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CR Bard In Deal To Settle Hernia Suits, Sees $184 Million 2Q Charge

By Jon Kamp Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Medical device maker C.R. Bard Inc. (BCR) has reached a $184 million agreement to settle most of the lawsuits involving faulty hernia repair products it started pulling from the market years ago. The company disclosed in a regulatory filing that it expects to take a charge for the settlement--$181 million after taxes--in the second quarter. Bard struck the agreement in principle with plaintiffs' law firms, and a certain number of plaintiffs need to sign off to make it official, the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing late Thursday. The company faced more than 3,500 federal and state lawsuits as of April 21, according to an earlier SEC filing. The suits involve certain sizes and lots of "Composix Kugel" products Bard voluntarily recalled starting in December 2005 because a component could break, potentially leading to issues including bowel perforations. The suits generally seek damages for personal injury, Bard said. The company said the agreement in principle covers the majority of the hernia product claims. But the second-quarter charge excludes any costs associated with pending class-action suits. As of late April, Bard said none of the class actions have been certified. There were two putative class-action suits in the U.S., including one that consolidates 10 previously filed U.S. class-action suits, four in Canada, Bard said in the April SEC filing. Shares of the Murray Hill, N.J., company rose 70 cents to $109.86 Thursday and were unchanged after hours. -By Jon Kamp, Dow Jones Newswires; 617-654-6728; jon.kamp@dowjones.com

Stock News for Bard C R (BCR)
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