A West Virginia federal judge yesterday dismissed nearly 150 product liability lawsuits brought against C.R. Bard (NYSE:BCR) over its pelvic mesh products, after an appeals court earlier this year upheld a $2 million verdict against the company in another suit.
Judge Joseph Goodwin of the U.S. District Court for Southern West Virginia, who’s overseeing the multi-district litigation involving thousands of lawsuits filed against Bard and other mesh makers, dismissed 149 of suits yesterday, according to court documents. The devices are designed to treat female urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) subsidiary Covidien, which supplied the mesh to Bard, was also included in the dismissals.
Goodwin dismissed the cases with prejudice, meaning they cannot be appealed, writing that “all claims have been compromised and settled,” according to the documents. Terms of the settlements were not disclosed; Medtronic subsidiary Covidien, which supplied the mesh to Bard, was also included in the dismissals.
In January, a federal appeals court upheld a $2 million loss for Bard in a suit brought over its Avaulta pelvic mesh. A jury awarded plaintiff Donna Cisson $250,000 in compensatory damages and $1.75 million in punitive damages back in August 2013; Bard, which recalled the Avaulta product in 2012, appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. The company argued that Goodwin was wrong to exclude evidence of the 510(k) clearance Bard won from the FDA for the mesh and wrong to allow the admission of a Material Safety Data Sheet for the polypropylene resin used to make the Avaulta mesh.
Bard also contended that Goodwin’s jury instructions were improper and that the punitive damages award was excessive. Cisson argued that Georgia’s split-recovery statute, awarding 75% of the punitive damages award to the state, violates the Takings Clause of the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The 4th Circuit appeals court upheld Goodwin on all counts, ruling that the lower court was right not to allow Bard to introduce the 510(k) as evidence and denying Cisson’s challenge to Georgia’s split-recovery statute.