Bard’s first pelvic mesh implant trial in New Jersey ended with a combined $33 million awarded in compensatory damages to the plaintiff and her husband when it concluded that two of the company’s mesh devices were defectively designed. That award more than doubled shortly after when the jury tacked on an additional $35 million in punitive damages in the case.
Plaintiff Mary McGinnis had been implanted with the company’s Avaulta and Align mesh devices to treat her bladder prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Now left in chronic pain, McGinnis sued the manufacturer and claimed that Bard knowingly put her in danger when it chose to actively market a product it knew could cause irreparable harm. Bard, she says, did absolutely nothing to warn doctors, nor the general public, of the dangers posed by its products.
While Bard denies the allegations, the fact that neither the Avaulta nor the Align mesh products are currently available is noteworthy to say the least. Both meshes had been removed from the market by 2016. Nonetheless, Bard maintains that its mesh devices had nothing to do with McGinnis’ injuries and that she had underlying medical issues prior to beginning treatment, and those issues are the source of her pain.
It would appear that, in this case, the jury did not agree with that assessment.