According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), approximately one million people undergo laparoscopic hernia repair surgery in the United States each year. You develop a hernia when the weakened muscles of the abdominal wall break through connective tissue to form a lump. Hernias can form in other organs as well. A congenital hernia means you were born with a weak abdominal wall while an acquired hernia is something that develops with age.
The use of hernia mesh products is currently the most common way to treat a hernia. The mesh holds back the weak muscles of the abdominal wall or other organ and allows the connective tissues to respond in a normal manner. Unfortunately, thousands of people had a defective surgical mesh implanted that caused serious complications with their health.
You may be eligible to file a hernia mesh lawsuit if you had serious complications from mesh surgery such as bowel obstruction, bowel perforation, or required revision surgery.
Common Hernia Mesh Complications
Patients have reported the following serious complications of the hernia mesh medical device to the FDA:
- Blood clots in connective tissue
- Buildup of fluid at the surgical site
- Chronic pain, especially in the abdominal wall
- Connective tissue erosion
- Hernia mesh revision surgery
- Hernia recurrence
- Mesh erosion
- Migration of surgical mesh
- Scar tissue
- Severe pain
The above list is only a portion of the potential serious complications associated with hernia mesh surgery. We encourage you to visit a doctor if you develop any new or worsening symptoms. Your doctor can then advise you whether your new health issue appears related to hernia mesh complications.
Do You Have Grounds to File a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit?
The first step in determining if you qualify to file a hernia mesh lawsuit is to inform your hernia mesh lawyer which of the following situations best describe the reason you developed complications from the surgical mesh.
Hernia mesh products with a defective design pose a danger because the party responsible for accurate design of the medical device committed some form of negligence. It is possible that hernia mesh manufacturers such as Johnson & Johnson and Atrium Medical Corporation did not know about the design defect before manufacturing the product. Unfortunately, surgical mesh manufacturers did know about the problems in some cases but deliberately concealed it from the public and the FDA.
Federal law holds hernia mesh manufacturers to a standard of strict liability. That means the surgical mesh manufacturer could face liability for causing your serious complications if the defective design posed a risk, the company manufactured it, and patients who suffered a hernia mesh injury used the medical device as intended.
The Kugel hernia mesh designed by C.R. Bard is an example of defective design of a medical device. As hernia mesh manufacturers, C.R. Bard attached a ring to its Kugel hernia mesh product to make insertion easier. However, the ring broke easily and migrated to other areas of the body to cause serious complications.
Your hernia mesh lawsuit claim falls into this category if hernia mesh manufacturers failed to construct the surgical mesh implants according to established protocol. The medical device designer is not at fault in this situation because it provided hernia mesh manufacturers with the correct design.
A line of C-QUR surgical mesh products manufactured by Atrium Medical fit the description of manufacturing defect because the hernia mesh manufacturers built hernia mesh products in unsanitary conditions. To achieve a successful outcome with a hernia mesh lawsuit based on manufacturing defect, you need to prove that the medical device had a significant defect when the manufacturer shipped it and that the manufacturing defect is what caused your serious complications.
Hernia mesh manufacturers bear responsibility for warning doctors of possible dangers for each type of hernia mesh. They must also include information regarding how to avoid serious complications. Marketing defects, also referred to as improper labeling or failure to warn, are some of the simpler cases to prove in hernia mesh litigation. Your hernia mesh attorney would track down packaging for the hernia mesh or hernia patch that demonstrates the lack of adequate warnings.
Had the hernia mesh manufacturers provided you and your doctor with proper information about the side effects and risks, you may have opted for a different treatment other than hernia mesh implantation. The FDA has indicated that several hernia mesh manufacturers downplayed serious side effects, including the possibility of additional surgeries in the future to correct problems caused by the initial surgical mesh implantation.
Hernia mesh lawsuits based on design, manufacturing, or marketing defect fall into an area of law known as product liability. Your hernia mesh attorney will determine which of these scenarios describes your hernia mesh case and proceed with preparing a lawsuit against the hernia mesh manufacturers responsible for your severe abdominal pain, hernia recurrence, bowel obstruction, or other serious complications.
Although not as common as hernia mesh cases involving a defective medical device, some patients develop serious complications due to surgical errors. The medical device implanted in them had no design, manufacturing, or marketing defects in these types of hernia mesh cases. Common surgical errors related to hernia mesh products include improper implantation, using the wrong size or type of surgical mesh, or failing to properly seal the surgical mesh before completing the procedure.
A good hernia mesh attorney may be able to demonstrate the connection between the surgeon’s negligent actions and the serious complications you later developed.
The Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Process
Because thousands of people now suffer from chronic pain and other health issues caused by this defective medical device, district courts have consolidated the hernia mesh cases into multidistrict litigation (MDL). While each party retains their own hernia mesh attorney with MDL, certain actions such as discovery and presentation of evidence take place as a group. MDL differs from a class action lawsuit where all parties share the same legal representation. The following hernia mesh manufacturers have faced the most hernia mesh lawsuits thus far:
- Atrium Medical Corporation (Maquet and Getinge Group) for most of Atrium Medical’s C-QUR mesh hernia mesh implant products
- Covidien (Medtronic, Parietex) for Parietex surgical mesh products, including Parietex Composite, Parietex Plug and Hernia Patch, and Parietex ProGrip
- C.R. Bard for 3DMax polypropylene surgical mesh, PerFix plug, and Marlex hernia mesh
- Davol (C.R. Bard) absorbable coated surgical mesh line of ST hernia patch products and the Composix Kugel patch
- Ethicon for the physiomesh and Prolene Hernia System
- Ethicon (Johnson & Johnson) for Proceed Surgical Mesh
- GoreTex for the DualMesh product
Please note that you may not see the hernia mesh manufacturer responsible for creating your defective medical device on this list.