C.R. Bard Agrees to Settle Most Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch Lawsuits

C.R. Bard Inc. is poised to settle most of the personal injury lawsuits involving the <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/Composix_Kugel_Mesh_X_Large_Patch">Composix Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch made by its Davol Inc. subsidiary. In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company said it had “reached agreements in principle” to settle the majority of Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch lawsuits, and will take a $184 million charge in the second quarter to cover the costs associated with such settlements.

The Kugel hernia patch saga dates back to 2005, when Davol issued a massive, Class I recall for the Kugel Mesh X-Large Patch. The recall came after the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) following reports of patch failure that resulted in serious injuries. In such cases, the recoil ring that opened the patches had broken, leading to bowel perforations and other serious problems. By February 2007, the Kugel Patch recall had been expanded twice to several other sizes of the device.

By its own account, C.R. Bard has since been named in more than 3,500 state and federal Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch lawsuits. Roughly 1,300 cases pending in federal courts throughout the U.S. have been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island. Another 1,700 lawsuits are pending in Rhode Island Superior Court.

Only two of the Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch lawsuits pending in the Rhode Island multidistrict litigation have gone to trial. In August 2010, the second trial ended in a $1.5 million judgment for plaintiffs. An earlier trial had been a win for C.R. Bard, with the jury finding that while the manufacturers were negligent in the design of the Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch, the plaintiff did not prove that his injuries were related to the negligent design of the device.

According to its SEC filing, C.R. Bard still could still face several class action lawsuits over the Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch. These include two in the U.S. and one in Canada. However, none of the class action lawsuits have been certified. The $184 million charge does not cover any costs that might be associated with the class action lawsuits.

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