Vaginal Mesh Judge Refuses to Delay TrialJanuary 14, 2015 — Law360 reports that C.R. Bard will not get to delay next month’s trial involving Avaulta vaginal mesh, despite arguing that media coverage of a judge’s comments regarding a settlement had “prejudged” their liability.

U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin oversees about 12,000 lawsuits pending against Bard and another 50,000 lawsuits pending against other manufacturers of vaginal mesh.

In December, Judge Goodwin said Bard is “facing potentially billions of dollars in verdicts” and he couldn’t imagine why a corporation and its shareholders wouldn’t find it preferable to try to achieve a settlement for a much lesser sum.

After refusing to delay the trial, Judge Goodwin said:

“I have carefully considered defendant’s motion and find that defendant has not demonstrated good cause, as is required by Rule 16 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, for the relief sought in the motion.”

Plaintiffs also argued that media coverage of the judge’s comments are to be expected in a high-profile litigation.

Bard has already lost two trials when juries awarded millions of dollars to women who were injured by Avaulta vaginal mesh. Bard has settled about 500 lawsuits for about $21 million, or an average of $42,000 per plaintiff.

Other manufacturers have already come to the table. Last year Endo Pharmaceuticals paid $1.2 billion to settle more than 10,000 lawsuits for an average payout of $48,000 per plaintiff.

Women who have filed lawsuits accuse Bard and other manufacturers of selling a defective medical device. The mesh, which is supposed to treat incontinence and organ prolapse, can potentially erode into the vagina and cause devastating complications like infection, chronic pain, painful sexual intercourse, nerve damage, recurrent incontinence, and more.

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