A New Jersey State Jury handed C.R. Bard Inc. a $33 million verdict in the first lawsuit to go to trial in the state over the company’s defective pelvic mesh implants. The lawsuit was based on claims that Bard failed to warn doctors of the pelvic mesh product’s potential risks and side effects.
The Bergen County jury awarded $23 million in compensatory damages in favor of plaintiff Mary Mcginnis and $10 million to her husband Thomas McGinnis. The second phase of the trial begins on April 13th and will determine if punitive damages are awarded as well.
To treat her bladder prolapse and stress incontinence, McGinnis used Avaulta Solo Support System and Align Transobturator Urethral Support System, both Bard products. Court documents stated that the Avaulta implant was for her bladder while Align was for the stress incontinence. The Jury determined the implants were defectively designed and caused McGinnis to face chronic pain.
McGinnis had both devices implanted in 2009, only two years before filing the lawsuit in 2011. Both Avaulta and Align transvaginal meshes were taken off the market in 20212 and 2016, respectively.
McGinnis claimed Bard was aware of both devices being defective and did not inform her surgeon. She believes her surgeon would not have implanted the devices had Barn warned about potential risks. Bard denied the allegations and maintained that both products were extensively tested. The company alleged McGinnis’ chronic pain was the result of other medical issues unrelated to the use of its products.
Bard Inc. is being defended by attorney Lori Cohen, who also represented the company in a trial in Missouri involving the Bard Align. That trial ended in 2016, with the jury siding with Bard. Referring to McGinnis claiming her surgeon was not in the know of potential risks, Cohen said: “She obviously knew this information and warned the patient of exactly the things they are now complaining about.”
There was a discussion in the trial over the lack of clinical studies performed by Bart. McGinnis’ attorney mentioned that clinical trials for Avaulta Solo were never done on live patients before bringing the implant to the market. Cohen addressed the fact by saying there was no need because of the excessive abundant medical literature available.
The case is captioned Mary McGinnis and Thomas Walsh McGinnis v. C.R. Bard Inc., et al., case number BER-L-17543-14.