Coloplast A/S, a Danish medical device maker, confirmed earlier this month that it had reached a settlement agreement in principle with a group of lawyers representing transvaginal mesh lawsuit plaintiffs. While the company did not provide any further details on the settlements, Bloomberg.com had reported prior to the announcement that “people familiar with the accord” had put a dollar figure of $16 million on the agreement.
According to the Bloomberg.com, the agreement was struck in January and resolves some 400 claims that were filed on behalf of women who allegedly suffered serious vaginal mesh complications due to the company’s products. Each claimant is expected to receive around $40,000.
Coloplast is named in more than 1,300 transvaginal mesh lawsuits that are pending in a multidistrict litigation underway in U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia. Coloplast devices named in the complaints include the Novasilk-Synthetic Flat Mesh System and the Aris-Transobturator lines.
The cases included in the settlement represent “one major inventory” of lawsuits filed against Coloplast. During a hearing in January, attorneys for the company reported that it made “offers to five other groups and we are optimistic we will be able to reach agreement on resolution,”
Coloplast is not the only medical device maker whose pelvic mesh products have allegedly been the cause of painful vaginal mesh complications in women. According to court documents, a number of other companies are also named in lawsuits pending in the Southern District of West Virginia, including American Medical Systems, Inc., Boston Scientific Corp., C.R. Bard, Inc. and Ethicon, Inc. At last count, more than 40,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits had been filed in the jurisdiction.
According to Bloomberg.com, a number of those companies are involved in discussions aimed at settling claims. However, some companies, including Ethicon, have declined to participate in those talks.
These developments have caused some to speculate that the litigation is reaching a turning point.
“It appears that momentum is building for some type of global resolution as more of these vaginal-mesh cases settle,” Carl Tobias, who teaches product-liability law at the University of Richmond in Virginia, told Bloomberg.com via email.