It’s hard to remember exactly how many times Carolyn Jones has had her transvaginal mesh trial put off before a jury in the federal courthouse in Charleston, WV. Now it has been postponed again.
Jones will not have her defective product trial heard until May 19, 2014 according to an order issued by Judge Joseph Goodwin who is overseeing about 50,000 defective transvaginal mesh trials. It was scheduled to begin January 10.
Carolyn Jones is the last of the four bellwether cases naming mesh manufacturer C.R. Bard. Her case (2:11-cv-00114) was filed December 7, 2010. The Jones case was a choice of the defense. Both sides get to suggest cases to be heard before a jury.
Jones is a resident of Tippah County, Mississippi. She is suing C.R. Bard of Murray Hill New Jersey and Covidien Inc. d/b/a Sofradim Production, a Delaware corporation.
On August 26, 2008, she received the Bard Avaulta Synthetic Support System, made by both C.R. Bard and Covidien, during a surgery at Baptist Memorial Hospital in New Albany, Mississippi. She was being treated for pelvic organ prolapse (POP). During the surgery she also received a Bard Align sling to treat incontinence. Both meshes are permanent implants and made of the petroleum-based product polypropylene.
According to documents filed in the case, a representative from Bard was present in the operating room every time that doctor implanted a Bard mesh.
Jones has filed a product liability claim. She alleges the mesh is defective and the company was negligent and breached its promises to the doctor and patient. She also claims she is no longer able to have relations with her husband. She is asking for punitive damages.
We will have to wait until May to see what the six jurors feel about her case.
Last July, a jury in the same courtroom awarded mesh-injured plaintiff Donna Cisson $2 million. The award includes $1.7 million in punitive damages which sends the company a message to stop its reckless behavior. The lawyers in that case also established that the mesh was defective, an important milestone in mesh litigation.
In 2012 a case against Bard filed in California also yielded a $5.5 million jury award for the plaintiff, Christine Scott.
There are nearly 7,000 cases filed against C.R. Bard in this jurisdiction alone and many more filed in individual states. If the company is handed any more verdicts like the Cisson and Scott cases the benefit of continuing to take its chances before a jury loses it appeal.