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$200 Million Transvaginal Mesh Settlement for C.R. Bard

Transvaginal Mesh

Multiple sources who are familiar with the pending litigation have reported that a transvaginal mesh settlement has been reached between C.R. Bard and at least 3,000 plaintiffs. The settlement is said to total more than $200 million, which would equal about $67,000 per plaintiff.

In late July, the company filed a notice with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that stated it had set aside an additional $337 million to its $660 million fund to cover the outcomes of product liability cases, such as transvaginal mesh settlements. The same filing indicated that as of late July, C.R. Bard had resolved 2,800 cases pertaining to women’s health products.

This most recent settlement only resolves about one-fifth of the cases still pending against Bard regarding its transvaginal mesh products. The defendant continues to stand by the safety of their medical devices. None of the settlement deals include admissions of fault; rather, they are agreements between parties to drop the case in exchange for monetary compensation.

Plaintiffs allege severe vaginal mesh complications

Many companies design and manufacture transvaginal mesh products, which are polypropylene plastic devices that a doctor can surgically implant in a woman to provide support for her reproductive organs. Transvaginal mesh implants are intended to treat problems such as stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse (POP), which are particularly common among women who have given birth.

However, more than 80,000 women filed transvaginal mesh lawsuits in courts across the country, including multidistrict litigations (MDLs) against a handful of manufacturers. The plaintiffs typically claim that the devices are defective in design and manufacture, and unreasonably dangerous.

Allegations include mesh erosion and protrusion through organs, causing complications such as severe and ongoing pain, nerve damage, infections, scarring, and muscular problems. Many plaintiffs have undergone revision surgeries, which are intended to remove the mesh implants. They have filed lawsuits demanding compensation for their hospitalizations, surgery costs, pharmacy expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.

C.R. Bard agrees to vaginal mesh settlement

At a recent hearing prior to the news of the latest transvaginal mesh settlement, U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin pressed Bard to settle the pending cases. Judge Goodwin of West Virginia is overseeing the transvaginal mesh cases.

“I can’t imagine a corporation facing potentially billions of dollars in verdicts wouldn’t find it advisable to try to achieve a settlement for a much lesser sum. I base that billions of dollars business on some of the rather large verdicts that we’ve had,” said Judge Goodwin.

He went on to suggest that significant jury verdicts might even push the medical device giant into bankruptcy.

Judge Goodwin may have been referencing the $2 million jury award against Bard that resulted from a West Virginia trial in 2013. And in 2012, the company was ordered to pay $5.5 million, including $5 million in punitive damages, to a California plaintiff.

C.R. Bard’s previous actions have shown that the company is not averse to settlement deals. In 2014, the defendant agreed to pay $21 million in settlements, which resolved about 500 lawsuits.

  1. Bloomberg, Bard Said to Pay $200 Million to Settle Vaginal-Mesh Cases,

  2. U.S. District Court, MDL 2187 C.R. Bard, Inc, Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation,