C.R. Bard settles vaginal mesh lawsuits for $200M. This agreement comes after five years of expensive legal battles. Over 3,000 women claiming that implantation of Bard’s bladder or vaginal sling caused them injuries filed the suits being settled. The products are commonly used in surgeries treating stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse.
This isn’t Bard’s first settlement deal regarding these products. The company filed documents with the SEC stating it reached settlements in roughly 1,300 cases in June and 1,500 in July. The filing also indicates that C.R. Bard is under a court order to prepare many cases for trial if broader settlements aren’t reached. The company indicated that it plans on continuing negotiations, but that it expects at least two consolidated trials over vaginal mesh claims will see trial yet this year.
All told, there are about 70K transvaginal mesh lawsuits on the record, approximately 15K of which are against C.R. Bard. The other companies involved include:
- Boston Scientific
- American Medical Systems (AMS)
- Cook Medical
Many women who were treated for stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse with vaginal mesh products claim that the products caused them to suffer complications that were often painful and sometimes permanent. These complications include:
- Pain during sex
- Urinary problems
- Multiple occurrences of pelvic organ prolapse
- Vaginal scarring
- Perforated bladder, bowel, or blood vessels
- Mesh erosion
- Organ injuries
Removal of the mesh did not prevent the injuries from becoming permanent in all cases. Individual vaginal mesh cases (those not part of the Class) have been known to bring in multimillion-dollar jury awards. Punitive damages were included in many of the awards to punish the manufacturers for promoting and selling the allegedly defective product.
Most mesh makers have not entered into settlement talks in their cases, even though litigation of the cases (especially the individual cases) is quite expensive. Endo International reached an agreement in October 2014, settling its 20K bladder sling suits for $1.6B.