Mesh News Desk, January 27, 2016 ~ Bloomberg News (here) reports Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $120 million to settle thousands of injury lawsuits filed by women implanted with the company’s transvaginal mesh.
The offer resolves anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 lawsuits. The number represents $40,000 to $60,000 per case before legal fees and outstanding debt is settled.
This is the first time J&J has offered to resolve its product liability cases regarding mesh.
J&J and its Ethicon division is currently facing more product liability lawsuits than any other mesh maker, in excess of 40,000 actions. According to its fourth quarter SEC filing the company does not consider the financial risk from pelvic mesh to be material.
Earnie Knewitz, spokesman J&J
“From time to time we have appropriately agreed to resolve some cases,” Ernie Knewitz, a J&J spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement. “We will not discuss the terms, nor discuss our ongoing litigation strategy."
J&J says it has spent $141 million in costs in total litigation expenses during 2015, that is down from $1.2 billion in 2014, says J&J Investor News.
J&J's Prolene Mesh
The J&J Fourth Quarter report says, "The number of pending product liability lawsuits continues to increase, and the Company continues to receive information with respect to potential costs and the anticipated number of cases."
Besides 30,665 cases filed in multidistrict litigation in Charleston, WV (here) , a number of personal injury cases have been filed in Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Scotland and Venezuela seeking damages.
While other mesh manufacturers such as American Medical Systems and C.R. Bard have agreed to settle its outstanding product liability actions regarding pelvic mesh, J&J has not done so to date until the eve of a jury trial or, in one case, just as the case was about to go to the jury.
Any settlement requires at least 90 percent of qualified recipients agree to the terms of settlement.
J&J recently announced it was restructuring its medical device division and dismissing 3,000 employees after disappointing sales figures. #