Ethicon Inc. is facing a growing number of hernia mesh lawsuits after pulling Physiomesh® off the market. In 2011, C.R. Bard/Davol paid $184 million to settle 2,600 injury lawsuits involving recalled hernia mesh.
Do I have a Hernia Mesh Patch Lawsuit? If you or a loved one was injured by surgery complications of hernia mesh, contact our law firm immediately for a free case consultation. If you file a lawsuit, you could receive compensation for your injury, medical expenses, and more.
What is a Hernia?
Hernias are bulges on the body that occur when internal organs push through a weak spot in surrounding tissues, usually on the abdomen or groin.
What Causes Hernias?
Anything that increases internal pressure can cause a hernia. Examples include weight-lifting, pregnancy, obesity, chronic constipation, persistent coughing or sneezing, or straining to urinate due to an enlarged prostate.
Types of Hernias
- Inguinal hernia: inner groin
- Femoral hernia: outer groin or upper thigh
- Umbilical hernia: belly button
- Incisional hernia: scar from surgery
- Epigastric hernia: upper-middle part of abdomen
- Hiatal hernia: stomach pushes through diaphragm
Surgery to Repair Hernias
Surgery is the only way to permanently fix a hernia. Over 1 million hernia surgeries are performed in the United States every year, and 80% involve groin hernias.
Hernias can be fixed with minimally-invasive (laparoscopic) or open surgery. In both cases, the patient is anesthetized and the surgeon pushes the bulging tissue back inside the body. The hole is closed with stitches and sometimes a mesh patch.
Mesh Patches & Hernia Plugs
Hernia mesh patches, also known as “hernia plugs,” are used in more than 50% of all hernia surgeries. They are stitched inside the body to reinforce weak tissues and prevent the hernia from returning. They can be synthetic or non-synthetic. Some are eventually absorbed by the body, while others remain in the body forever.
Hernias have a high risk of turning after surgery. These “recurrent hernias” must be fixed with another surgery. Further surgeries have a lower chance of success. Hernia mesh can help prevent recurrence, but some types of mesh work better than others.
Long-Term Risks of Mesh
Hernia mesh reduces the risk of recurrence, but increases the risk of long-term side effects. In one recent study, less than 1% of non-mesh hernia surgeries had complications within 5 years, compared to 4-6% of mesh surgeries for incisional hernias.
What is the problem?
Mesh is a permanent implant that cannot be easily removed when complications occur. The problem is that scar-tissue rapidly grows over the mesh. After a few months, surgery to remove it is like trying to get gum out of your hair.
Adhesions After Hernia Surgery
In some cases, scar-tissue around the mesh causes internal organs to stick together. This is called an adhesion. It commonly involves the intestines and abdominal wall. Severe adhesions can cause a life-threatening bowel obstruction or intestinal perforation. They can also irritate nerves and cause chronic pain.
Side Effects of Hernia Mesh
- Chronic pain
- Infected hernia mesh
- Hernia returns and needs another surgery
- Adhesions (scar-like tissue that sticks organs together)
- Intestinal obstruction
- Organ perforation
- Foreign body reaction and inflammation
- Mesh erosion into nearby tissues
- Mesh shrinkage (contraction)
- Abscess (cyst filled with pus)
- Emergency surgery
Hernia Surgery Complications
General complications of hernia surgery and anesthesia include allergic reactions, bleeding, blood clots, infections, and death. Surgeon can accidentally cut blood vessels, organs, or cause nerve damage. Patients may develop numbness, pain, trouble urinating, or sexual dysfunction after hernia repair in the groin.
Composix Hernia Mesh Recalls
Composix Kugel Mesh patches were recalled three times between 2005 and 2007 due to the risk of bowel perforations and intestinal fistulas. In 2010, another recall was issued for counterfeit hernia plugs that were falsely labeled as C.R. Bard/Davol.
Hernia Mesh Lawsuits
Over 3,000 hernia patch lawsuits have been filed by people who were injured by products that were recalled by C.R. Bard and Duval. The lawsuits were consolidated in Rhode Island in 2007.
$184 Million Hernia Patch Lawsuit Settlement
In August 2010, a jury awarded $1.5 million to Christopher Thorpe, a man who developed an abscess an intestinal fistula. In 2011, C.R. Bard paid $184 million to settle 2,600 hernia patch lawsuits, for an average payout of $70,000 per case.
Ethicon Physiomesh Hernia Patch Pulled Off Market Worldwide
In May 2016, Johnson & Johnson stopped selling Ethicon Physiomesh® worldwide after two large studies in Germany and Denmark found higher rates of hernia recurrence and re-operation compared to similar mesh patches for ventral hernias.
Physiomesh Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Set for Trial in 2018
In April 2016, a hernia mesh lawsuit was filed against Ethicon by a man from Illinois. Physiomesh was used to plug his abdominal hernia in 2013. In 2015, he was diagnosed with two abscesses and an intestinal fistula, which needed another surgery.
The lawsuit is scheduled for trial on January 22, 2018 before Judge J. Phil Gilbert in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois — In re: Matthew Huff v. Ethicon Inc. — Case No. 3:16-cv-00368.
Florida Woman Files Ethicon Hernia Mesh Patch Lawsuit
In September 2016, a hernia patch lawsuit was filed by a woman from Florida who was implanted with Physiomesh in May 2014.
Unfortunately, she soon developed chronic pain, digestive problems, and a bowel obstruction. In July 2015, surgeons tried for two hours but could not remove all of the mesh because it was embedded in her intestines and abdominal wall.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida — In Re: Joanne Quinn v. Ethicon, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson — Case No: 6:16-cv-01663.
Class Action Lawsuit for Hernia Mesh Injuries
There is no class action lawsuit for hernia mesh injuries. Instead, thousands of individual lawsuits were centralized under one judge. Class actions are a great way to get refunds, but they are not designed to maximize payouts for people with very severe injuries. Instead, everyone in a class action shares the payout equally.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
Schmidt & Clark, LLP specializes in helping people who were injured by defective medical devices seek compensation for their pain and suffering, medical expenses, and more. We have experience filing hernia mesh lawsuits, and are now focusing on Physiomesh lawsuits against Ethicon.
Not Sure What Type of Mesh You Have?
It is okay if you do not know what type of mesh you have. That information should be in your medical records at the hospital where you had surgery. Our lawyers can review your case for free and help you find out if you qualify to join a lawsuit.
Do I have a Hernia Mesh Patch Lawsuit?
The Defective Medical Device Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Free Hernia Patch Lawsuit Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one was injured by surgery complications of hernia mesh, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit, and our lawyers can help.
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