More and more companies are settling lawsuits related to transvaginal mesh devices as women are continue to take action against the manufactures of these harmful products. Women experience ongoing symptoms and follow-up procedure are often needed to remove all or part of the device. In some cases, little can be done to restore life as they knew it. Through appropriate legal action, many women have been able to regain some of what they lost following their TVM procedures.
The following companies are embroiled in TVM litigation or have settled TVM cases out of court:
American Medical Systems
American Medical Systems recently agreed to settle the substantial majority of claims against it by agreeing to pay about $830 million toward the settlements. The individual awards will be based on the total number of claimants and the overall total of the award could change subject to specific details of the settlement. The company also plans to continue investing in educational activities that encourage doctors to discuss the risks of surgical mesh with patients prior to procedures.
Boston Scientific was recently ordered by a jury to pay $100 million to a women suffering from injury after use of the company's Pinnacle and Advantage Fit vaginal mesh device. Deborah Barba was awarded $25 million in compensatory damages and $75 million in punitive damages after she required multiple follow-up surgeries to correct problems with her mesh device. She expects to experience pain for the rest of her life.
Though the largest verdict to date for TVM cases, it was not Boston Scientific's first settlement. In November 2014, the company lost back-to-back trials after federal juries in Miami awarded plaintiffs $26.7 million and in West Virginia awarded plaintiffs $18.5 million. Two months prior, a Texas state jury awarded Martha Salazar $73 million, including $50 million in punitive damages.
Additionally, Boston Scientific agreed to pay about $119 million to resolve nearly 3000 additional TVM cases, while more than 25,000 are still pending.
In February, C.R. Bard, Inc. settled a TVM lawsuit just a short time before it went to trial in federal multidistrict litigation in West Virginia. Some of the terms of the settlement were confidential, but it did include a $2 million award. As a bellwether case, it was watched closely by other attorneys and clients in the midst of their own lawsuits.
The settlement was recommended following Bard's first trial that resulted in a $2 million award to a woman that used the company's Avaulta implant. The jury found the company was negligent by failing to warn the patient's doctor of potential risks of the device and by not adequately testing the device prior to use. The award included $250,000 in compensatory damages and $1.75 million in punitive damages. Bard lost its appeal when a judge upheld the ruling in January of this year.
Covidien announced on July 14th it will settle approximately 11,000 TVM lawsuits pending in federal court, making it the third company to recently enter into settlement discussions regarding its defective products.
In 2014, Coloplast agreed to pay $16 million to settle hundreds of TVM lawsuits. The settlement means approximately 400 plaintiffs will receive an average of $40,000 to compensate for their pain, suffering, and need for follow-up procedures after using Coloplast transvaginal mesh devices.
Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon unit are in the process of examining claims against its TVM products. The company faces more than 36,000 lawsuits in state and federal court. They have been notoriously slow to offer settlements and have publicly stated they want to “weed out” unworthy claims before agreeing to settle. In January it offered settlement to four plaintiffs for an undisclosed amount.
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