Because harm to victims from a defective medical device can be significant, legal options exist to protect them. A settlement totaling $400 million was recently agreed to by Endo International Plc related to vaginal mesh implants. The lawsuits alleged that the vaginal mesh implants eroded inside women the implants were inserted into, leaving them in pain. The implants were designed to support pelvic function and help with incontinence. According to Endo, it has settled "substantially all" of the claims against it. The settlement will reportedly resolve 10,000 claims at a cost of about $48,000 each.
Earlier this year, the company agreed to settle 20,000 claims involving the implants, blamed for organ damage in women, for $830 million. According to Endo's leadership, it has added $400 million to the $1.2 billion it has reserved for liability related to the devices. Previously, Endo paid $54.4 million to settle earlier vaginal mesh claims last year. In the United States in 2010, 70,000 vaginal mesh implants were inserted into women by health care providers. According to reports, Endo still faces 5,000 remaining lawsuits related to the implants. Some of those claims have been consolidated.
When a significant number of people have been harmed by a defective product, medical device, or drug, mass tort lawsuits can sometimes be useful to allow a group of injured people to recover damages for similar harms suffered. Lawsuits aimed to redress consumer injuries seek to ensure consumer protection and safety. Victims of harm from medical devices, or other defective products, may suffer debilitating injuries and the emotional and financial harm that can accompany them.
Because of the desire to protect consumers, the legal system seeks to protect consumers that are harmed and help ensure product safety. Understanding this process may be helpful to both injured consumers and companies that manufacture a variety of products.