Bard Execs Sell Off Stock, Make No Promises to Investors

Jane Akre
February 22, 2015
aaabard logo

Sleek Money reports (here) that the Chief Operating Officer for C.R. Bard, John H. Weiland sold off 13,616 shares of company stock on Tuesday, February 17. With the stock selling at $174.51 a share, it brought Mr. Weiland $2,376,128.16, according to the report. The sale was disclosed in a SEC filing. See it here.

John Weiland, COO Bard

John Weiland, COO Bard

The COO currently owns 87,822 shares with an approximate value of $15,325,817.22.

52-week low for the stock is $132.81 and the high is $180.35.

According to the article, several analysts reiterated a “hold” rating on the stock.

Meanwhile WKRB News reports C.R. Bard VP John P. Groetelaars sold 4,566 shares of the company on Thursday, February 19th. The value of the transaction was approximately $3,520,839.42 with an average price of of $175.14.

Besides transvaginal mesh, C.R. Bard of Murray Hill, NJ makes surgical, diagnostic and medical devices.

According to a transcript from a 3Q conversation on earnings in October 26,2011, transvaginal mesh makes up 1-2% of the company’s profits.

Cartoon courtesy JadeR

Cartoon courtesy JadeR

Legal Proceedings - Women's Health Products

According to its SEC filing released Feb. 18, 2015 (see it here), concerning women's health products, "as of February 9, 2015, product liability lawsuits involving individual claims by approximately 14,090 plaintiffs have been filed against the company in various federal and state jurisdictions alleging personal injuries associated with the use of certain of the company’s surgical continence products for women. In addition, five putative class actions in the United States and four putative class actions in Canada have been filed against the company (all lawsuits, collectively, the “Women’s Health Product Claims”). The Women’s Health Product Claims generally seek damages for personal injury resulting from use of the products. "

bard avaulta

In July 2012, the Christine Scott case naming the Bard Avaulta resulted in a judgment against the company of approximately $3.6 million. That survived an appeal in November 2014. The company has since filed to have the Scott case heard before the California Supreme Court. The Cisson case in July 2013 resulted in a $2 million award, which has been appealed.

"During the third quarter of 2013, the company settled one MDL case and one New Jersey state case. In addition, during the third quarter of 2013, one MDL case was voluntarily dismissed with prejudice."

Judge Joseph Goodwin

Judge Joseph Goodwin

Bard was ordered by Judge Joseph Goodwin, who heads multidistrict litigation in his federal courtroom in Charleston, WV, to prepare 200 then 300 additional cases for trial. In its SEC filing, the company warns investors these orders resulted in significant addition litigation-related costs to the company.

During the second quarter of 2014, Bard agreed to a settlement with two plaintiffs' law firms concerning 500 cases. It settled an MDL case scheduled for May 2014.

At the end of 2014, a settlement was reached concerning 25 cases. Most recently the Debra Wise case was settled by Bard for an undisclosed amount. A state court trial is scheduled for April, 2015 in Missouri. The National Law Journal reports Motley Rice and Blasingame Burch Garrard & Ashley are the co-lead counsel in Bard litigation who are involved in settlement talks with Bard.

“She is working as a special master—a go-between person who will be able to talk more freely, but under court protection, with both defendant and plaintiffs and help put together a resolution if possible with Bard,” Rice said to the journal.

Meanwhile, there are 1,800 pending claims which have not yet been filed.

Ellen K. Reisman Arnold and porter special master

Special Master to Oversee Settlements

On February 12, , Judge Goodwin appointed special master Ellen K. Reisman, of Los Angeles (Arnold & Porter) to oversee negotiations concerning settlements with both sides (Order # 166). Reisman was the person who brought AMS (Endo Pharmaceutical) to the negotiating table (MDL #2325) to reach settlement agreements that are expected to resolve substantially all of AMS’s pelvic repair system products cases.

The same day Judge Goodwin issued a pretrial order (#165) concerning upcoming product liability lawsuits filed over Bard's transvaginal mesh. Since Waves of cases [Wave 1 and Wave 2] have been formed, naming Bard, with 50 cases each that will now be selected for trial. To be eligible, a plaintiff must have been filed on time along with a Plaintiff Profile Form and Census Spreadsheet. Also plaintiffs whose cases could be expected to be transferred or remanded to District Court in Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho and Montana shall not be selected.

Any remaining briefs in Wave 1 and Wave 2 are due by March 3, 2015.

Hernia Mesh

At present there are "about 80 federal and 45 state lawsuits involving individual claims by approximately 125 plaintiffs, as well as three putative class actions in the United States are currently pending against the company with respect to its Composix® Kugel® and certain other hernia repair implant products (collectively, the “Hernia Product Claims”). The company voluntarily recalled certain sizes and lots of the Composix® Kugel® products beginning in December 2005."

The Composix® Kugel® lawsuits were transferred into one Multidistrict Litigation (“MDL”) for coordinated pre-trial proceedings in the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island.

"In June 2011, the company announced that it had reached agreements in principle with various plaintiffs’ law firms to settle the majority of its existing Hernia Product Claims. Each agreement was subject to certain conditions, including requirements for participation in the proposed settlements by a certain minimum number of plaintiffs. In addition, the company continues to engage in discussions with other plaintiffs’ law firms regarding potential resolution of unsettled Hernia Product Claims, and intends to vigorously defend Hernia Product Claims that do not settle, including through litigation."

NuVia SI Pelvic Floor Repair Kit

Nu Via SI system kit  Bard newest launch

According to a conversation on earnings Q3 2011 (here) Bard planned to introduce its newest pelvic floor repair kit, the NuVia SI single incision by 2012 to the U.S. in 2012. That never happened. Instead, Bard launched the transvaginal mesh kit in Europe.

The National Law Journal reports the larger pore, lightweight mesh kit was developed under something called the Web/WebTO project. Plaintiffs' firms have launched discovery into the project which resulted in the development of mesh products to be used overseas. Bard has objected to the discovery request, reports the journal.

The company states the lighter weight mesh products were not designed to correct any alleged design flaws with the Avaulta line of products, which have since been taken off the market. #

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