C.R. Bard, the maker of the Kugel mesh hernia patches, has settled 2,600 lawsuits for a total of $184 million. Approximately 3,600 suits were consolidated in a MDL in a Rhode Island federal court and also centralized in a Rhode Island state court. The suits alleged that Davol, a Rhode Island division of New Jersey-based C.R. Bard, manufactured hernia patches that contained a plastic ring that could buckle or break off inside patients. The mesh would then ball up or migrate, leading to perforation, infections and bowel injuries and even death in some cases. Bard issued separate recalls of the product in December 2005, March 2006 and January 2007.
After the cases were consolidated, two bellwether trials were held, resulting in one Defense verdict and a $1.5 million Plaintiffs’ verdict. In February, U.S. District Court Judge Mary M. Lisi denied the Defendant’s motion for a new trial in the second case, upholding the verdict. The majority of the filed cases have now been settled, leaving approximately 1,000 Plaintiffs remaining in this litigation.
Only the total amount of the settlement and the number of suits involved have been publicly disclosed for purposes of Securities and Exchange Commission filings because Bard is a public company. Each of the lawyers and firms involved in the settlement negotiated separately for their respective clients. Therefore, each settlement is different and in each case the amount to be paid to the Plaintiff is confidential.
There are currently 100,000 recalled devices that have been put in people’s bodies since 2001. There is a certain amount of uncertainty as to when the devices currently inserted in bodies will break. Don Migliori, a partner at the Motley Rice firm in Providence, R.I., was co-lead counsel and liaison counsel for the Plaintiffs in the MDL and in the state court suits. He will remain as the court’s liaisons in the cases that remain active. It appears that Don has done a very good job for the victims in this litigation.
Source: Lawyers USA Online
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