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500 Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits Settled by C.R. Bard

Aug 7, 2014

C.R. Bard has reportedly agreed to settle 500 lawsuits alleging that its transvaginal mesh implants are defective and cause serious injuries in women. The company settled the cases for an undisclosed amount.

Bard is one of many manufacturers being sued over transvaginal mesh, which is used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. In recent years, pelvic mesh has become a controversial medical device amidst allegations that it can causes severe, painful injuries, including a risk of erosion through the vagina. A number of lawsuits also point out that transvaginal mesh implants were not clinically tested before being sold and implanted in thousands of women because they were approved through a regulatory loophole.

Bard is currently facing 12,500 lawsuits over its Avaulta transvaginal mesh. Most of the cases are consolidated into a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) before U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. When a litigation becomes large enough, cases are often consolidated into an MDL in order to make proceedings more efficient and avoid redundancy.

Judge Goodwin is overseeing multiple transvaginal mesh litigations against various manufacturers, including 18,501 lawsuits over Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon mesh, 17,901 suits against American Medical Systems (AMS), 12,199 against Boston Scientific, 1,506 against Coloplast, 213 against Cook Medical and roughly 74 against Neomedic.

In the first Bard Avaulta bellwether trial, the jury awarded $2 million to the plaintiff, who alleged that the Avaulta Plus caused erosion and subsequent scarring of the pelvis and vagina. In August 2013, a confidential settlement was reached on the day the second federal trial was slated to begin. Another settlement for the third bellwether trial weeks before it began.

Bard is not the only manufacturer choosing to settle cases. Endo Health Systems recently agreed to pay $830 million to settle mesh cases, resolving most claims and canceling a series of bellwether trials. In March, Coloplast reportedly settled 400 cases for $16 million; reportedly, another 1,500 cases are expected to be settled in the future.

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