it’s gone. Where did it go? Did I say something wrong?

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