CR Bard Offers $200 Million to Settle Numerous Transvaginal Mesh Injury Cases
Medical manufacturer CR Bard has become the latest defendant in a series of transvaginal mesh personal injury cases to offer a collective settlement to have the multidistrict litigation (MDL) dismissed.
The medical company has offered injured transvaginal mesh plaintiffs $200 million to settle many of their lawsuits. The offer, if accepted by plaintiffs, would resolve 3,000 of the transvaginal mesh injury cases, which represents about 1/5th of the outstanding lawsuits against Bard.
Transvaginal mesh was originally designed to treat women suffering from pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or stress urinary incontinence (SUI). These plastic slings were inserted through the vagina to hold up organs.
The first transvaginal mesh device was approved for use in humans in 1996; however, by 1999, the Gynecare Prolift was recalled due to defects in the design. Other companies used the FDA’s 510(k) approval process – which allows medical devices that are “substantially similar” to previously approved devices to get on a fast-track approval process – to push their transvaginal mesh devices through to the US market.
However, many women experienced organ perforation, continued incontinence and prolapse, bleeding, pain during intercourse, pain in the legs and decreased ability to walk, and infection, among other symptoms. In many cases, transvaginal mesh can grow into existing tissue, making removal difficult – leaving women suffering from continued side effects.
The transvaginal mesh plaintiffs would receive about $67,000 per victim. The question for many of these women, however, is whether or not that will be enough to cover a lifetime of disability, doctors’ visits, and physical and emotional pain due to the damage the implants caused.
Many other transvaginal mesh manufacturers have begun offering settlements after seeing huge payouts to individual personal injury plaintiffs. In September last year, for example, plaintiff Jo Husky sued Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon successfully for her transvaginal mesh injuries, and was awarded $3.27 million. Transvaginal mesh victim Martha Salazar was awarded $73.4 million for the injuries caused by Boston Scientific’s mesh device, and while that number was reduced, Salazar still received $11 million for her pain and suffering. A Delaware judge awarded $100 million in punitive damages to a transvaginal mesh victim in May this year.
Because of the high stakes in these types of lawsuits, many medical manufacturers have begun to offer settlement amounts, but these settlements must be approved by all victims and the judge. It is important for mesh victims to note that they do not have to settle for a lower amount that would not cover medical bills, disability, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages.
There are still around 80,000 transvaginal mesh injury cases in the 6 multidistrict litigations against transvaginal mesh manufacturers. And in spite of this high number of personal injury reports, and their incredible severity, the FDA recently approved a new transvaginal mesh device, and many of the medical manufacturers facing high-dollar lawsuits also continue to market these devices as safe and effective.