Lawsuits involving hernia mesh medical devices claim the products are failing at a rate higher than expected, and causing additional surgeries, infections, bowel obstruction, scar tissue and chronic pain.
What are the Allegations in a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit
Plantiff attorneys argue that several of the hernia mesh products have been defectively designed and are causing unnecessary repairs and injuries that would not have occurred if a substitute mesh product or sutures had been utilized.
Hernias often recur after being surgically repaired. However, if a hernia is fixed with sutures, rather than mesh, there generally are less complications.
Court documents also allege that the manufacturers of hernia mesh devices have been marketing and promoting the products for unnecessary use, such as the repair of smaller hernias that can be treated through laparoscopic surgery and stitches.
What are the Injuries Being Caused by the Hernia Mesh
The use of a mesh can be beneficial in the repair of certain hernias, and often result in a faster and long-term recovery compared to other techiniques. No current treatment for hernias is without potential problems.
Whether a mesh product or sutures are used to fix the hernia, the most common complaints include recurrence, long-term pain, infection, intestine blockage, and adhesion (tissues sticking together).
One of the big differences, however, is that a hernia mesh can migrate (move) or shrink, and then cause bowel perforations (holes), obstructions, and additional surgeries. This especially is true if the mesh product is faulty or contains a polypropylene coating.
Hernia Mesh Litigation Videos
Why is a Hernia Mesh Utilized
Each year approximately one million hernia surgeries are performed in the United States. As part of the repair, one of the devices often used is a hernia mesh. This product is meant to reinforce the area where the hernia is protruding in order to prevent reoccurring hernias.
Hernias are caused by abdominal pressure and an opening or weakness in a muscle or connective tissue. The abdominal pressure can force an organ (such as the bowel, bladder or intestine) or fatty tissue to move through the opening or weak area.
The pressure can result from various activities, such as lifting heavy objects, diarrhea, constipation, chronic coughing and pregnancy. Obesity makes the occurence more likely. Muscle weakness can result from poor nutrition, smoking, overexertion, or a prior surgery.
Symptoms of a hernia include abdominal pain, bulging of the skin, nausea, and vomiting.
There are several types of hernias: ventral (abdominal wall), inguinal (inner groin), femoral (upper thigh or outer groin), hiatal (upper stomach), incisional (from a surgical cut), umbilical (navel). If a hernia is not causing symptoms or complications, doctors generally will monitor it to see if it improves. Surgery is the only option for a permanent fix.
The incisional hernia occurs when there is a tear in the muscles of the abdominal wall, such as the site where a cut was made during a previous operation, for example a C-section.
A key concern with hernias is strangulation. This is where the blood supply to an organ is being blocked because the organ is pushing through the abdominal wall or tissue.
Manufacturers of hernia mesh products include: (i) Ethicon, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, which produces the Physiomesh; (ii) Atrium Medical Corporation, a division of MAQUET Medical Systems, which produces the C-QUR; and (iii) C.R. Bard, which produces the Composix and Ventralex.
Hernia Mesh Lawsuit News
Serious complications can occur if the surgical mesh or other devices break or become twisted or dislodged; a commonly used mesh product was recalled in 2006 by its manufacturer because of the potential for breakage inside patients, and a number of class-action suits have been brought by patients who experienced complications like bowel perforation and infection. To read more, click Wall Street JournalGrowing concerns in Canada over surgical mesh usage, recalls
Dr. John Morrison, president of the Canadian Hernia Society, warns that hernia mesh devices may be used too often given the growing questions of the harm being done to some patients. In some cases, he said, a mesh may not be required. To read more, click CTV News - Hernia Repair
Some Canadian hernia surgery patients have launched a class-action lawsuit against the maker of a now-recalled surgical mesh, claiming they weren't warned of its dangers. Patients are speaking out about a surgical device called Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh, which was recalled over concerns about higher rates of complications. To read more, click CTV News - Class Action
For additional news stories, click Levin Hernia Mesh News
How Much Compensation can be Recovered in a Hernia Mesh Claim
We will be seeking the following damages for you:
- Past and future medical expenses that result from any injuries caused by the hernia mesh.
- Past and future pain and suffering caused by the injuries, and the treatment and recovery process.
- Past and future wage loss, if any.
- Punitive damages, if appropriate.
Hernia Mesh Recall
In May 2016, Ethicon voluntarily withdrew the Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh after studies determined the medical device was more likely to result in a failed hernia repair when compared to other similar products.
Ethicon mailed an urgent field safety notice to hospitals and doctors telling them to immediately return any unused products, and to stop using the product. Ethicon admitted that the design of its hernia mesh was one of the causes of the failures.
Hernia Mesh Settlements
As of this time, there have been no large group settlements involving failures or injuries caused by the Physiomesh, C-QUR, or Ventralex mesh products. Generally, however, large groups of settlements do not occur until such time as a few cases are tried before a jury, and the manufacturer is able to more thoroughly understand its financial risk.
In 2011, C.R. Bard did reach a $184 million settlement involving 2,000 individuals who received Composix Kugel hernia mesh patches manufactured in 2004 & 2005 with defective recoil rings.