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 had a hernia mesh surgery and suffered one of the following complications, you may be entitled to compensation.
Number of LawsuitsAbout 2,700
Plaintiff InjuriesWrongful death; infections; organ damage; autoimmune problems; adhesions; bowel obstructions
DefendantsAtrium Medical Corp.; Ethicon; Johnson & Johnson; C.R. Bard, Davol Inc.
Litigation Status Active
SettlementBard settled about 2,000 Kugel hernia patch cases for $184 million
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 January 2018, nearly 500 lawsuits were pending in federal MDLs against two hernia mesh manufacturers.
Atrium C-QUR Mesh MDL
A total of 30 Atrium C-QUR mesh lawsuits were pending in New Hampshire District Court as of January 2018. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation established the MDL in December 2016.
Ethicon Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh MDL
As of January 2018, there were 469 lawsuits over Ethicon’s Physiomesh Flexible Composite Hernia Mesh pending in Georgia Northern District Court. The MDL panel established the MDL in June 2017.
In January 2018, the judge in the Ethicon Physiomesh MDL set the first trial date for September 16, 2019. No trial dates have been set in the Atrium C-QUR cases.
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.
|Manufacturer||Models Involved in Lawsuits|
|Atrium||C-QUR Mesh||C-QUR Edge Mesh V-Patch|
|C-QUR Lite Mesh V-Patch||C-QUR OVT Mesh|
|C-QUR RPM Mesh||C-QUR TacShield|
|C-QUR V-Patch||C-QUR Mosaic|
|Bard||PerFix Mesh||3DMax Mesh|
|Ventralex Patch||Ventralex ST Mesh|
|Sepramesh IP Composite Mesh||Composix E/X Mesh|
|Covidien||Parietex Surgical Mesh||Parietex Composite Mesh|
|Parietex ProGrip Mesh|
|Ethicon||Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh|
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.
First 150 cases consolidated into MDL in Rhode Island federal court
Defense verdict for Bard in first bellwether trial of MDL
$1.5 million verdict for plaintiffs in second trial
Bard offers $184 million in settlements to 2,600 Kugel patch lawsuits
Kugel Hernia Mesh Patch MDL closed after 10 years
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.
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.
FDA approves Atrium’s first C-QUR mesh products
Researchers find every C-QUR mesh in their study had increased rate of adhesions and immune system responses
FDA approves Ethicon’s Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh
FDA issues a warning letter to Atrium Medical noting that there were complaints of infections from the mesh that were not properly addressed or documented and Atrium’s sterilization process may have been inadequate.
Federal court grants FDA an injunction against Atrium to stop distribution and manufacturing of medical devices from the company’s Hudson, New Hampshire plant until it complied with certain provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
Study published in JAMA finds that while mesh reduces chances of hernia recurrences within 5 years of surgery, benefits are often offset by mesh complications.
Two, large European hernia registries report higher than average failure rates for Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh.
Ethicon issues a “market withdrawal” of Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh products.
Study finds recalled mesh is responsible for some of the most serious complications.
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.
Terry Turner is an Emmy-winning, former television journalist. He is an associate member of the American Bar Association, the ABA’s Health Law group and a member of the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates. He holds six certificates in Health Literacy for Healthcare Professionals from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a Washington-based investigative reporter, he routinely reported on health and medical policy issues before Congress, the FDA and other federal agencies. Terry received his B.A. in Media Arts from Lyon College.
Did you suffer from complications after receiving a hernia mesh implant?