The number of hernia mesh lawsuits filed across the country has reached the thousands and continues to grow each month. While mesh hernia repair is still widely accepted, some of the early meshes manufactured by Atrium, C.R. Bard, and Ethicon have become the subject of litigation after repeated failures.
More than one million hernia repair surgeries are performed in America each year. Hernias can be caused by obesity, genetics, diarrhea, constipation, persistent coughing, sneezing, or (most commonly) by lifting heavy objects. Some surgeries can be done with sutures alone, but most cases involve mesh reinforcement.
Hernia Mesh Lawyers
A consultation with experienced hernia mesh lawyers at Showard Law Firm should be your next step after seeking adequate medical care. At this point, you have suffered a great deal – not just physically, but emotionally and financially. Pursuing a hernia mesh lawsuit is one of the most powerful ways to fight back against unsafe medical device manufacturing, the FDA’s flawed 510(k) clearance process, and aggressive marketing strategies that place profits over patients. While suing in civil court cannot undo the damage done, the compensation you receive will ensure you can afford the best possible medical care for years to come and helps prevent similar injuries from happening to others.
A one-on-one consultation begins with a phone call and costs you nothing. Payment for legal services comes out of the final settlement or jury award, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from seeking representation.
Hernia Mesh Recall
Hernia mesh has a long history of failure. The earliest types of mesh were durable with a low risk for infection, but the flexibility and stickiness increased the risk of bowel adhesion and obstruction. The next-generation of composite mesh contained a special coating to reduce adhesion, but the effects were limited to 30 days. Further, the coatings were linked to autoimmune responses, and this type of mesh appeared more likely to migrate, causing obstructions, perforations, and organ failures. By nature, mesh is subject to infection, hematoma and seroma formation, and degradation.
Despite the many adverse events reported in the FDA database, oversight officials have been slow to order product recalls. Most recalls were done quietly by the manufacturer in response to alarming internal investigations.
A few past recalls for mesh used in hernia repair include:
- Ethicon’s Proceed Hernia Mesh – first voluntarily recalled by Ethicon in January 2011 for “potential delamination” and voluntarily recalled again in 2016 when a higher risk of recurrence and revision surgery were identified.
- Kugel Hernia Mesh – voluntarily withdrawn from the market in October 2006 when breakage was discovered.
- Covidien Surgipro Mesh – voluntarily recalled in December 2010 when sterility was compromised during packing.
- C-Qur Hernia Mesh – recalled in 2013 after FDA audits revealed quality control issues
Please note that your hernia mesh does NOT need to be involved in a recall to result in a successful lawsuit.
Hernia Mesh Complications
Hernia repair with mesh has been performed since 2005. However, adverse events were reported by more than a third of hernia mesh surgery patients, according to the FDA. Most patients went to the hospital after experiencing fever, nausea, severe abdominal pain, abnormal bowel movements, and vomiting.
Hernia mesh complications may include:
- Autoimmune response
- Bowel obstruction
- Dropped foot
- Fistula development
- Infection and sepsis
- Mechanical failure
- Mesh rejection
- Mesh shrinkage and erosion
- Nerve entrapment
- Organ perforation and failure
- Pain intestinal issues
- Psychological problems
- Scar tissue development
- Seroma fluid buildup
- Sexual dysfunction
- Vomiting feces
Hernia mesh complications are debilitating and often permanent. “It just takes over every aspect of your life and the pain is unbearable,” one patient reports. “I breathe like I am going through childbirth. It is the only way to get through it,” she adds. The companies that released these defective medical devices onto the market with little to no warning of the risk may be held liable for patient injuries, thus enabling lawsuit plaintiffs the ability to recover compensation and some measure of comfort.
Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Settlement Amounts
We are still waiting for many of the settlements and jury awards to be determined, as this litigation is ongoing. As of November 2018, there are 1,513 pending lawsuits in MDL 2782 for Ethicon Physiomesh Flexible Composite Hernia Mesh. The first bellwether trial is tentatively slated for December 2, 2019. Another 867 lawsuits are pending in MDL 2753 for Atrium Medical Corp’s C-Qur Mesh. With early discovery set for 2019, we can expect to see the first bellwether trial by February 20, 2020 if there are no settlement negotiations in the meantime. Atrium has allegedly set aside at least $200 million to deal with the cost of litigation. Additionally, 209 lawsuits in MDL 2846 are pending for Davol, Inc./C.R. Bard Inc. Polypropylene Hernia Mesh.
In 2014, similar hernia mesh settlements for Kugel averaged $70,000 per plaintiff, with a separate trial resulting in a $1.5 million verdict. While this shows us what might be possible with a hernia mesh lawsuit, the amount of compensation recovered in MDL proceedings depends upon the unique circumstances of each case.
Damages in hernia mesh litigation may include:
- Compensatory damages – Reimbursement for past, present, and future medical expenses, including surgeries, hospital stays, medication, doctor’s visits, testing, assistive devices, disability-related home modifications, lost wages, and loss of future earning potential.
- Pain and suffering – A calculation (usually a multiplier of the total compensatory damages) is designed to compensate victims for the physical pain, discomfort, scarring, and physical limitations they have suffered.
- Loss of consortium – Spouses can petition for compensation to cover the deprivation of affection, comfort, and normal relations as a result of the medical issues caused by defective mesh products.
- Punitive damages – Additional punishment may be added if the defendant acted with reckless negligence that inflicted intentional harm.
Factors that may influence the amount you receive may include:
- The type of hernia mesh used – Were there known problems with your type of mesh, as evidenced by a history of FDA recalls, voluntary removal from the market, alarming research, or adverse event reports?
- The severity of injuries sustained – Did your injuries require multiple surgeries or prolonged hospital stays? Did you sustain permanent damage?
- The amount of medical bills – Did you pay for doctor’s visits, diagnostic testing, hospitalization, medication, surgery, or assistive devices?
- The disturbance to quality of life – Does your injury impact your daily life and reduce your ability to work? Are you no longer able to pursue a life-long pursuit that brought you great happiness?
Contact the hernia mesh lawyers at Showard Law Firm to explore your full set of legal options, free of charge and without obligation. Our clients pay nothing for legal services unless compensation is won on their behalf.
Additional Hernia Mesh Injury Lawsuit Resources:
- UCSF – Inguinal Hernia, https://general.surgery.ucsf.edu/conditions–procedures/inguinal-hernia.aspx
- Stonybrook Surgery – Hernia Mesh, https://www.stonybrookmedicine.edu/patientcare/surgery/patient-care/clinical/general-surgery/patient-education/faqs-about-mesh-in-hernia-repairs
- JPML – Pending Dockets (11/15/18), https://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/Pending_MDL_Dockets_By_District-November-15-2018.pdf
- NHBR – Filings Gain Momentum in Hernia Mesh Litigation, https://www.nhbr.com/July-20-2018/Filings-gain-momentum-in-hernia-mesh-litigation/
- FDA – Hernia Surgical Mesh, http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/HerniaSurgicalMesh/default.htm
- ABC News Australia – Hernia Mesh Patient Says Chronic Pain Makes Life a Living Hell, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-31/hernia-mesh-patient-says-chronic-pain-makes-life-a-living-hell/10051774