Chronic pain, life-threatening infections, and organ perforation have been linked to hernia mesh implants, raising grave concerns over product safety. Given the widespread use of hernia mesh in surgical repairs, it’s no surprise that 2020 is shaping up to be a landmark year for hernia mesh litigation brought by plaintiffs who claim the products are dangerous and patently defective.
Hernia mesh patches made of polypropylene– a material once thought to be biocompatible– triggers the body’s immune system to go into attack-mode, treating the device as a foreign body. This intense inflammatory response has also occurred in patients implanted with Atrium’s C-QUR™ polypropylene with an Omega 3 fatty acid coating.
Common adverse events
According to the FDA, common adverse events following hernia repair with mesh are pain, hernia recurrence, infection, adhesion, and blockage of the large and small intestine. Various manufacturers of surgical mesh are facing allegations that their devices can migrate and contract, causing irreparable damage to neighboring tissues and organs.
Thousands of hernia mesh lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers like Atrium Medical Corporation, Bard, Ethicon, Covidien, and other companies. There are several multidistrict litigations with bellwether cases that are slated to begin trial in the coming weeks and months.
Timeline of hernia mesh litigation against Ethicon & Atrium
Below is a brief snapshot of hernia mesh lawsuits over the past 20 years:
2000: Medical device manufacturers roll out new lines of non-absorbable mesh that remains in the body indefinitely. Surgeons begin to favor implanting permanent hernia mesh devices over absorbable versions.
2006: The FDA approves Atrium’s C-QUR mesh through the 510(k) process, which allows a new product to bypass safety testing as long as it is “substantially equivalent” to a legally marketed device.
2010: Ethicon, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, launches Physiomesh for hernia repair, after receiving FDA approval.
2015: The FDA filed for a permanent injunction against the parent company of Atrium Medical Corporation, the maker of C-Qur hernia mesh, citing the company for failing to address safety violations.
2016: More than a dozen Atrium C-Qur hernia mesh claims from around the nation were consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) for more efficient pretrial processes.
2016: Ethicon voluntarily pulls Physiomesh products off the market after evidence suggests the devices are defective and prone to causing injury.
2017: A federal multidistrict litigation is created for all Physiomesh lawsuits in the Northern District of Georgia.
2018: The FDA logs hundreds of adverse event reports regarding various types of surgical mesh, including C-QUR and Physiomesh.
2020: Bellwether cases for the Atrium C-QUR hernia mesh MDL were scheduled to begin in May 2020, but due to the coronavirus shutdown are expected to be pushed back to 2021. The first bellwether trial for the Physiomesh MDL will start in November, 2020, and the second in February, 2021. Initial trials involving the Bard Composix Kugel Hernia Patch (MDL 2846) will be heard starting in September of 2020.
Free hernia mesh lawsuit evaluation
The outcomes of these bellwether trials may impact the hundreds of other hernia mesh lawsuits that have similar allegations and injuries. If you or a loved one suffered complications from hernia mesh, contact Showard Law Firm to discuss your rights and legal options. The consultation is free, and our services are offered on a contingency-fee-basis.
- US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia In RE: Ethicon Physiomesh Flexible Composite Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation http://www.gand.uscourts.gov/17md2782
- US District Court District of New Hampshire, Atrium Medical Corp. C-Qur Mesh Products Liability Litigation http://www.nhd.uscourts.gov/atrium-medical-corp-c-qur-mesh-products-liability-litigation
- US District Court for Southern District of Ohio, MDL 2846, IN RE: Davol, Inc./C.R. Bard, Inc., Polypropylene Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation, https://www.ohsd.uscourts.gov/multidistrict-litigation-2846
- FDA, Hernia Surgical Mesh Implants https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/implants-and-prosthetics/hernia-surgical-mesh-implants