Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Facts
Defendants
Ethicon, a Johnson & Johnson company; Atrium Medical; Bard Davol; Covidien
Injuries
Wrongful death, infections, organ damage, autoimmune problems, adhesions, bowel obstructions
Number of Cases
25,906 pending cases in multidistrict litigation
Top Settlement
$184 million settlement; $4.8 million verdict

Latest Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Updates

Latest Updates: As of May 2024, there are 25,906 hernia mesh lawsuits pending in four separate multidistrict litigations. Litigation appears to be winding down and Drugwatch’s legal partners are not currently taking new hernia mesh lawsuit cases.

The first bellwether trial — or test trial — in hernia mesh litigation resulted in a win for the defense manufacturer C.R. Bard. The second bellwether trial ended with a modest $255,000 verdict in favor of the plaintiff. The jury awarded the plaintiff a $500,000 verdict in the third bellwether trial.

In August 2022, the jury in a state case in Rhode Island against Becton Dickinson, a C.R. Bard subsidiary, delivered a $4.8 million verdict for plaintiff Paul Trevino. Attorneys have said this large jury verdict could play a part in pushing for a global settlement.

Timeline of Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

  • May 2024:
    The judge gave parties in the Bard MDL until the end of this month to decide how they will proceed with settlement proceedings. Parties in the Covidien MDL have until May 2025 to pick the first bellwether test trial cases.
  • April 2024:
    Global settlement talks are ‌ongoing, but there have been no public updates.
  • March 2024:
    Mediation talks began for a potential settlement in the C.R. Bard mesh cases, but so far there has been no resolution.
  • February 2024:
    Plaintiffs filed nearly 200 new hernia mesh lawsuits against C.R. Bard in January. This is the largest of the four hernia mesh MDLs currently active.
  • January 2024:
    New cases continued to be filed while trials in existing cases remained pending.
  • December 2023:
    Ethicon and J&J quietly settled 224 hernia mesh cases in multidistrict litigation.
  • November 2023:
    A federal court jury in Ohio awarded plaintiff Aaron Stinson of Maine a $500,000 verdict in the latest bellwether hernia mesh trial against Bard.
  • October 2023:
    The third bellwether trial against C.R. Bard was scheduled to begin in U.S. Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
  • April 2023:
    Several cases were dismissed from the Ethicon MDL, which remained open despite a confidential settlement in September 2021.
  • March 2023:
    The judge rescheduled the third hernia mesh bellwether trial, Stinson v. C.R. Bard, et al., from May 2023 to Oct. 16, 2023.
  • April 2022:
    A jury awarded Antonio Milanesi a $255,000 verdict against C.R. Bard in the second bellwether trial.
  • December 2021:
    The judge granted a Motion to Establish a Qualified Settlement Fund in the Atrium MDL. The settlement terms were confidential, but Atrium reportedly set aside $66 million.
  • September 2021:
    Ethicon agreed to a confidential global settlement.
  • August 2021:
    The first hernia mesh bellwether trial ended in a win for defendant C.R. Bard.
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The hernia mesh lawsuits pending in the federal MDLs focus on various recalled devices made by manufacturers Atrium, Bard, Ethicon and Covidien.

Devices Named in Hernia Mesh Lawsuits
Atrium C-Qur Mesh
  • Number of cases: 2,414
  • Status of lawsuits: Active, but some claims may be subject to a confidential settlement agreement.
Bard Davol Polypropylene Hernia Mesh
  • Number of cases: 22,256
  • Status of lawsuits: Active. The fourth trial is scheduled for April 2024.
Ethicon Flexible Composite Physiomesh
  • Number of cases: 55
  • Status of lawsuits: Active, but some claims may be subject to a confidential settlement agreement.
Covidien Progrip and Symbotex Hernia Mesh
  • Number of Cases: 1,181
  • Status of lawsuits: Active. Bellwether test trials could begin in 2025.

“Ethicon Physiomesh cases are settled, but it wasn’t a global settlement. There have been millions of dollars in confidential settlements in the Bard litigation, but it’s still going. Covidien is still going. Lawyers are still signing these cases,” noted Trent Miracle, a trial attorney and pharmaceutical litigation expert with the law firm Flint Cooper.

Moshe Horn
Moshe Horn Mass Torts & Asbestos Attorney

Award-winning lawyer Moshe Horn of Simmons Hanly Conroy answers important questions about hernia mesh litigation.

What can cause a hernia mesh device to fail, and why do some meshes fail more than others?

A defective mesh design is what causes the hernia mesh to fail. Failure can occur for various reasons including, but not limited to: Mesh shrinkage, mesh migration, folding or balling of the mesh, mesh protective coating not preventing adhesions, as well as other issues.

What is the status of the hernia mesh litigation?

Litigation is ongoing against C.R. Bard, Davol Inc., in the MDL in the Southern District of Ohio as well as Rhode Island state court. Litigation against Covidien is ongoing in Massachusetts state court.

What can patients expect if they contact your firm to pursue a hernia mesh claim?

You can expect to be asked when and where you had your mesh implant and removal surgery. We’ll also ask if it is possible for you to obtain the medical records for your surgeries and treatment. It’s typically faster for patients to obtain their records than it is if we do a records request from the relevant facilities.

We have handled over a thousand hernia mesh claims, so we are well-positioned to investigate and potentially litigate your claim.

Why Are People Filing Hernia Mesh Lawsuits?

People are filing hernia mesh lawsuits because they claim the hernia mesh used to treat their condition failed. This led to severe injuries and complications requiring revision surgery.

Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Claims
  • Defective product design
  • Defective product manufacturing
  • Improper product labeling that failed to warn patients and doctors about the risk of hernia mesh failure and complications
  • Malpractice committed by the plaintiff’s doctor who implanted the faulty mesh

Patients are suing hernia mesh manufacturers for damages. This includes compensation for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering and loss of quality of life. Many claimants are dealing with ongoing problems caused by the hernia mesh implant that revision surgery could not fix.

Complications Named in Lawsuits

People who filed lawsuits had hernia mesh complications so severe they needed at least one additional surgery to fix their problems. Some required more. And many people claim their complications continued after revision surgery.

Hernia mesh complications include:
  • Adhesion: Mesh implant sticks to other organs and tissue.
  • Bowel Obstruction: The hernia mesh sticks to the intestines or moves around in the body, blocking the bowel.
  • Delayed or Long-Term Complications: Chronic pain, adhesions or hernia recurrence may occur years after the original surgery.
  • Groin or Testicular Pain: A burning sensation at the surgery site caused by pinched nerves after hernia mesh surgery.
  • Hernia Recurrence: The hernia may return if the mesh fails. It's a common complication of hernia surgery.
  • Infection: Chronic inflammation around the hernia mesh may lead to infection.
  • Mesh Failure: The implant causes problems, such as pain and hernia recurrence, and must be removed.
  • Migration: Hernia mesh moves from the initial surgery site to other parts of the body.
  • Pain: If pain lasts months or years after hernia mesh surgery, it may lead to nerve damage or chronic inflammation.
  • Perforation of Organs or Tissues: The hernia mesh punctures other body parts during migration.
  • Revision Surgery: One or more surgeries are needed, depending on the severity of complications, to remove faulty hernia mesh.
  • Seromas: Pockets of fluid build up around the surgery site.

If you’ve experienced hernia mesh complications and your doctor recommended revision surgery, you may be able to file a hernia mesh lawsuit.

Who Qualifies To File a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit?

You may be eligible to file a hernia mesh lawsuit if you had hernia mesh surgery and experienced serious complications, especially if you received mesh made by Ethicon, Atrium, Covidien or Bard Davol.

It is important to contact an attorney right away to make sure your lawsuit is filed on time and to discuss the details of your case. There are a few basic eligibility requirements that may vary depending on the patient or law firm accepting cases.

Attorney Daniel Nigh details who is eligible to make a hernia mesh claim.

Before you file a lawsuit, make sure you know the brand and manufacturer of your mesh implant. Your medical records should list this information. If you can’t get your records, a lawyer may be able to help you find them.

Eligibility criteria include:
  • Your original hernia repair surgery with mesh was on or after Jan. 1, 2006.
  • You had serious injuries, including adhesions, hernia recurrence, intestinal blockage, mesh migration, organ perforation or infection, more than 30 days from the original date of surgery.
  • You needed hernia revision surgery or additional surgery because of complications.
  • You were told you needed surgery because of complications but cannot have it because of medical issues.

You should also know the dates of your initial hernia mesh surgery and your revision surgery. Before your revision surgery, make arrangements to preserve the old hernia mesh that will be removed. A court order in 2018 set rules to store and preserve the faulty hernia mesh so that it can be presented as evidence in potential lawsuits.

Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Verdicts and Settlements

So far, there have been no publicly announced settlements for the current active MDL lawsuits against Covidien, Atrium, Bard and Ethicon. Lawyers typically wait to see what happens during a bellwether trial to gauge how much a case is worth.

The following list provides some indication of past settlement amounts in hernia mesh lawsuits:
  • August 2022: A jury in a state case in Rhode Island against Becton Dickinson, a C.R. Bard subsidiary, awarded a $4.8 million verdict.
  • April 2022: A jury awarded Antonio Milanesi a $255,000 verdict against C.R. Bard in the second bellwether trial.
  • July 2021: Atrium agreed to a confidential settlement. Some sources reported an amount of $66 million.
  • September 2021: Ethicon agreed to a confidential settlement.
  • June 2011: Bard Davol settled 2,600 Kugel hernia patch lawsuits for $184 million.

Since each case is different, settlement amounts are hard to estimate. Lawyers and companies use several factors to determine hernia mesh settlement amounts. These include the severity and economic impact of the injuries suffered, the effect on quality of life and future financial and medical losses.

How To Choose a Hernia Mesh Lawyer

When you choose a hernia mesh lawyer, it’s important to find someone with experience handling litigation for hundreds or thousands of claimants. They should also have a strong background in cases against big corporations with large and well-funded legal teams.

Hernia mesh lawsuits are complicated and typically involve a lot of detailed and intricate science and law. Lawyers should have extensive experience in large injury litigations, be equipped to gather all proper evidence and have a track record of proving their client’s case before a judge or jury.

Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.