A common defective medical implant, the transvaginal mesh, has caused a whole lot of agony and grief for women all over our country. But, for one woman, her complications have awarded her 5.5 million dollars, making history in our nation, as this is the first victory of its kind.
Christine Scott had a vaginal mesh surgically implanted and has had complications ever since. She and her husband sued the maker and won.
In 2009, Scott sued maker of the Avaulta Mesh, C.R. Bard Medical Bard over its Avaulta Plus transvaginal mesh device, which she had implanted twice to correct occasional urinary incontinence. After eight additional procedures and nine revision surgeries, doctors determined the two devices could not be removed safely. The result is a lifetime of suffering from chronic pain that also has interfered with Scott’s lifestyle as an avid runner.
After some four years of legal battles and court-ordered silence Scott gets some relief from the victory.
Upon hearing the verdict Scott said, “I was like ‘Thank you, God.’ We can finally get the word out to women.”
“I don’t know if I’ll have ten surgeries now. I don’t know if I’ll have one. I don’t know if I’ll have 100. The doctors cannot tell me,” Scott said in June.
The most critical problems with transvaginal mesh are erosion and exposure of the devices. Erosion of mesh through the vaginal wall can require multiple surgeries to repair, but there are no guarantees a fix can be made.
The jury found C.R Bard and a doctor responsible for the irreversible injuries suffered by patient Christine Scott and awarded her $5 million. Her husband received $500,000 because the damage to his wife’s body left them unable to have sexual intercourse.
The Securities and Exchange Commission indicates 47,000 women have had the mesh implanted, and 650 lawsuits are pending.
“In fact, this case, they advertised it as FDA-approved. It’s not. It’s a crime,” said Gene Lorenz, a lawyer representing Scott.
The lawyer for C.R. Bard Medical says the company stopped selling the Avaulta Mesh on July 1, 2012 in the United States because the FDA wanted more clinical trials done. But, it’s still sold in other countries.
“This is a product that has been cleared for use by the FDA and can be safe and effective when used properly and for the right patient,” said Michael Brown, attorney for C.R. Bard Medical.
“They tested this on 16 rats, 12 rabbits, four sheep and, by their own researcher’s admission, the next living being this product went into was women,” said Elaine Houghton, Scott’s attorney.
Scott says she will continue to deal with complications from the mesh, while being a voice for other women.
“The hardest part, I will tell you, through this whole thing, is having to keep quiet, watching women still get hurt. But, I was legally not able to get out there and tell and that, I’m sorry,” said Scott holding back tears. “And, that every day I was like please be over so I can talk. So, when I got that verdict it was like ‘Thank you God.’ Now we can do something.”
There will likely be an appeal in the case, but Scott says she’s just happy to no longer have the court-ordered silence, so she can talk about it.