Federal courts have taken up more than 3,000 hernia mesh lawsuits in recent years after patients reported serious complications ranging from infections to organ damage. Hernia mesh lawsuits have already resulted in at least one verdict of $1.5 million and a settlement worth $184 million.
If you or a loved one suffered complications or injury after hernia mesh surgery, you may have legal options.
Hundreds of hernia mesh lawsuits from across the U.S. have been combined into two new multidistrict litigations (MDLs) in federal court. MDLs allow cases to move more quickly and efficiently through the legal system. Lawyers expect hundreds more could be added before the cases go to trial.
People filing lawsuits claim Ethicon’s Physiomesh Flexible Composite products and Atrium C-QUR hernia mesh were not properly designed and caused serious internal injuries, allowed hernias to recur or other complications.
As of March 2018, more than 700 lawsuits were pending in federal MDLs against two hernia mesh manufacturers.
People who developed serious complications following hernia mesh surgery filed lawsuits claiming the mesh was responsible for their injuries.
People filing C-QUR hernia mesh lawsuits also claim the products’ fish oil-derived coating led to “allergic or inflammatory” responses that caused further complications.
The first step to filing a hernia mesh lawsuit is often consulting with a lawyer. A products liability lawyer, particularly one who specializes in medical device cases, can help explain to people injured by hernia mesh whether they may be entitled to compensation.
People considering a lawsuit should look at several factors and gather as much information as possible about their complications.
Lawyers who specialize in products liability and medical device cases usually offer free consultations. These can help determine if a person has a case.
People filing C-QUR and Physiomesh lawsuits claim hernia mesh manufacturers knew or should have known their products were defective, but failed to warn people of the complications.
At least four manufacturers and 19 different products are embroiled in the latest wave of hernia mesh lawsuits. While Atrium and Ethicon products have been combined into MDLs, patients receiving Bard or Covidien mesh products have also brought individual lawsuits against those companies alleging complications.
Various models of Bard Davol’s Kugel Patch were among of the first hernia-mesh devices involved in multidistrict litigation. Bard first recalled the patch in 2005 because it could cause bowel perforations and fistulas. The first lawsuits followed soon after. Eventually, plaintiffs filed over 3,000 cases against C.R. Bard, Inc., and its subsidiaries for the design, manufacture, and use of specific hernia mesh devices.
The latest series of hernia mesh lawsuits in the U.S. involve multidistrict litigations (MDLs). These differ from class action lawsuits in a few important ways.
These involve a few people filing a single lawsuit over a common injury or injuries. Only people who suffered those injuries are eligible to collect any portion of the verdict or settlement. Usually, everyone in the class receives a proportionate share of awards or settlements.
These start as multiple lawsuits filed by several – even hundreds or thousands – of people in federal courts. These are combined to speed them through much of the pre-trial portions of the case more quickly and less expensively. They tend to be more flexible on the range of injuries allowed and settlement payments may be based on each type of injury.
Canadian law is somewhat different, and at least two brands of hernia mesh have been entangled in that country’s version of class action litigation in recent years.
Scientific studies have questioned the effectiveness of some hernia mesh and companies have pulled products off the market after high failure rates were reported. The FDA has even sent a warning to at least one company over its manufacturing and quality control process at a hernia mesh manufacturing plant. “Many complications related to hernia repair with surgical mesh that have been reported to the FDA have been associated with recalled mesh products that are no longer on the market” the FDA said.
The FDA has different definitions for recalls and market withdrawals. The FDA considers a market withdrawal as cases where there were no grounds for the agency to take legal action against a manufacturer. In those cases, the company simply removes the product from the market or corrects the violation.
Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.
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