|Endo agreed to pay $54.5 million to settle some of its pending vaginal mesh lawsuits.--Courtesy of Endo|
Endo Health Solutions' ($ENDP) American Medical Systems has agreed to fork over $54.5 million to settle some of its pending vaginal mesh lawsuits, which still number in the thousands.
The company didn't specify how many of the more than 5,000 product liability claims it had agreed to settle, saying in an SEC filing that it will "continue to vigorously defend (itself) in the remaining mesh product liability cases and in any new cases that may arise."
The problems began in 2008, three years before Endo bought AMS for $2.9 billion, when patients began filing suits over the company's line of vaginal mesh devices, claiming they caused pain, incontinence and organ damage. Thousands of the suits have been consolidated, and Endo is slated for its first vaginal mesh court appearance in December before a federal judge in West Virginia, Bloomberg notes.
Endo is one of many device manufacturers staring down settlements and court dates over now-derided vaginal implants, alongside Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), Boston Scientific ($BSX) and C.R. Bard ($BCR). J&J endured its first trial among about 2,100 pending suits over Gynecare Prolift, with a jury ordering it to pay about $11.2 million to an injured patient. Bard was forced cough up $5.5 million in a similar suit last year, and Boston Scientific is facing more than 2,500 plaintiffs in ongoing litigation.
In all, more than 100,000 plaintiffs have come forward, alleging grave injuries due to poorly designed vaginal meshes. The devices reached the market through the FDA's less-rigorous 510(k) system, and the agency has proposed redesignating and requiring full pre-market approvals for similar implants.