Hernia Mesh Lawsuit
Hernia mesh lawsuits are being filed for patients who experienced severe complications associated with surgical hernia mesh after having hernia repair surgery. Hernia mesh is designed to provide support after laparoscopic hernia repair surgery. However, the surgical devices have been allegedly linked to serious complications, including infection, bowel obstruction, fistula, hernia recurrence and the need for revision surgery. Affected patients and their families may be able to file a lawsuit and pursue damages with the help of a defective medical device attorney.
For more information, contact Attorney Group today. We offer free, confidential, no obligation consultations. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a case we can connect you with an affiliated hernia mesh lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
Have You Seen a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Commercial?
You may have seen a hernia mesh lawsuit commercial on television and wondered whether you or a loved one have been affected by hernia mesh for hernia repairs and, if so, whether you are eligible to pursue a claim against the manufacturer or others. The purpose of this article is to provide you with additional information about surgical hernia mesh and hernia mesh lawsuits so that you have a better understanding of your options.
What is Hernia Mesh?
Hernia mesh, also known as surgical mesh, is a loosely woven sheet used to provide additional support to weakened or damaged tissue. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the majority of hernia mesh is made from synthetic or animal tissue. Surgeons often use hernia mesh to strengthen the surgical repair to reduce the potential for hernia recurrence.
In some cases, some hernia mesh devices have been linked to serious risks and complications, often leading to revision surgery for some patients. Hernia mesh devices linked to serious complications include:
The most common complications associated with hernia mesh include pain, infection, recurrence, adhesion, obstruction and perforation. According to the FDA, recalled hernia mesh products were most likely to cause bowel perforation and obstruction complications.
What is a Hernia?
A hernia is the bulging of an organ or tissue through a tear or opening in the abdomen. Hernias usually occur in the stomach or intestine.
Common types of hernias include:
- Inguinal – The most common type of hernia, occurring in the groin area.
- Umbilical – Hernia that occurs around the belly button.
- Incisional – Hernia that occurs through a scar.
- Hiatal – Type of hernia that occurs when a small opening in the diaphragm allows the upper part of the stomach to move up into the chest.
- Congenital diaphragmatic – Hernia that is present at birth, requiring surgery.
Hernias affect men, women and children, and can be quite common. Muscle weakness and heavy lifting can lead to the occurrence of a hernia, particularly in people who are born with weak muscles. Other factors that contribute to an increase in abdominal pressure, such as obesity, diarrhea, constipation or persistent coughing, can potentially cause a person to develop a hernia. Symptoms often include bulging, swelling or pain, and in some cases, may not be present at all.
Hernia Treatment Options and Hernia Repair Surgery
Most people are able to self-diagnose the presence of a hernia due to the symptoms associated with the condition. People who do not suffer complications or symptoms related to their hernias can sometimes decide to watch and wait with the guidance of their doctor or surgeon.
According to the FDA, surgery is the only treatment option available that can repair a hernia, however, many surgical procedures are optional for adults with inguinal hernias.
Surgical hernia repairs are common. According to the Surgical Clinics of North America, over one million hernias are repaired surgically each year in the United States. Approximately 800,000 repairs involve inguinal hernias.
Types of hernia repair surgeries include:
Laparoscopic –Several small incisions are made in the abdomen, allowing a surgeon to repair the hernia through the incision openings. Laparoscopic surgery can be performed with or without surgical mesh.
Open Repair – The surgeon makes an incision near the hernia, repairing the weakened muscle area. Open repair surgical procedures can be done with or without surgical mesh. Open repair that uses sutures without mesh is referred to as primary closure. Primary closure is used to repair inguinal hernias in infants, small hernias, strangulated or infected hernias.
Hernia Repair Surgery Complications
According to the FDA, complications related to hernia repair surgery — with or without the use of hernia mesh — include:
- Hernia recurrence
- Obstruction of the large or small intestine
- Abnormal connection between organs, vessels or intestines
- Fluid build-up at the surgical site
- Perforation of nearby tissues
Common complications that may develop after hernia repair surgery with hernia mesh include pain, infection, hernia recurrence, adhesion, bowel obstruction, mesh migration and mesh shrinkage.
Lauren A. on May 16, 2016
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Hernia Mesh Risks
Lawsuits allege that some manufacturers of hernia mesh failed to warn patients about serious complications and other risks associated with the devices. Some hernia mesh devices have been linked to infections, hernia repair failure, mesh protrusion or movement, bowel perforation or obstruction, other internal injuries and revision surgery to correct or remove the device.
In some cases, the manufacturers allegedly knew about or should have known about complications associated with the hernia mesh devices, but were negligent in determining the risks and possible adverse consequences of surgically implanting the hernia mesh.
Hernia Mesh Recall
Medical device manufacturers, including those who manufacture surgical hernia mesh, issue recalls to correct actual or potential safety issues with their devices. Since 2005, several manufacturers have issued recalls due to problems reportedly associated with their hernia mesh devices.
In December 2005, Davol Inc. began notifying customers of a Class I recall for a number of hernia repair devices, including the Bard Composix Kugel Mesh, because the memory recoil ring could break and potentially lead to bowel perforation and or chronic enteric fistula.
In August 2013, Atrium Medical issued a recall for approximately 1,500 units of Atrium C-Qur Edge Mesh (lot number 10405513 and higher). According to the FDA recall database, the devices were recalled because increased humidity occurring inside the pouch can potentially cause the coating on the mesh to strongly adhere to the inner handling sleeve if the device is exposed to excessive humidity for long periods of time.
In May 2016, Ethicon, Inc. (a Johnson & Johnson company) issued a Field Safety Notice notifying customers and patients of a voluntary recall of its Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh due to higher than average recurrence/reoperation rates after laparoscopic ventral hernia repair.
Is There a Hernia Mesh Class Action?
There is no hernia mesh class action pending as of April 2017. Hernia mesh lawsuit attorneys are doubtful that a class action will be certified for patients who are adversely affected by the device. Instead, if multiple hernia mesh lawsuits are filed against the manufacturers, alleging injuries and other damages caused by hernia mesh and similar medical devices, it is anticipated that these hernia mesh lawsuits will be consolidated for discovery and other pretrial proceedings.
When cases are consolidated in this way in federal court it is called multidistrict litigation (MDL), and on a state level it is known as a state court consolidated proceeding. MDLs are distinct from class actions, and it is generally agreed that consolidating cases instead of proceeding in a class action is a more efficient and effective way of handling claims arising from injuries caused by defective medical devices.
In most cases that proceed in an MDL or state court consolidated proceedings, after a certain period of time initial trials, also known as bellwether trials, take place. The purpose of these trials is for the parties to get an idea of the types of evidence and arguments that will made, as well as to see how juries will respond to the evidence and arguments. After a certain number of cases have been tried, the parties are in a better position to determine whether a case can be settled.
Have There Been Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Settlements?
Some hernia mesh lawsuits have settled early in the claims process. According to a report by Law360, C.R. Bard, and its subsidiary Davol Inc., agreed to settle over 2,000 lawsuits for $184 million in 2011 after plaintiffs claimed that the devices caused them to suffer significant injuries related to allegedly defective Composix Kugel hernia mesh patches. The company originally faced more than 3,000 lawsuits in state and federal courts, and after a couple was awarded $1.5 million in damages, Bard agreed to the settlement.
As of April 2017, it is not expected that there will be any additional hernia mesh lawsuit settlements. Instead, it is expected that hernia mesh lawsuits will be consolidated in federal court through an MDL.
Hernia mesh lawsuit attorneys note that the outcome of any case is never guaranteed and past results are not necessarily predictive of future outcomes.
Hernia Mesh Lawsuit News
- February 2017Atrium C-Qur hernia mesh lawsuit alleges that the device posed unreasonable risks as a result of the defective design of the medical device.
- February 2017Physiomesh hernia mesh lawsuit alleges that design problems led a woman to suffer severe complications after the device ruptured and caused her intestines to protrude through the mesh.
- January 2017Physiomesh hernia mesh lawsuit claims that the devices were defective and that the manufacturers failed to adequately warn of the dangers associated with the hernia repair devices.
- December 2016U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidates and centralizes all federal Atrium C-Qur hernia mesh lawsuits in the U.S. District of New Hampshire for pretrial discovery.
- November 2016Bard Composix hernia mesh lawsuit claims that the device perforated the plaintiff’s small intestine, leading to severe pain, subsequent hospitalization and revision surgery.
- October 2016In a study published by JAMA, researchers sought to better understand the long-term consequences associated with incisional hernia repair. Based on the results of the study, researchers indicate that the benefits attributed to hernia mesh are offset partly by complications associated with the devices.
- May 2016Ethicon issues a Field Safety Notice notifying patients of a voluntary product recall of Ethicon Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh.
- August 2013Atrium Medical issues a recall for approximately 1,500 units of Atrium C-Qur Hernia Mesh because increased humidity occurring inside the pouch can potentially cause the coating on the mesh to strongly adhere to the inner handling sleeve.
- July 2011C.R. Bard agrees to pay $184 million to settle over 2,000 lawsuits in which plaintiffs claimed that the Kugel herni mesh devices led to significant injuries.
- August 2010According to a report published by Law360, a jury awarded $1.5 million after a couple claimed that C.R. Bard and its subsidiary, Davol Inc., failed to warn patients about the unreasonable design of the Bard Composix Kugel hernia mesh patches.
- December 2005Davol Inc. began notifying customers of a Class I recall for a number of hernia repair devices, including the Bard Composix Kugel Mesh, because the memory recoil ring could break and potentially lead to bowel perforation and or chronic enteric fistula.
How a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Can Help
Medical device makers have a duty to provide safe products. If there are risks of harm associated with their products, they also must provide adequate warnings. If a medical device maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
People injured by defective hernia mesh may be eligible to recover money for:
Pain and Suffering
The families of those who have died may be eligible to recover money for funeral expenses and the pain that comes with losing a loved one.