July 29, 2014 — C.R. Bard has agreed to settle about 500 lawsuits involving vaginal mesh for an undisclosed sum.
In a securities filing, the company reported $259 million in charges due to “product liability matters” during the 2nd quarter of this year, on top of over $400 million in similar charges last year. The settlement resolves lawsuits that were filed by two plaintiffs’ law firms. C.R. Bard also settled a lawsuit in federal court that was set for trial in May 2014.
As of July 7, Bard is facing approximately 12,445 lawsuits involving the company’s line of Avaulta vaginal mesh. In addition, five class action lawsuits in the United States and four class actions in Canada have been filed.
Lawsuits in the U.S. have been centralized in a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL) since October 2010. The litigation is located in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
C.R. Bard has lost several trials involving the Avaulta. The first trial in state court resulted in a judgement of approximately $3.6 million against the company in July 2012. The first trial in the federal MDL resulted in a judgement of $2 million against the company in July 2013. Bard plans to appeal both judgments.
In recent years, over 60,000 lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers of vaginal mesh. In 2012, C.R. Bard lost one of the first trials when jurors in California awarded $5.5 million to Christine Scott, a woman who was injured by the Avaulta vaginal mesh. The jury found her doctor liable for about 40% of the judgement. Ms. Scott required eight surgeries to treat complications, but she continues to suffer from chronic pain, mesh erosion in the vagina, incontinence, nerve damage, depression, and more.
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