Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is making the 1st move in settling thousands of lawsuits from women who claim the company’s vaginal-mesh inserts caused organ damage and serious pain, paying $120 million to settle the 1st 2,000 to 3,000 suits, according to Bloomberg.
The company still faces over 40,000 suits related to vaginal meshes, and its unsure how much the company will owe for each case, as average payouts will vary.
“From time to time we have appropriately agreed to resolve some cases. We will not discuss the terms, nor discuss our ongoing litigation strategy,” J&J spokesperson Ernie Knewitz told Bloomberg in an emailed statement.
The settlement is the 1st for J&J and its Ethicon unit, though the company has reportedly set aside an undisclosed reserve for those claims.
Earlier this month, A federal appeals court upheld a $2 million loss for Bard in a product liability lawsuit 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, in 1 of the 1st of thousands of federal lawsuits to go to trial over pelvic mesh implants. The devices are designed to treat female urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
Earlier in January the FDA, prompted by a significant increase in complaints about a type of surgical mesh used to treat pelvic organ prolapse in women, put the product under its most stringent level of review.
The federal safety watchdog said it re-classified the mesh from Class II to Class III and will require makers to go through its pre-market approval process for transvaginal POP procedures. The moves do not apply to mesh used in other indications, including stress urinary incontinence and abdominal POP repair, the FDA said.