Judge Settles Hundreds of Transvaginal Mesh Suits Naming C.R. Bard

Jane Akre
|
June 21, 2017

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, June 21, 2017 ~ Judge Joseph Goodwin is overseeing more than 103,659 (as of today) product liability cases involving transvaginal mesh.

Three hundred product liability cases naming C.R. Bard have been dismissed just since Monday.

Earlier this year Judge Goodwin told lawyers he would like to have the cases filed against seven mesh manufacturer resolved this year.

Judge Joseph Goodwin

Just since Monday, Judge Goodwin made good on that promise, at least as far as Murray Hill, New Jersey mesh maker, C.R. Bard is concerned.

The judge has issued 20 orders moving nearly 300 pending cases against C.R. Bard toward resolution.

These appear to be cases represented by law firms that are not on the steering committees and may have a limited number of product liability cases naming Bard over its transvaginal mesh.

Once resolved, they are then taken off the trial docket, where as of today, there are 15,459 product liability cases filed against Bard (with 9,660 closed).

Bard has the fourth highest number of cases behind Ethicon, Boston Scientific, and AMS (American Medical Systems).

Look up cases using PACER in Bard 2:10-md-2187.

Filed since Monday, June 19 are:

  • Document #4001 is an order which grants the motion to dismiss all claims, cross claims, counter claims and third party claims for 75 plaintiffs. These cases are now dismissed with prejudice, meaning they cannot ever be filed again.

The orders name as defendants both Bard and Tissue Science Laboratories Limited, Sofradim Production and Covidien LP, who have reportedly all agreed to a settlement model.

Sofradim Production SAS is the French biotechnology company affiliated with Covidien medical device maker headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. Sofradim manufactures implants used for hernias and weaves polymers to create mesh.
https://www.b2match.eu/h2020-health-Lyon2014/participants/37

Tissue Science Laboratories is a privately held British medical device company, which is a division of Medtronic.

  • Another order on the same date, #Bard 3996 , dismisses three cases with prejudice against Bard, filed by three law firms with one case each.
  • In Document #Bard 4002, 133 plaintiffs agreed to settlement with Sofradim Production SAS, Tissue Science Laboratories, Covidien and C.R. Bard.
  • Another Motion to Dismiss, Doc #4003, says defendants, including Sofradim Production SAS, Tissue Science Laboratories Limited, Covidien and CR Bard, have agreed to settle three claims, however, the claims which include Cook Medical will be transferred to that court.
  • In Doc #4005, (see it #Bard 4005), Sofradim, Covidien, Tissue Science Labs and Bard, agreed to a settlement model for two plaintiffs.

The court will not conduct further proceedings on these two cases.

  • Document #4004 dismisses one Bard case with prejudice provided she accepts the settlement by October 31, 20017. After that time if a settlement is not finalized the Court will have a hearing to determine the case’s future. See it here. #Bard 4004

In the meantime, it’s on the inactive docket.

  • Document #4000, lists 33 plaintiffs, who along with defendants - Bard, Covidien, Tissue Science and Sofradim, have settled all claims and jointly move the court to dismiss Bard and Covidien as defendants.Other defendants, including Ethicon, will remain in these actions and plaintiffs will continue to prosecute these actions. Within 14 days of the motion, they are required to file an amended short form complaint against the remaining defendant, Ethicon and they will be transferred to the Ethicon MDL 2327.
  • Document #Bard 3997 also dismisses the usual suspects but nine plaintiffs have an additional action against AMS and will continue with those claims and are required within fourteen days to file an amended short form complaint in the AMS (American Medical Systems) MDL 2325.
  • Docket #3998, filed June 19, has the 21 plaintiffs dismissed with prejudice Sofradim, Tissue Science and Covidien, presumably because they have reached a settlement.

Often a law firm will represent to the court it has reached a settlement before the final resolution with its client. Clients still have the option to decline a settlement if they have not committed in writing to accept it.

  • Doc #3999 is a joint motion filed June 19, 2017, to dismiss defendants with prejudice including Sofradim Production, Tissue Science Laboratories and Covidien as settlement has been reached. The parties move to dismiss with prejudice and terminate the cases from the docket of this MDL. Three plaintiffs are named.
  • Doc #3995 joint motion to dismiss certain defendants with prejudice and plaintiffs’ motion to transfer MDLs, in this case Boston Scientific Corp, which remain in the action. After 14 days they must file a short form complaint in the BSC MDL 2187 that no longer include Bard and Covidien entities. Seven cases are included here.

Including June 19 are six proposed orders by Judge Goodwin.

  • Docket #3994 involves one plaintiff represented by a smaller law firm saying Bard has agreed to a settlement with the plaintiff therefore it is unnecessary to conduct further proceedings or to keep the case on the active docket. Both parties have until September 30, 2017 to finalize a settlement and submit a dismissal order.
  • Docket # 3993, gives both sides until December 31, 2017 to submit a settlement and dismissal order concerning one case. Again, it says both sides have agreed to a settlement model with regard to Bard.
  • Doc #3992 is the same giving a deadline of on or before December 31, 2017 to finalize the settlement and submit a dismissal order for one case.
  • Docket #3991 also gives until the end of the year for a settlement to be finalized for one case.
  • Docket #3990, again until December 31, one case to settle.
  • Docket #3989 is given until the end of the year to finalize a settlement and submit dismissal orders for one case.

The Friday before, June 16, there is a rash or orders dismissing cases from the C.R. Bard docket as well.

So far Bard has settled 149 cases which were dismissed in April, while 3,000 lawsuits were part of a 2015 settlement of $200 million.

Earlier this year, C.R. Bard removed its pelvic meshes from the market as it is in the process of being sold to Becton Dickinson for $24 billion.

Last November, Judge Goodwin asked both plaintiff and defendant sides to come up with 50 cases each to prepare for trial.

Donna Cisson’s $2 million verdict against Bard in 2013 was upheld by an appellate court a year ago.

During that trial, in an unusual move, Judge Goodwin noted that Bard attempted to hide its identity in purchasing raw polypropylene resin from the supplier.

“This secretive conduct in an effort to sidestep the MSDS warnings suggests reprehensible conduct, weighting against remittitur.”

The MSDS is the Material Safety Data Sheet which clearly says “Do not use this Phillips Sumika Polypropylene Company material in medical applications involving brief or temporary implantation in the human body or contact with internal body fluids or tissues unless the material has been provided directly from Phillips Sumika polypropylene Company under an agreement which expressly acknowledges the contemplated use.”

See the Mesh News Desk story here.

Christine Scott’s Bard pelvic mesh case also survived appeal and the company was on the hook for $3.6 million to the plaintiff resulting from her July 2012 trial in Bakersfield, California. ###

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