C.R. Bard Inc. (NYSE:BCR) will pay $184 million to settle most of the lawsuits against subsidiary Davol Inc.’s hernia repair products.
Through late last year, more than 2,700 plaintiffs had filed suit in either federal or state courts pursuing product-liability claims for personal injuries, with most of those cases since transferred to the U.S. District Court for Rhode Island.
Warwick, R.I.-based Davol Inc. subsidiary, began a recall of its Composix Kugel hernia patches in December, 2005, after receiving reports that the device broke apart inside several patients.
A recoil ring used to secure the mesh patch to tissue perforations separated and, in some cases, began to move throughout the abdomen, damaging internal organs. Many other patients reported severe pain or other complications following repair surgery.
Bard refuted most of the claims, saying it acted responsibly and began the recall voluntarily as soon as troubles with the Composix patch surfaced. But the company also butted heads with insurance carriers, some of which balked at paying claims against Bard’s product-liability policies.In January 2010 Bard announced that an unnamed insurance carrier agreed to again cover potential claims resulting from ongoing litigation. In exchange for securing coverage up to a non-disclosed limit, Bard agreed to quit seeking payment of money it claimed the insurance company owed and will instead take a $25 million, pre-tax write-off.
In August 2010, a North Carolina couple won $1.5 million in its lawsuit against Bard.