Hernia Mesh Lawsuit

A hernia is a painful annoyance that plagues many patients. A popular method of treating a hernia is with a medical device known as a hernia mesh. Unfortunately, not all of these meshes were safe for patients.

Quick Facts

  • Biggest Award: $184 million paid by C.R. Bard
  • Number of Cases: More than 17,000 claimants as of March 2020
  • Introduction Date: First introduced in the 1950s, hernia mesh was an innovative solution to hernia injuries. 
  • Intended Use: Intended for a permanent repair of a hernia the surgical mesh creates a way for tissue to combine with the device for optimum strengthening.
  • Side-Effects: Complications from Hernia Mesh can include chronic infections, pain ,bruising, bleeding, swelling and can also lead to the need for more repair surgeries.

What You Need to Know

Many patients have filed lawsuits claiming that their hernia mesh, a device designed to provide comfort and relief from pain, caused their pain to increase. Worse, some hernia meshes had fused to their patients so fully that multiple messy revision surgeries were required to amend the damage done by their implanted device.

There have been many Mesh recalls that have also been attributed to faulty design. Manufacturers have been accused of not informing patients of the risks linked to hernia mesh.

Hernia Mesh Manufacturers

Hernia mesh manufacturers are companies or corporations that seek to mass-produce a hernia mesh product for sale and implantation. These companies are often highly successful and appropriately compensated for the very necessary work of providing essential medical devices to patients. 

The major manufacturers that produce hernia mesh are:

  • Atrium Medical
  • B. Braun Melsungen, AG
  • C.R. Bard
  • Ethicon
  • Gore Medical
  • LifeCell Corporation
  • Medtronic

 

These manufacturers are also the chief defendants in a hernia mesh lawsuit. Some of these manufacturers have had multiple products completely recalled and others have avoided public notice. One thing they all have in common, however, is a duty of care to provide a safe, thoroughly vetted implant product.

Hernia mesh manufacturers make a very particular type of product. Some natural meshes and all synthetic meshes are implanted in an extremely sensitive part of the body. For synthetic meshes, the intent is to be left in the patient for life. This is a huge burden of trust that patients must invest in manufacturers in order to seek relief for their hernias. 

Unfortunately, there are a number of things that can go wrong for hernia mesh recipients and some injuries may be due to defects in the design of the mesh implant.

Hernia Mesh Injuries and Side Effects

Hernia mesh implants are often lumped into the same group. While it is true that hernia meshes all serve to accomplish the same goal, it would be incorrect to equivocate one type with the other. 

Some of the most common hernia meshes that are cited in a hernia mesh lawsuit are as follows:

  • Abdominal meshes, which are implanted in the abdomen.
  • Ventral hernia mesh, which treats hernias in the abdominal wall musculature.
  • Hiatal hernia mesh, which contains the stomach when it protrudes through the diaphragm.
  • Inguinal hernia mesh, which treats intestinal protrusions near the groin or lower abdomen.

Even after making these distinctions, the material of the hernia mesh can also change a patient’s chance of experiencing complications. Typically patients will have one of two options for mesh materials: natural or synthetic. 

The natural mesh is derived from animal tissue, usually from a cow or pig, and often this type of mesh has fewer complications. One major reason for this may be that natural meshes are not designed to be permanent, but instead act as a placeholder for your body to repair the hole in the area naturally. 

The downside to natural meshes, however, is that they will degrade and lose strength over time. This may not make them ideal for serious hernias or for areas that may not heal fully over time.

As an alternative, synthetic meshes can be put in. Synthetic meshes can be absorbent, behaving similarly to animal meshes, or non-absorbent, becoming a permanent fixture in the body. 

Synthetic non-absorbent meshes are typically used to permanently reinforce an area of the body. These are usually implanted via laparoscopic surgery and this combination can be the basis for many of the side effects and complications that patients experience. 

Some of the side effects listed by the Medtruth that may indicate a failure of the hernia mesh include:

  • Pain
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Skin Rash
  • Bleeding
  • Chronic Infection
  • Difficulty urinating

 

These are not the limit to the damage that could be inflicted, however, as the mesh is left in the body it could also lead to a variety of damaging complications. It is important that if these symptoms begin to appear, a medical professional should be consulted.

Types of Hernia Mesh Complications

According to the FDA, the following complications have been reported either in their adverse event reporting system or in a hernia mesh lawsuit:

  • Adhesion of tissues
  • Recurrence of the hernia
  • Blockage of the intestines
  • Internal bleeding
  • The abnormal fusing of organs and intestines, known as a fistula
  • Seroma, or fluid build-up around the site
  • Perforation of tissues and organs
  • Mesh shrinkage, called contraction

 

This is not a complete list, however. Any health risk that abates after the removal of a hernia mesh can be attributed to the mesh’s presence. Unfortunately, some meshes may require multiple, painful revision surgeries to remove the mesh. 

These flawed devices have often found themselves on the receiving end of multiple manufacturers and FDA recalls.

Hernia Mesh Recalls

Some hernia mesh devices have been labeled as so harmful that they require a total recall. These products have been deemed by the FDA to be irreparably flawed and therefore they must be removed.

The following hernia mesh devices have been recalled by the FDA in their entirety:

  • Bard Composix
  • Bard Ventralight
  • Bard Ventralex ST
  • Bard Davol
  • Covidien Parietene Atrium CQUR
  • Ethicon Physiomesh
  • Ethicon J&J Proceed

 

Most recalls were the combination of a large number of adverse event reports and hernia mesh lawsuit findings. Through these combined methods, manufacturers were forced to accept responsibility for denying the complications of hernia mesh implants and change their practices.

In most cases, after the FDA requires a manufacturer to initiate a total recall of a product line, the other products that are substantially similar will undergo review to ensure there are no additional calls for a recall. In this way, a hernia mesh lawsuit can not only compensate victims of undisclosed events, but also massively improve device safety for other patients.

Speak With a Hernia Mesh Lawyer

If you have been harmed by Hernia Mesh and have needed to have a second surgery due to this harm, it is important that you find a lawyer who is specialized in this field. A Hernia Mesh Product Liability Lawyer will be able to review your case and tell you the best course of action for you and explain in more detail what the process of this type of lawsuit involves. Select Justice can help put you in touch with the right legal council that is most suited to your needs.

How to File a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit

After being in touch with a lawyer who is experienced in Hernia Mesh lawsuits that you feel comfortable with, you can decide if legal action is the right choice for you. If you do decide to take legal action, the lawyer who will represent you will then file the lawsuit on your behalf. 

How Our Process Works

If you or a loved one have had two or more hernia surgeries after 2005 you may be entitled to compensation. Please follow these steps

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Take Action

If you choose to take legal action a contingency agreement to join the lawsuit will be sent to you to review and sign. You will then begin working with a lawyer who will be dedicated to your case and bringing you justice.

There are no fees for starting the process and signing the contingency agreement. Fees will only be assessed in the event of a successful outcome from the lawsuit. 

How Long Does a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit take?

It can be difficult to estimate exactly how long lawsuits will last. A hernia mesh lawsuit may last for years before an attorney extends an offer to settle. If the case settles, the verdict may be appealed numerous times, each time adding the time to file and argue the case again. 

For this reason, many times an attorney serving plaintiffs will work on contingency. A contingency is a common, but not universal, practice which basically means that an attorney will accept all of the fees, costs, and hours up front in exchange for a predetermined percentage of the verdict or settlement. 

Under contingency, an attorney can continue to pursue justice for their clients without concerns of the client running out of funds to pursue justice. Hernia mesh lawsuits may have a variable timeline from filing to the conclusion, but the general events are similar.

Hernia Mesh Settlement Amounts

Unfortunately, due to the ongoing litigation process, no recent settlement amounts are available to evaluate, but after a series of complications with a previous mesh, Bard is recorded as having paid out over $185 million across the early 2000s and 2010s.  With the large influx of plaintiffs who are seeking an attorney to file a hernia mesh lawsuit and the FDA concerns about long-term mesh safety, it is possible to speculate that multidistrict litigations this time around could foreseeably exceed these numbers.

Hernia Mesh News and Updates

In addition to a sharp influx of hernia mesh lawsuit filings, the FDA and other investigative bodies have been examining the damage caused by hernia mesh on a global scale.

In January 2020, the BBC Network investigated hernia meshes and found that many hernia mesh devices were approved without rigorous testing because they were highly similar to an existing product. This is very similar to the U.S. FDA’s 510(k) pathway which follows a similar process. 

A study published in the ANZ Journal of Surgery in April 2020 has explored the safety of inguinal hernia mesh. In a study of a “total of 1711 hernia in 1366 patients” that “were repaired from 2002 to 2016” with 1047 of those repaired using laparoscopic surgery the long-term effects of chronic pain were examined.

The FDA has also become more aware of the complications and has advised patients and medical workers on how to monitor hernias for complications and damage. Additionally, the FDA has updated the mesh pages for manufacturers whose meshes have been recalled following complications.

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Select Justice is an advocacy group made up of journalists, investigators and technology professionals committed to helping injured individuals seek justice. We believe that everyone is entitled to know their legal rights and how to use them.
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