One of the hottest areas of personal injury law right now is vaginal mesh lawsuits. In fact, there are currently tens of thousands of vaginal mesh lawsuits pending in the United States. The results for the earliest cases that have been settled or gone to trial bode well for the success of future cases since the settlement amounts and awards have been in the millions for many cases.
The first federal vaginal mesh case against C.R. Bard, Inc., the designer and manufacturer of the Avaulta mesh implant, went to trial in July 2013 (for additional detail – www.meshinjurylawfirm.com). The key evidence presented featured several internal C.R. Bard memos and an extensive seven hour deposition by a former C.R. Bard executive. This evidence convinced the jury that C.R. Bard had not adequately tested their implant on humans and that they had failed to use reasonable care in its design. Further, they had not adequately warned physicians about the risks of the vaginal mesh which meant that patients have not been adequately informed either.
The plaintiff won the case and the jury awarded her a substantial amount, including $250,000 in compensatory damages and $1.75 million in punitive damages for a total award of two million dollars.
The C.R. Bard case served as a bellwether case for other personal injury cases involving vaginal meshes, since the results of other cases have heavily favored the plaintiffs over the defendants based on similar evidence presented. More importantly, it has put pressure on companies that manufacture vaginal meshes to settle out of court for substantial amounts. At this point, more than 12,000 cases have now been filled against Bard Avaulta and it was announced in early August 2014 that they had agreed to settle more than five hundred of these cases out of court. In March 2014, it was announced that another producer of vaginal meshes, Coloplast, had agreed to settle four hundred lawsuits out of court for a total of sixteen million dollars.
Juries in state court systems have reached similar conclusions regarding C.R. Bard’s gross negligence and awarded the victims millions in compensation. For example, a case that went through the California court syste
in 2012 awarded the victim a total of five million dollars which included medical damages plus pain and suffering. The husband of the same victim filed a loss of consortium suit and was awarded a half million dollars.
The injuries sustained by vaginal meshes are substantial. Not only are these injuries painful, they are life changing! Many of the injuries affect reproductive capability causing both physical and emotional trauma for the victim. Further, they cause damage that will affect the victims for the rest of their lives. For example, many of the injured woman suffer from incontinence as a result of the damage the vaginal mesh caused them. Others have depression and trouble sleeping because of the pain.
It is important to hold the makers of these devices accountable for the injuries they have caused. The women involved in these cases deserve financial compensation for their economic losses, bodily damage, continued physical pain and suffering, and for the emotional distress it has caused them in their lives.
Many consumer watchdogs have been pleased that the personal injury settlement amounts and jury awards have been so high in vaginal mesh cases. This serves as a deterrent going forward for companies to act in such an irresponsible way when their product(s) affects the health of a human beings.