C.R. Bard ($BCR) reportedly settled another lawsuit alleging the company's vaginal mesh implant injured a woman. Bloomberg says the trial had been set to start Sept. 23 in an Atlantic City, NJ, court.
It's just one trial out of many, however. As Bloomberg notes, more than 8,000 lawsuits involving the company's Avaulta implants are still working their way through the legal system. In the New Jersey case, the patient had claimed that the Avaulta Plus vaginal mesh implant left her with urinary problems. Bard agreed to fork over an undisclosed amount to settle her claims, two unnamed sources familiar with the case told Bloomberg.
Barely a month ago, Bard settled a case involving a North Carolina woman who claimed the company's Avaulta vaginal mesh left her with serious injuries. Bard lost another recent case in West Virginia, but plans to appeal that $2 million verdict. The Murray Hill, NJ, company lost its first Avaulta case in a California jury trial last year, and was ordered to pay $3.6 million.
Settling the vaginal mesh cases may end up being significantly cheaper in the long run, and not just for Bard. Competitors including Boston Scientific ($BSX), Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) and Endo Health Solutions ($ENDP) also face thousands of lawsuits regarding their own vaginal mesh products.
In Bard's situation, litigation costs are already hurting the bottom line. The company took a $275.1 million litigation charge in its previous quarter that negated a modest revenue increase, leaving it with a sizeable net loss.
Bloomberg reports that many of the vaginal mesh implant lawsuits against Bard and its rivals have been consolidated in U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia (Charleston). Other lawsuits are pending in New Jersey, Missouri and California state courts.
- here's the Bloomberg story