Over the past 5 years, transvaginal mesh injury lawsuits have been winding their way through both the federal and state court system. According to recent reports, there may some good news to share with affected women about a major vaginal mesh and bladder sling manufacturer announcing settlement.
C.R. Bard announces settlement of large groups of injury and product liability cases by women who have experienced complications after receiving their bladder sling and pelvic support products.
In a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on July 24, C.R. Bard noted that it reached settlements in about 1,300 vaginal mesh claims in June, and another 1,500 in July.
According to Bloomberg News, the medical device manufacturer will pay more than $200 million to resolve a group of at least 3,000.
What is Transvaginal Mesh and why is it Dangerous?
Transvaginal mesh and bladder sling devices are used for surgical repair of pelvic organ prolapse and female stress urinary incontinence. Serious side effects have reported including severe and debilitating problems due to erosion of the mesh through the vagina, infection, urinary incontinence and other significant complications, often leading to multiple painful revision surgeries.
Federal Multidistrict Mesh Litigation (MDL)
Judge Goodwin oversees more than 80,000 transvaginal mesh and bladder sling lawsuits centralized as part of seven different federal MDLs established for cases brought against different manufacturers, including C.R. Bard, Ethicon, Boston Scientific, American Medical Systems (AMS), Coloplast, Cook Medical and Neomedic.
Bard is exposed to more than 15,000 complaints filed throughout the U.S. Multidistrict litigation is a consolidation of lawsuits transferred from around the country to a single United States District Court to streamline the trial processes. Here, the plaintiffs and defendants are under one roof, the trials are being processed by one judge, and this leads to speedier outcomes.
All of the women allege injury complications from vaginal mesh that is used to repair pelvic organ prolapse or female stress urinary incontinence, when the mesh shifted, eroded through the vagina, caused infections or other problems. In many cases, women have required repeated painful surgical removal of the device and been left with permanent injuries.
AMS the only major Mesh Manufacturer to Settle
AMS is the only major manufacturer to settle the claims involving their mesh and bladder sling products. Endo International announced in October 2014 that it has agreed to pay about $1.6 billion to resolve “substantially all” of the 20,000 mesh lawsuits pending against it’s AMS subsidiary.
Ethicon Trial Coming Up
Since Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon subsidiary did not agreed to settle the claims against them, Judge Goodwin scheduled a consolidated trial, involving 26 different injured women going before the same jury in November 2015. Those lawsuits involve West Virginia plaintiffs who had surgery in the state to implant Ethicon’s TVT product used to treat stress urinary incontinence, according to the ruling.
To date, Ethicon has faced only two trials involving its TVT Obturator product. In September 2014, a federal jury in West Virginia awarded $3.27 million against Ethicon in a case involving the TVT Obturator product.
In April 2014, a Texas state court jury awarded $1.2 million to a woman who suffered severe injuries.
In 2013, an Atlantic County, N.J., jury awarded $11.1 million in damages against Ethicon, including punitive damages as a result of Ethicon’s actions surrounding the manufacture and sale of the Prolift product, a product used in the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse.
Boston Scientific Mesh Verdicts
Recently in May, a Delaware jury awarded Plaintiff Deborah Barba $100 million following a trial against defendant-manufacturer Boston Scientific. The verdict consisted of $25 million in compensatory damages and $75 million in punitive damages, designed to punish the company for its wrongful behavior.
Ms. Barba was implanted with Boston Scientific Pinnacle and Advantage Fit mesh products in 2009 to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. She underwent two corrective surgeries due to complications caused by the products. Ms. Barba continues to experience severe pelvic pain and other gynecological symptoms to this day.
This latest jury verdict is the sixth Plaintiffs’ victory against Boston Scientific, which include a $73.4 million verdict (subsequently reduced to comply with Texas damage caps) from a Texas court, a $26.7 million verdict to four women in Florida, and an $18.5 million verdict to a group of women in West Virginia.
Serious settlement negotiations are underway with Boston Scientific to settle the remainder of the 20,000 claims.
Shezad Malik is an Internal Medicine and Cardiology specialist, a licensed Texas Medical Doctor and Defective Medical Device and Dangerous Drug Attorney. Dr Shezad Malik Law Firm has offices based in Fort Worth and Dallas and represents people who have suffered catastrophic and serious personal injuries including wrongful death, caused by the negligence or recklessness of others.