The settlement resolves about a fifth of the outstanding suits related to the implants, which bolster sagging organs and treat incontinence, according to Bloomberg, which cited “5 people familiar with the accord.”
The plaintiffs would receive about $67,000 per case, according to the unnamed sources. Although more than the $43,000 average Bard agreed to in a smaller deal last year, it’s much less than the $2 million awarded by a West Virginia jury in 2013.
Judge Joseph Goodwin of the U.S. District Court for Southern West Virginia, who is overseeing the multi-district litigation involving thousands of pelvic mesh lawsuits, has urged Bard to consider large-scale settlements.
“The Bard folks finally decided to listen to Judge Goodwin and settle before they get hit with a bunch of multimillion-dollar verdicts that could bankrupt the company,” Carl Tobias, who teaches product-liability law at Virginia’s University of Richmond, told Bloomberg.
Murray Hill, N.J.-based Bard added $337 million to its $660 million reserve for product-liability cases while acknowledging it had resolved 2,800 cases over “Women’s Health Products,” according to a July 24 SEC filing.
“There’s still a quite a lot of liability given they’ve only settled about a third of the cases, but I think the company is well enough financially to not have an issue settling these cases,” Jason Wittes, an analyst with Brean Capital, told the news service via email.
“We’ve been talking,” but haven’t reached a deal with Bard regarding other cases that are still pending, plaintiffs’ attorney Joe Rice added.