A Florida couple is suing C.R. Bard, a manufacturer of surgery products, for allegedly implanting defective devices. David and Cynthia Israel filed their lawsuit April 23, 2018 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, accusing C.R. Bard, as well as its subsidiary Davol Inc., of surgically implanting defective devices into 69-year-old David Israel, who was injured as a result. Israel reportedly suffered from severe pain and abdominal deformity. The allegedly defective devices at issue are Ventralex Hernia Patch and CapSure Permanent Fixation System 30Track, which are commonly used in hernia repair surgeries.
The complaint alleges that, prior to the surgery, Israel enjoyed an active lifestyle and frequently participated in cycling, exercising, fishing, and gardening. Subsequent to the surgery, it further alleges, Israel can no longer participate in those activities because of decreased energy, pain, and the physical deformity. Further, the complaint states that “Defendants’ mesh products have high failure, injury, and complication rates, fail to perform as intended, require additional operations, and specifically have caused injuries to Mr. Israel.”
The lawsuit further alleges that Cynthia Israel suffered a loss of consortium and society with her husband. The complaint states that “Mrs. Israel’s emotional and physical relationship with her husband have suffered as a direct result of Mr. Israel’s injuries from these defective products.” In total, the Israels are asking for more than $75,000 in damages.
After the lawsuit had been filed, the defendants made a public statement that the hernia mesh “was safe and could not cause harm.” However, the complaint states that the product is made of polypropylene, which is a petroleum-based plastic with “known adverse health consequences,” which include mesh erosion, infection, chronic pain, abscesses, inflammation, organ perforation, bleeding, nerve damage, and recurrent hernias. The complaint further states that the Polypropylene Material Safety Data Sheet indicates that the material should not be used in the human body.
The Florida lawsuit was filed just a few days after a New Jersey jury ordered C.R. Bard to pay $68 million in total damages to a woman who has endured chronic pain and other complications since receiving the company’s Align and Avaulta transvaginal mesh devices during a 2009 surgery to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
The Bergen County Superior Court jury awarded the plaintiff and her husband $33 million in compensatory damages and another $35 million in punitive damages after finding that the Align and Avaulta implants were defectively designed. The jurors determined that C.R. Bard acted with “malicious intent” or “wanton and willful disregard” when it placed the products on the market in 2008. This case was the first transvaginal mesh lawsuit involving C.R. Bard to go to trial in New Jersey Superior Court, where the company is currently facing more than 150 product liability claims over its vaginal mesh implants.