Last October, we warned readers about a particularly controversial medical device that has been shown to cause internal injuries and chronic pain in thousands of women. Commonly referred to as vaginal mesh, this medical device has been manufactured in several iterations and under various brand names by many different companies, including two based here in New Jersey: C.R. Bard and Johnson & Johnson.

These and other manufacturers are now facing personal injury and product liability lawsuits from thousands of women whose lives and bodies have been forever scarred by the defective medical devices.

Recently, vaginal mesh injury victims received a piece of good news in the form of a legal victory. The first vaginal mesh case recently went to trial in California, and the jury awarded the plaintiff $5.5 million to paid by C.R. Bard, thanks to an injury law firm.

The plaintiff in the case was a woman who now suffers from chronic pain and incontinence because of Bard’s Avaulta Plus vaginal implant. Her lawyer was understandably pleased with the verdict, and told reporters that the jury “seemed to focus on evidence we produced showing that Bard didn’t properly test the product before putting it on the market.”

Similar allegations have been levied against other manufacturers. In response to an increasing number of reported injuries caused by vaginal mesh, the Food and Drug Administration has been tightening regulatory requirements on mesh manufacturers.

At the beginning of this year, the FDA ordered 31 mesh manufacturers to conduct 3-year safety studies on the rates of organ damage and other complications caused by the medical devices. In response to the mandate, J&J announced last month that it will be discontinuing production of its four vaginal mesh products.

This may exempt the company from the requirement to conduct safety studies, but J&J and other major manufacturers must still face a wave of lawsuits from women who have been seriously and permanently injured by these dangerous medical devices.

Hopefully, this first legal victory against C.R. Bard is a sign of good things to come.

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