Just yesterday, I was saying the vaginal mesh manufacturers were playing with fire with these lawsuits. Now a new update just hours later.
Yesterday, a jury agreed with me, ordering Bard to pay $2 million to one of over 5,000 women who have filed lawsuits against the medical device manufacturers claiming injury from a vaginal-mesh implant. The transvaginal mesh implant at issue in this case was the Avaulta.
The verdict was only $250,000 in compensatory damages. But the jury was apparently very mad at Bard for putting and leaving this product on the market. The punitive damages award was $1.5 million.
What does this tell us? It tells us that what was likely a very conservative jury – only $250,000 in pain and suffering and other damages – was not pleased with what happened to this woman to the point where they wanted to punish C.R. Bard for the sake of punishing them and sending them a message.
There are 5,000 of these cases. If each one settles for, let’s say, $500,000 a piece on average, that would mean that all of the manufacturers, J&J, Endo, Boston Scientific, Cook Medical, etc, would all pay a combined $2.5 billion. At this point, I think it would represent a steal for manufacturers of this device.
I can’t say this strongly enough: if they want to keep trying these cases, the final settlement price is going to go up and up. Look at what Bayer did with the Yaz cases. I think Bayer is keeping the settlement value down but not letting the cases go to trial when they know there is a pretty big chance they are going to get hit. But both victims and plaintiffs’ lawyers are reading this blog post and thinking, “There is great settlement value to these cases. We should hold out for more or try the case.”
With no chance to take a breath, C.R. Bard has another trial set for Monday. Let me make a prediction: this case settles for a lot of money OR another big verdict.