In a regulatory filing (here), Boston Scientific Corp announced today it’s reached a settlement of $119 million to resolve 2,970 product liability cases concerning pelvic mesh.
That would amount to an average award of just $40,000 per claim. Claims are generally awarded based on the degree of injury resulting from a pelvic mesh implant so an award could amount to more or less than that number.
This does not resolve the bulk of the 25,000 cases filed in U.S. and federal state courts but it would include the Martha Salazar case which resulted in a $35 million award against the company last year.
There is no admission of liability or wrongdoing if an agreement is reached reports Reuters. The funds could be set aside in an escrow account by October 1.
*New* The timing is interesting. In a recent ruling, Judge Joseph Goodwin, who is overseeing the federal cases against pelvic mesh manufacturers, allowed to stand punitive damage claims in one of its pending product liability claims. See story here.
Here is the portion of the SEC report:
ITEM 8.01. OTHER EVENTS
On April 28, 2015, the Company announced that it reached an agreement with certain plaintiffs’ counsel to settle substantially all of their inventories of product liability cases and claims pending against the Company related to transvaginal surgical mesh products designed to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. This settlement has been memorialized in a Master Settlement Agreement (the “Agreement”), which was entered into solely by way of compromise and does not constitute an admission or concession by the Company of any liability or wrongdoing. The Agreement provides that the Company will pay approximately $119 million to resolve 2,970 cases and claims, including a case in the District Court of Dallas County (TX) for which there is a judgment of approximately $35 million that is currently subject to appeal. Under the terms of the Agreement, the Company will make two payments into a settlement fund held in escrow with full funding to be completed on or before October 1, 2015. The Agreement establishes a procedure for claimants to participate in the settlement. The settlement and the distribution of settlement funds to participating claimants are conditioned upon, among other things, achieving minimum required claimant participation thresholds. If the participation thresholds are not satisfied, the Company may terminate the Agreement.