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Verdict in Federal Transvaginal Mesh Case

For many women, childbearing and age cause pelvic discomfort and incontinence. Seeking relief, some women opted for a surgical solution that brought only pain. In August 2013, a federal jury agreed with a Georgia woman that the medical device she received was defective.

Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a relatively common condition caused by relaxation of the pelvic floor and organs. Serious pain, urine leakage and sexual difficulties often result. While pelvic exercises help, they may not solve the problem. Women whose doctors offered them a vaginal mesh transplant were told the slinglike device would support their internal organs and restore quality of life.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns of possible risks of vaginal mesh, including the following:

  • Mesh may shrink over time, causing severe pain and the inability to enjoy sexual intercourse.
  • Vaginal erosion occurs when plastic mesh damages tissue and protrudes into the vagina, causing infection, permanent nerve damage and severe pain.
  • Multiple surgeries may be required to correct the damage caused by mesh implants and may not be successful in restoring function or eliminating pain.

Donna Cisson, a public-health nurse, received an Avaulta Plus mesh implant in 2009 to treat pelvic organ prolapse. When Ms. Cisson began experiencing pain, bleeding and bladder spasms, she had surgeries to remove the mesh, but 22 inches of the implant remain in her body. In her lawsuit, she claimed that the Avaulta Plus implant was made with plastics not approved for internal use in humans.

Finding Avaulta manufacturer C.R. Bard, Inc. liable, the jury awarded Ms. Cisson $250,000, with $1.75 million in punitive damages, sending a strong message about these cases to manufacturers still facing thousands of mesh implant cases.

If you are injured by a transvaginal mesh implant, see your doctor and speak with a reputable personal injury attorney in Indiana.