Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when a woman has weak vaginal walls that allow adjoining organs, the uterus, the bladder, and/or the rectum, to drop into the vaginal canal. This condition can cause organ dysfunction, such as incontinence, pelvic pressure and pain. Pelvic organ prolapse can significantly impact a woman’s quality of life and, in severe cases, cause a woman to become physically disabled. One treatment option is to use polypropylene mesh to support the vagina. Around 2003, instead of inserting the mesh through an abdominal incision, surgeons have been implanting the mesh transvaginally. This case involves a transvaginal mesh developed by defendant and implanted into plaintiff, after a premarket clearance by the Food and Drug Administration. Here, the mesh caused problems of its own. As an example of the problems, after plaintiff’s sixth surgery, the mesh eroded into plaintiff’s rectal area, requiring a seventh and then an eighth surgery. By the time of trial, she was in excruciating pain and had lost control of her bowels. A jury found in favor of plaintiff, awarding her $5.5 million, finding the surgeon was 40 percent responsible. The award was thus reduced by 40 percent. In affirming, the appellate court said all three negligence theories [negligent design, negligent training and negligent misrepresentation] were properly before the jury and that it did not matter that it cannot be determined under which theory the jury returned its verdict since substantial evidence supported the result of all three. (Scott v. C. R. Bard, Inc. (Cal. App. Fifth Dist.; November 19, 2014) 231 Cal.App.4th 763, [180 Cal.Rptr.3d 479].)
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.