Hernia mesh is a surgical mesh that is used to repair hernias when the intestines or fatty tissue protrude through a weak spot in the abdominal muscle wall. The mesh can strengthen the muscle and prevent a recurrence, but it can also cause serious complications. Some patients have suffered from bleeding, pain, perforated bowels, and other mild to severe symptoms and have required additional surgeries.
Many of those patients have now filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of that mesh, including Ethicon, Atrium, and Bard Davol. These companies made and sold hernia mesh that was later recalled because of issues that could cause complications. If you were the recipient of hernia mesh and have suffered later, you may have a case and should talk to an experienced lawyer to find out what your legal options are.
Hernia and Surgery with Hernia Mesh
A hernia occurs when part of the intestines or fatty abdominal tissue begins to stick out through the muscle wall of the abdomen or groin. A weakness in the muscle is the underlying cause, but there can be a number of reasons that weakness exists and that the tissue begins to protrude. Injuries, pregnancy, congenital defects, persistent and forceful coughing, lifting heavy objects and constipation are all potential contributing factors to the development of a hernia.
The treatment for a hernia is to repair the muscle weakness surgically. Simply stitching the muscle together is not always the best solution. Placing a piece of surgical mesh over the weak spot provides better strengthening of the tissue and helps hold the organs in better. Unfortunately there have been some issues with using surgical mesh. While some patients have no repercussions, others have suffered serious complications.
Why File a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit?
Complications from hernia mesh surgery can range from mild pain to severe and recurring health problems and even death in extreme cases. People who are filing hernia mesh lawsuits have done so because they suffered from one or more of these complications:
- Chronic abdominal or groin pain
- Hernia recurrence and a need for additional surgery
- Infection in the tissue around the mesh
- Scar tissue development that leads to adhesion, when tissue sticks together
- Blockage of the intestines
- Perforation of organs, such as the intestines
- Migration of the mesh
- Fistulas, openings that connect organs
- Fluid buildup at the hernia site
Some of the side effects are mild and cause minimal to no symptoms in patients, but others can lead to pain, disability, additional surgeries, and a lot of money in lost time at work and medical bills. These are the reasons that people are suing the makers of hernia mesh. They need compensation to cover these costs and also want justice for what they have suffered. Many of the mesh implicated has ultimately been recalled and the plaintiffs in the cases believe the companies that made the mesh provided faulty medical devices and failed to warn them of all the risks involved in using hernia mesh.
Existing Hernia MDL Lawsuits
Thousands of patients have already initiated lawsuits against makers of hernia mesh, and many of those cases have been consolidated into three major multidistrict litigations (MDLs):
- Bard Davol Hernia Mesh MDL. Over 100 lawsuits were filed over Bard Davol’s hernia mesh and these were consolidated into an MDL in 2018. Mesh made by this company has been recalled for issues that could lead to perforation of the bowels and the formation of fistulas.
- Atrium C-QUR Mesh MDL. Atrium’s C-QUR line of surgical hernia mesh has been recalled in the past because of packaging issues that caused harm to patients. The cases, numbering nearly 500, were streamlined into an MDL in 2016.
- Ethicon Physiomesh Flexible Composite. The hernia mesh line Physiomesh made by Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson, has been the subject of recalls for higher than excepted revision rates as recently as May of 2016. Thousands of cases over Physiomesh were combined into an MDL in 2017.
How to File a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit
If you have had hernia mesh used to treat a hernia, and you have suffered later symptoms and complications you may also want to file a lawsuit. First, it is important to see your doctor to address symptoms and make sure you get the treatment you need for complications that cause pain or that could get worse and cause lasting damage.
Keep all of your medical records throughout this process and find a good medical liability or products liability lawyer. This professional will have expertise in suing and winning against companies that make faulty products or fail to warn consumers of the risks of their products. A lawyer can take a look at your medical records and interview you to determine if you have a case.
If you do have a case your lawyer will help you take the steps necessary to file a lawsuit. There are rules and laws that govern such cases, like statutes of limitations, that you will need to follow in order to have a chance at a successful claim. A good lawyer will understand all the rules and will make sure you take the steps needed without losing your chance to file and follow through with a lawsuit.
Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Outcomes
There are thousands of cases in MDLs right now that are not yet settled, but there have also been some cases that have gone through the process and are finished. For instance, lawsuits against Bard Davol and the company’s Kugel Patch were consolidated into an MDL and it resulted in a large settlement for plaintiffs in 2011. The patients involved won a settlement of $184 million total. The mesh in question had been recalled in 2005 for causing fistulas and perforations of the intestines.
If you or someone you love has suffered because of any type of hernia mesh, you need to talk to your doctor and a good lawyer. An experienced lawyer can gather information and determine if your case has merit. He or she can then guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit or joining and MDL and will work to make sure you have the best chance of winning justice and needed compensation for medical costs.