It’s the 1st time Bard has agreed to settle any of the lawsuits filed over its mesh, which is used to treat female urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
Bard revealed the settlement in a regulatory filing detailing its 2nd-quarter results, saying that it paid $259 million during the quarter to cover undefined "product liability matters" but staying coy on the amount of the settlement. At the time the company said it also agreed to settle a multi-district litigation case originally scheduled for trial last May.
In the larger settlement, Bard agreed to pay roughly $43,000 on average for each claim, Bloomberg Businessweek reported, citing "3 people familiar with the settlements who didn’t want to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the accords.”
Bard is gearing up for trials of 500 cases pending in a multi-district litigation overseen in the U.S District Court for Southern West Virginia, the agreement might indicate that Bard is ready to deal, law professor Carl Tobias of the University of Richmond in Virginia told the news service.
"With all those trials looming, I think Bard is signaling that they are willing to settle if plaintiffs are willing to accept $40,000-plus for their cases," Tobias said. "I expect we’ll see some more of these settlements in the near future."
A federal jury in the re-trial of a bellwether MDL trial slapped Bard with $2 million in damages after finding that its Avaulta pelvic mesh was defective in its design and that the company failed to adequately warn of its risks.
Bard is not alone in facing thousands – some 12,400 as of July 7, according to a regulatory filing – of lawsuits over its mesh products. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX), Endo Health Solutions (NSDQ:ENDP), Cook Medical and Coloplast (CPH:COLO B) are also busy in court.
A few weeks ago, Endo agreed to put to rest up to 20,000 claims and set aside $1.6 billion to cover the tab.
BCR shares closed up 2.4% yesterday at $151.49 apiece and were trading at $150.81 just after the open this morning.