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Vaginal mesh implant maker sued

ATLANTA, April 14 (UPI) -- At least 85 women allege in a lawsuit a U.S. company's mesh device surgically implanted through the vagina causes severe painful problems that can't be fixed.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, is the latest of dozens of lawsuits against CR Bard Inc. of Murray Hill, N.J., claiming the company's synthetic mesh Bard Avaulta -- marketed to correct "pelvic organ prolapse," where a woman's bladder, uterus, vagina or rectum slips out of place -- causes complications including pain, infection and urinary trouble.

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The women "get this product and then they wind up with intractable pain," said Athens, Ga., attorney Henry Garrard, whose personal-injury law firm has cases pending in 33 states and in Canada.

"The mesh appears to be moving from where it was originally put," Garrard told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "It curls, tearing nerves and doing significant damage. When they go in to try to repair it and take it out, they [surgeons] generally can't get the arms [of the support system] out."

The lawsuits do not seek specific damage amounts, the Journal-Constitution said.

Bard spokesman Scott Lowry told United Press International Avaulta, approved for sale by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2005, included "detailed instructions that contain warnings and precautions that address all of the known complications at issue in the litigation and which were the subject of the FDA's general public health notice issued in October 2008."

The FDA's Oct. 20, 2008, warning cited more than 1,000 reports of complications and advised doctors to get special training for mesh-placement procedures.

"Physicians around the country continue to recommend these products, believing they provide significant benefit to the majority of patients receiving them," Lowry told UPI, reading a statement.

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