Mesh Medical Device News Desk, April 13, 2018 ~ Friday, April 13, became somewhat of a lucky day for mesh injured plaintiff, Mary McGinnis in her product liability pelvic mesh case against C.R. Bard.
After deliberating most of today, the five men, three women jury added $35 million of punitive damages to her compensatory award of $33 million, delivered yesterday.
A punitive damage award is meant to send a strong message to the defendant, in this case C.R. Bard of Murray Hill, New Jersey, to punish it for its behavior. Jurors award punitive damages after they listen to the evidence. In a sense, it is their way to weigh in on what they’ve heard.
If allowed to stand, this becomes the largest compensatory and punitive award to any plaintiff so far in this transvaginal mesh litigation, after two other larger awards were reduced by the trial judge.
The punitive phase of the Mary McGinnis v Bard case was being deliberated in a Bergen Co. NJ courtroom where Thursday jurors decided both Avaulta and Align, used to treat incontinence and prolapse, were defective in their design.
Jurors also agreed that the warnings concerning possible risks with the devices were insufficient.
There are about 150 other product liability lawsuits naming CR Bard waiting to be heard in New Jersey.
As of January of this year, there were more than 15,000 defective product lawsuits against CR Bard filed in multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Charleston, West Virginia.
Bard tells Bloomberg it plans to appeal and is disappointed with the outcome.
Mary McGinnis and Thomas Walsh McGinnis v. C.R. Bard Inc., et al., case number BER-L-17543-14.
Punitive Phase in McGinnis
In previous pelvic mesh trials, often punitive damages awarded may be as high as two-thirds the amount of the compensation.
In the case of McGinnis, the jury decided to exceed her compensatory award of $33 million for pain and suffering from the two Bard-made polypropylene mesh implants and the effects she still lives with.
In the case of Mary McGinnis, Thursday, a Bergen County New Jersey jury of eight awarded her $23 million in compensatory damages and another $10 million to her husband for loss of consortium.
In trials so far, plaintiffs have received jury awards 25 times, versus 7 wins for the defense.
The highest amount any jury awarded an injured patient was $100 million to Deborah Barba, in her case against Boston Scientific over a Pinnacle and Advantage mesh implants in May 2015.
Soon afterward, in October 2015, a Delaware judge slashed the Barba verdict to $10 million saying it was “grossly disproportionate to the injuries suffered and shock the court’s conscience and sense of justice.” See MND story here.
So much for the jury system of justice.
Then $73.46 million was awarded to Martha Salazar over her Boston Scientific Obtryx by a Dallas jury in September 2014. That amount was later reduced by the judge due to tort reform caps to $34.6 million.
Of the original award, $50 million had been punitive damages. See MND story here.
Ella Ebaugh was awarded $57 million by a Philadelphia jury last September due to injuries from the TVT and TVT-Secur implants made by Ethicon.
See MND story here. Of that award, $7.1 was for compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages.
In December in Hrymoc v Ethicon was awarded $15 million with $10 million in punitive damages. See MND story here.
Of course, no mesh injured woman will tell you that any monetary compensation of any amount is worth her health. ###
MND, Trials so Far, The Tally
MND, March 13, 2018, McGinnis Pelvic Mesh Trial Against Bard to Start Monday
MND, March 21, 2018, McGinnis v CR Bard ~ What We Know from Past TVM Trials
MND, March 26, 2018, McGinnis Defective Mesh Trial Naming CR Bard Continues in NJ Court
MND, March 31, 2018, McGinnis Ends Testimony in Bard Transvaginal Mesh NJ Trial
MND, April 3, 2018, McGinnis Recounts Pain from CR Bard Pelvic Mesh
MND, April 9, 2018, McGinnis NJ Transvaginal Mesh Case to Close Today
MND, April 12, 2018, * Breaking McGinnis Pelvic Mesh Trial $33 Million for Plaintiff, Punitive Phase Ahead
MND, April 13, 2018, * Breaking Jury Adds $35 Million in Punitives Making McGinnis v CR Bard $68 Million