CR Bard Case Over Vaginal Mesh Defects Declared Mistrial

CR Bard Inc. may have to face another jury in a product-liability case over vaginal-mesh devices after a federal judge today declared a mistrial because of a witness’s testimony.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin in Charleston, West Virginia, stopped the trial in its second day after Lennox Hoyte, a gynecological expert from Tampa, Florida, strayed into testimony about the devices’ marketing. Goodwin had ruled earlier that the plaintiffs couldn’t mention Bard had withdrawn the products last year.

“I don’t think it’s a bell that can be unrung,” Goodwin said. “It would be very difficult for the jury to disregard.”

Bard, based in Murray Hill, New Jersey, faces at least 3,600 claims over its Avaulta Plus vaginal mesh, which plaintiffs allege can cause internal damage.

Implant makers including Johnson & Johnson, Endo Health Solutions Inc. and Boston Scientific Corp. face similar claims that their products degrade and shrink over time.

“We’re disappointed the plaintiff’s witness blurted what he did and forced us to ask for a mistrial,” said Lori Cohen, a lawyer for Bard.

The cases are In re C.R. Bard Inc. Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, 2:10-md-02187, and Cisson v. C.R. Bard Inc., 2:11-cv-00195, U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia (Charleston).

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