Mesh Medical Device News Desk, June 9, 2016 ~ Six hundred pelvic mesh lawsuits dismissed in one work week.
Unlike the snails pace of federal pelvic mesh litigation, Mesh News Desk has learned that over the last work week, 673 product liability lawsuits concerning pelvic mesh made by American Medical Systems (AMS) have been settled and dismissed.
According to the language in the dismissal notices, the cases have been resolved or settled for an unknown amount, though women reporting to Mesh News Desk say their settlements range from $9,000 to approximately $200,000.
After legal fees of approximately 33.3% to 40% are subtracted, along with any loans, hospital, doctor bills, the settlement amount is reduced by about half.
Hundreds of cases have been dismissed by Judge Joseph Goodwin, overseeing multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Charleston, WV or by joint motion filed by plaintiff and defendant law firms.
“..they have compromised and settled all claims between them in these actions, including all counterclaims, cross-claims and third party claims.”
In some of the lawsuits, AMS is the only defendant in the listed actions. See # Doc 2359, June 2, 2016, dismissing 42 cases. Dismissing a case with prejudice means it cannot be refiled in the future.
In other cases where the woman received more than one pelvic mesh, the AMS claim will be removed from its docket but the action will remain active on the docket for Boston Scientific, Ethicon (Johnson & Johnson), or C.R. Bard, the other major mesh manufacturers.
See Doc # 2358, June 2, 2016, transferring cases overseen by Clark, Love and Hutson to Boston Scientific.
Since the first of May, there have been more than 50 other Petitions to dismiss, which presumably contain hundreds of other AMS lawsuits that have settled.
As of today, AMS is still listed as having 20,199 active cases on the docket in the MDL. The company never had a bellwether trial to test legal theories before settlement talks began.
Judge Goodwin encouraged other mesh makers to follow the lead of AMS settlements, but so far, none have done so.
AMS urology products was purchased in April 2011 by Endo International PLC, with headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. Timing was everything.
The purchase occurred on the eve of a tsunami of pelvic mesh lawsuits. So many so that multidistrict litigation (MDL) to consolidate cases was formed in January 2012 and has swelled to 93,000 lawsuits filed against seven manufacturers, AMS among them.
AMS/ENDO SETTLEMENTS TO DATE
In April 2014, AMS/Endo agreed to an $830 million settlement fund to resolve about 20,000 claims. One year earlier, AMS/Endo announced a $54.5 million settlement to resolve pelvic mesh lawsuits.
In September 2014, AMS/Endo announced a master settlement of $1.6 billion to resolve the lawsuits facing AMS.
At the time it was reported that Endo put AMS on the auction block. Valued at $2 billion, Endo purchased AMS’s urology products for $2.9 billion in 2011. See the story here.
In March 2015, Endo International announced it sold the urology division to Boston Scientific for up to $1.65 billion. The women’s health division was renamed as Astora Women’s Health device unit and put on the market but there were no buyers.
Astora Women’s Health was closed by Endo in March due to litigation costs. The Wall Street Journal reported on the closure here.
Astora Women’s Health announced as of March 31 it had suspended all commercial activity and is no longer making or distributing any women’s health products.
AMS made the Apogee and Perigee Systems, ElevateTM Anterior and Posterior Pelvic Floor Repair System and IntePro Y sling to treat pelvic organ prolapse. The MiniArc, RetroArc, Monarc, In-Fast, BioArc and SPARC slings all treat stress urinary incontinence.
Since it took Apogee off the market, AMS no longer has to conduct FDA mandated three years of post approval monitoring on those models of pelvic mesh products. ###