While it is not official, Bloomberg is reporting that Coloplast A/S, one of the smaller manufacturers of transvaginal meshes, is said to be willing to settle a number of lawsuits for $16 million.
Three different individuals tipped the news outlet, but none were reportedly authorized to speak.
The Danish company will offer about $40,000 to each of 400 claimants. There are 1,356 product liability lawsuits filed in a federal court in West Virginia naming Coloplast, which does not include those actions filed in state courts. There is no word on what will happen to the remaining cases.
On February 27, the court entered Pretrial Order #52 that appoints a lien resolution administrator. Those services are necessary to make sure any claims pending for medical services such as Medicare and Medicaid or pending doctor’s charges are repaid out of the settlement amount.
For those women who have had their lives damaged by migrating and infected polypropylene mesh, who have had numerous removal surgeries and who continue to suffer nerve damage and are in chronic pain, that amount is hardly enough to regain their lives.
Generally there has to be agreement among the majority of the claimants to the terms of any settlement or it will not be completed.
Other manufacturers of transvaginal meshes with lawsuits filed in the same federal court include Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson, American Medical Systems (a unit of Endo Health), C.R. Bard, Boston Scientific and Cook.
While no settlement committees have been appointed by the court, unofficially settlement talks are reported to be underway. For those women with implants made by Ethicon (J&J), which represents the highest number of cases at 16,897 as of this writing, the healthcare giant has refused to discuss settlements vowing to try each case on its own merits.
That is what it said about its DePuy metal hip prosthesis before it offered a settlement of several billion dollars which is expected to grow. Not to worry, the company posted gains of $71 billion in 2013 alone.
There are 53,653 lawsuits consolidated in Charleston, West Virginia in what’s called multidistrict litigation which allows the actions to be coordinated in pre-trial discovery by one federal judge. The purpose of an MDL is supposed to be a swifter resolution for the injured parties, but many women remain in chronic pain with lost jobs, husbands and in some cases homes. For them, some resolution can’t come soon enough.