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Federal Judge Says Mesh-Implant Manufacturer Could be Liable for Billions

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U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin recently said that juries may find C.R. Bard, Inc. liable for billions of dollars in damages due to injuries consumers suffered from Bard's defective vaginal mesh-implants.

"I can't imagine a corporation facing potentially billions of dollars in verdicts wouldn't find it advisable to try to achieve a settlement for a much lesser sum," Judge Goodwin said at a recent hearing. Goodwin estimated that Bard could face billions of dollars in liability because of "rather large" verdicts that have already been handed down in the vaginal-mesh litigation.

Multiple juries have reached multi-million dollar verdicts against vaginal-mesh manufacturers such as Bard, Boston Scientific Corp., and Ethicon, Inc. Currently, over 50,000 women have filed lawsuits against mesh manufacturers. Bard alone faces over 12,000 lawsuits for the defective mesh implants. The implants, which were used to treat symptoms such as incontinence in women, have caused numerous dangerous side effects including pain, infections, erosion, and scarring. Many of these symptoms persist until the defective mesh is removed, but it is not always possible to successfully remove the implants. In some cases, patients must undergo multiple surgeries to remove the mesh, and even then, pieces of mesh may remain.

Judge Goodman's comments are a warning that these cases could bankrupt the company. Some commentators suggest that Judge Goodman's comments may pressure Bard to speed up settlement discussions with the women alleging that the mesh implants damaged their organs. In October of this year, Bard settled 500 suits for around $21 million in its first round of settlement resolution. Bard's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission have acknowledged that the company faces significant liability over the vaginal mesh claims.

If you or someone you know have been injured by a defective medical device, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 1-800-594-4884.

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