C.R. Bard Inc. has resolved more than 500 vaginal-mesh lawsuits that alleged that its product harmed women in Tennessee and elsewhere. The settlement averaged $43,000 per claim, which came to a total of over $21 million. This is the company's first large-scale settlement related to these devices. Other vaginal-mesh manufacturers face similar lawsuits about their devices, and the companies are trying to create a "global settlement" framework to cover all cases brought against them.
Bard faces over 500 active lawsuits that are currently in pre-trial in federal court in West Virginia. According to a regulatory filing in July, women who received the inserts have filed more than 12,400 suits against Bard in total. The company will not comment on any of the outstanding cases but did state that it already released the settlement information in an SEC filing.
The claim that women are making in the lawsuits is that the devices erode over time, causing pain and organ damage. According to court records, doctors inserted them to prevent incontinence or to fortify pelvic muscles. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered manufacturers of these devices to study their effects on women and stated that they should have stricter safety requirements.
When a dangerous product causes harm to a user, the affected individual may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer or seller of the product. Many of these larger companies have teams of attorneys working for them, so it can be helpful for consumers to consult with a product liability attorney about what types of legal action they can take against the company. It is often possible that the companies will try to settle the cases out of court to avoid lengthy public proceedings.