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2nd surgical mesh trial now underway in Charleston

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The second of four trials involving injuries attributed to plastic mesh medical devices is underway before U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin.

Jurors have been picked for the case of Wanda Queen vs. C.R. Bard Inc. A North Carolina resident, Queen was surgically implanted with a "sling" type device to help with pelvic organ prolapse. Bard, a New Jersey-based company, was the manufacturer of that device.

Last week, a jury awarded Donna Cisson, 54, of Georgia $2 million in her similar case. Most of that verdict -- $1.75 million -- was for punitive damages against Bard for failing to adequately inform doctors and patients of the possible complications of the transvaginal mesh device.

She contended that after having the device implanted to help with bladder incontinence she suffered various problems including bleeding, pain and further pelvic issues. She had surgery to remove the device, but it could not be completely taken out.

Her attorney told the jury that the arms of the device were like "rebar in concrete" and that she would have to live with the consequences forever.

Thousands of women have filed cases against Bard and five other companies, claiming the transvaginal mesh implant left them with terrible side effects.

It was the first bellwether case scheduled by Judge Goodwin, who has been assigned more than 20,000 related cases involving six manufacturers. The first four cases are all against Bard.

Cisson's case initially ended in a mistrial when a physician told the jury that the device used on her was no longer used. That information was not to be known by the jury and Goodwin ruled for a new trial.

The jury reached its verdict after 12 days of testimony.

Opening arguments in the Queen case will take place Wednesday.

Queen had the same device implanted that Cisson did to treat similar symptoms. She also alleges that she has suffered physical and mental anguish due to the problems it caused. 

After the first four back-to-back trials are completed, Goodwin will decide how to proceed with the remainder of the litigation.

Contact writer Cheryl Caswell at or 304-348-4832




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