The first of several transvaginal mesh lawsuits set for trial is currently underway after a jury has been selected in federal court in West Virginia. Women across the country and even right here in Tennessee have turned to transvaginal mesh to treat a number of conditions. However, thousands of patients have had complications following the insertion of transvaginal mesh.
Transvaginal mesh is a device that many women use to treat certain conditions including pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence. However, many women have experienced complications with the device such as erosion of the device, infection, perforation of organs, intense pain, and several others. As a result, a bevy of lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of the device.
The U.S. District Court in the Southern District of West Virginia is hearing the first of four selected bellwether vaginal mesh lawsuits that will be heard in succession. Commonly known as bellwether trials, courts use these trials as a litmus test. Bellwether trials are used when there is a large group of plaintiffs who have filed suit against a defendant based on the same claim. These trials are important because they tend to indicate future trends in a specific litigation. Typically following a bellwether trial, the plaintiffs and defendants will have a better idea how any other lawsuits may fair. Based on the amount of evidence and any outcome at the bellwether trial, future plaintiffs and the defendants are able to weigh the costs of any further potential litigation and any potential settlement amounts.
The first bellwether case can be a key milestone in litigation because of the amount of time that the legal process can take. This case, Cisson v. C.R. Bard Inc., was the case that was selected first in the series of trials. However, even this case had its delays. The case has actually undergone its second jury selection after the first attempt to try the case ended in a mistrial. The presiding judge ruled that a witness’ testimony was prejudicial and that the jury would not likely be able to disregard the statements from the witness. The presiding judge described the prejudicial testimony as “a bell that cannot be unrung.”
The jurors will likely hear testimony and be presented with evidence about the alleged complications that the patients have experienced with the transvaginal mesh. In addition, the jurors will likely hear evidence about the potentially faulty design of the product. According to court documents, the plaintiff alleges that the defective product caused her very serious injuries and that the C.R. Bard failed to properly test the safety of the transvaginal mesh.
As of July 2013, as many as 4,100 transvaginal mesh lawsuits had been filed against C.R. Bard in the U.S. District Court of West Virginia. Even more suits are expected to be filed. If you have been injured as a result of using transvaginal mesh, we encourage you to contact a qualified Tennessee transvaginal mesh attorney. Our team of Tennessee defective medical device attorneys would be happy to answer any questions that you may have related to your transvaginal mesh claim.