Just minutes before a transvaginal mesh bellwether case in multidistrict litigation (MDL) was to begin, the judge announced that medical device manufacturer C.R. Bard had reached a settlement with defendants. The agreement comes less than a week after the company was ordered to pay $2 million in the first bellwether trial.
The terms of the settlement are confidential, but it represents just a drop in the bucket of litigation facing the medical device company related to its Avaulta transvaginal mesh implants. The lawsuits allege the mesh, which is used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, caused internal injuries and severe, chronic pain.
C.R. Bard vice president and treasurer Scott Lowry said in a statement that the company going forward would consider each case based on “the facts and merits.” Last week, a jury awarded the plaintiff in the first bellwether case $250,000 in compensatory damages and $1.75 million in punitive damages. The only other lawsuit involving Avaulta mesh to go to trial resulted in a $3.6 million judgment against C.R. Bard.
The third and fourth bellwether trials involving vaginal mesh in the multidistrict litigation are expected to go to trial in October and November, respectively.
Last year the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that complications with transvaginal mesh are not uncommon. The mesh can erode inside the body, imbed into other organs, and result in pain, infections, incontinence and hemorrhaging. Many women have had to undergo repeated surgeries to remove the mesh, and some are left with lifelong consequences.