Law360 reports that this week close to 50 women have settled with C.R. Bard Inc. and agreed to end their lawsuits against the company. The lawsuits sought to hold Bard liable for injuries they say they sustained due to allegedly faulty transvaginal mesh implants. The suits were dismissed with prejudice from the pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation (MDL) by U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin, who is overseeing the seven separate MDLs in West Virginia.
MDLs against the seven manufacturers of transvaginal mesh have been consolidated into one giant litigation with a total of around 70,000 pending cases. Law360 reports that according to court records, there are some 10,000 cases pending against Bard. Fifty cases barely makes a dent in the overall picture.
However, resolution for these nearly 50 women will undoubtedly make a difference in each of their lives, and seeing cases make it to court or reach resolution is the goal of the MDL.
Transvaginal mesh is a type of surgical mesh used to repair pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received thousands of reports of complications related to the transvaginal mesh, which include severe pelvic pain, pain during intercourse, infection, bleeding, organ perforation and urinary problems from mesh eroding into surrounding tissues. Prompted by these reports, in January the agency reclassified transvaginal mesh as a high-risk device.
According to Law360, in 2013 Bard was the first in the MDL to face a jury trial and was found guilty, with a $2 million verdict. Since then, there have been many more multi-million-dollar verdicts in favor of the plaintiffs in these cases. As these verdicts keep coming in, they may impact more of the tens of thousands of pending cases, as they could motivate manufacturers to offer compromises that women will consider.