October 8, 2014 - Readers of Mesh News Desk have been wondering why there has been no news on the C.R. Bard front while other mesh manufacturers are quietly settling pelvic mesh-injury cases.
Bloomberg reports an agreement has been reached between lawyers and C.R. Bard to resolve more than 500 product liability lawsuits with a $21 million settlement.
That amounts to a little more than $42,000 per claim from the Murray Hill, New Jersey-based company.
A response from the company for verification is pending.
Traditionally any settlement requires that 90 to 95 percent of those affected agree to the terms, which includes a confidentiality clause. Agreements usually includes a clause that there be no further claims filed against the company.
C.R. Bard is currently facing 12,445 transvaginal mesh injury cases consolidated in federal court in West Virginia. Bard is currently preparing 500 lawsuits for trial in that court early next year.
According to the latest Securities and Exchange filing for Cr Bard Inc (BCR:NewYork) July 25, 2014, Bard agreed to settle 500 Avaulta Transvaginal mesh lawsuits. The Avaulta line of transvaginal mesh has since been taken off the market in the U.S. In many cases mesh manufacturers continue to sell a line that has been discontinued in the U.S. to other countries.
The amount of the settlement is undisclosed but earlier this year the company was also reported to have paid $259 million in a defective product matter in addition to $400 million last year.
Joe Rice, Motley Rice
While Motley Rice is not involved in this settlement, Joe Rice tells Mesh News Desk a decision to settle is an individual one that must be considered carefully.
"Every woman needs to focus on the facts of her case, what her chances are and what they are advised may or may not happen if their case goes to a jury trial."
Bard Lawsuits So Far
The case of Christine Scott v. Bard was heard in a Bakersfield, California courtroom in June 2012. The jury awarded Mrs. Scott and her husband $5.5 million, a portion of which is to be covered by her implanting doctor who was also named in the action.
So far two Bard Avaulta cases have been heard before federal Judge Goodwin. In 2013, the Donna Cisson case resulted in a $2 million verdict for Ms. Cisson. In its filing, Bard denies the case is representative of future outcomes.
In its second trial, Queen v. C.R. Bard, Bard settled on the eve of the litigation. While the dollar amount was not disclosed as both sides agree to confidentiality, the number is presumed to be higher than $2 million because the plaintiff had a six-figure income and many more productive working years ahead of her.
Bard also produced the Composix Kugel hernia mesh products and as of July 2014 there were 220 federal and 105 state lawsuits filed by individuals who claims they were permanently injured by the implantation of that polypropylene mesh, according to the SEC filing.
Bard’s consolidated trials will begin again in early 2015 before federal Judge Joseph Goodwin in Charleston, WV. Earlier this year he ordered 200 cases be prepared for trial and the associated costs were taken from the company in the second quarter of 2014.
C.R. Bard claims in its SEC quarterly report that "...as of July 7, 2014, product liability lawsuits involving individual claims by approximately 12,445 plaintiffs have been filed or asserted 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, including its Avaulta® line of products. 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”). "
Plaintiffs are seeking medical monitoring, compensatory and punitive damages, a judicial finding or a cause or defect and attorneys' fees. Interestingly, Bard says one of its suppliers has an obligation to indemnify or hold harmless the company with respect to a defective product claim.
American Medical Systems and its parent company Endo International recently announced a $1.6 billion settlement for women injured by pelvic mesh. The same conditions of confidentiality will apply.
Johnson & Johnson has been quietly settling individual pelvic mesh injury lawsuits but vows to continue fighting these lawsuits in a court of law.
There are currently more than 100,000 defective product claims filed against seven mesh manufacturers. The women implanted with polypropylene mesh claim it was defectively designed and fraudulently marked and that instruction to physicians was insufficient to provide true informed consent to the unsuspecting patients. #
Bloomberg, October 8, 2014, Bard Said to Pay $21 million - http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-07/bard-said-to-pay-21-million-in-first-big-vaginal-mesh-accord.html
History of C.R. Bard
$1.6 Billion AMS/Endo Settlement Announced https://www.meshmedicaldevicenewsdesk.com/patient-profiles/1-6-billion-master-settlement-reached-to-resolve-ams-pelvic-mesh-claims/
Securities and Exchange Filing Cr Bard Inc (BCR:NewYork) July 25, 2014