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Bellwether Transvaginal Mesh Trial Underway Following Previous Mistrial

A new trial is underway in the transvaginal mesh case of Cisson et al v. C.R. Bard, Inc, after the case had ended in a mistrial last month.
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Our Boston transvaginal mesh attorneys recognize that this case is significant because it is the first of some 23,000 cases set to go before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. The court is handling the cases, which each claim the mesh devices caused complications that were both painful and serious.

In the Cisson case, the plaintiff, a 54-year-old public health nurse, alleges that the surgical device, known as the Avaulta Plus vaginal mesh, made by C.R. Bard Inc., was implanted in her and caused her to suffer internal pain and bleeding. She had to undergo several surgeries in order to have the device removed.

This company alone faces some 3,600 claims. Other companies facing significant transvaginal mesh litigation include Johnson & Johnson, Boston Scientific Corp. and Endo Health Solutions Inc.

Plaintiff attorneys in the Cisson case are arguing that C.R. Bard ignored warnings from the manufacturer of the plastic compound used in the device that it was not intended for permanent implantation in human beings. In the previous trial, defense lawyers had attempted to argue that the plastic compound used in the device and the final product were not one in the same, and therefore C.R. Bard hadn’t violated any safety standards.

Last month, the trial was only two days in when U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin halted the proceedings, in the midst of testimony from a Florida gynecological expert who strayed into testimony regarding the marketing of the devices. The information came in response to a question from a plaintiff attorney, who had asked what evidence exists to support the opinion that the Avaulta Plus mesh product is dangerous and defective. The witness testified that the basis for this opinion is rooted partially in the fact that he is called upon to remove so many of them and also that they are no longer available on the market for implantation.

Previously, the judge had ruled that plaintiffs weren’t allowed to mention that the defendants had withdrawn their products from the market last year. The judge said the “bell could not be unrung,” and the jury would be hard-pressed to disregard that information. It was the first time in the judge’s 20 years on the bench that he had declared a mistrial, he said.

In the opening statements of the new trial, plaintiff attorneys have asserted that C.R. Bard:

  • Knew of the risks associated with the transvaginal mesh products and did nothing to warn doctors;
  • Failed to do clinical testing or studies in order to fully know the risks of the product;
  • Did not conduct studies on how to remove the products;
  • Marketed and sold the products knowing that the material used to make it wasn’t designed for implantation in humans;
  • Failed to tell doctors that the product was unfit for human use.


If you have been harmed by a transvaginal mesh surgery in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:
Cisson et al v. C.R. Bard, Inc., 2:11-cv-00195, U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia (Charleston)

More Blog Entries:
TransVaginal Mesh Lawsuits Spike as Statute of Limitation Nears, Aug. 1, 2013, Boston Transvaginal Mesh Injury Lawyer Blog