CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A federal judge in Charleston declared a mistrial in a vaginal mesh lawsuit after determining jurors wouldn't be able to overlook a doctor's improper testimony.
After three days of trial, U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin found that a statement made by plaintiff's witness Dr. Lennox Hoyte last week couldn't be fixed by simply telling jurors to disregard it.
"I don't think it's a bell that can be unrung -- and I want to say this in the context of, to my knowledge, never declaring a mistrial in a civil case in nearly 20 years on the bench -- I think it would have been very difficult for the jury to disregard it," Goodwin said, according to court transcripts.
The judge declared a mistrial Wednesday, and set a new trial to begin at 8:30 a.m. July 29.
The trial was the first of more than 20,000 cases pending nationwide to determine if C.R. Bard Inc. failed to warn of the dangers associated with the vaginal mesh devices the company sold. Those suing the company allege the devices weren't suitable for human implantation.
Goodwin has been assigned the vaginal mesh cases as part of federal multidistrict litigation.
Thousands of women contend the New Jersey-based company used materials in its vaginal mesh products knowing they shouldn't be permanently implanted in humans. The mesh material was designed to support deteriorated pelvic muscles and treat urinary incontinence.
The women claim the mesh degrades and shrinks, requiring replacement and causing other medical problems.
The trial that began July 8 is a lawsuit brought by Donna Cisson. The 54-year-old Georgia woman contends that a device inserted in 2009 caused her pelvic and rectal pain, bleeding and bladder spasms and required surgeries to remove it.
While on the stand, Hoyte blurted out an unresponsive answer to the question posed by plaintiff's attorney Paul Farrell, of Huntington, transcripts show.