Covidien agrees to settle some cases over transvaginal mesh devices
Medtronic Plc’s Covidien unit has agreed to settle some of the more than 11,000 claims involving its transvaginal mesh devices, which patients allege caused severe and painful side effects, according to a court filing.
The filing on Tuesday in West Virginia federal court did not disclose the amount of the settlement nor how many cases would be resolved under the confidential agreement with one of the plaintiffs’ law firms leading the litigation, Blasingame Burch Garrard & Ashley.
Covidien recorded a pre-tax charge of about $180 million for the third quarter of 2014 related to litigation over mesh products. Also last year, Medtronic announced it was acquiring Covidien for $42.9 billion in cash and stock.
As of June 1, Covidien mesh products were involved in approximately 11,300 filed and unfiled claims, according to a regulatory filing on Tuesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from Medtronic.
Two Covidien subsidiaries supplied mesh products to another medical-device manufacturer, and Covidien is indemnifying that company in some cases, according to the filing. Covidien also said it believed that company was responsible for indemnifying it for claims over the devices’ promotion and marketing.
While the filing did not name the manufacturer, C.R. Bard has disclosed in regulatory filings that two Covidien units supplied it with mesh products, and that Bard believed Covidien was responsible for defending or indemnifying it in approximately half of the more than 14,000 claims it faces.
Covidien, C.R. Bard and a lawyer for the settling plaintiffs did not immediately return requests for comment on Wednesday.
An estimated 100,000 lawsuits have been filed in U.S. state and federal courts against companies that make transvaginal mesh devices, alleging that poor design and substandard materials can cause side effects such as bleeding, infection and nerve damage.
Last year, Endo’s American Medical Systems was the first major manufacturer to resolve mesh litigation against it, saying it had set aside $1.6 billion to settle about 40,000 filed and unfiled claims.