Free Confidential Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one had serious complications after receiving hernia mesh products, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and a hernia mesh lawyer can help.
Update: Lawsuit Accuses Bard Hernia Mesh for Surgical Complications
A man from Pennsylvania has filed a products liability lawsuit against C.R. Bard over claims a hernia mesh patch was defective and failed shortly after implantation, causing adverse health complications.
Plaintiff claims defects in the manufacture of Bard hernia mesh products, and that the company failed to perform adequate clinical trials on Composix surgical mesh implants prior to market approval.
What Do Hernia Mesh Lawsuits Claim?
Ethicon Physiomesh Flexible Composite Surgical Mesh entered the U.S. market in 2010 via the FDA’s 510(k) approval process, which clears products that are “substantially equivalent” to products that are already on the market.
A number of different types of Physiomesh were introduced to repair hernias and other fascial deficiencies.
However, it now appears that the products were defectively designed and/or manufactured, posing an unreasonable risk of severe complications.
What Injuries Can Lead to a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit?
In an Urgent Field Notice issued on May 25, 2016, Ethicon warned operating room supervisors, materials management personnel and surgeons not to use Ethicon Physiomesh products after they were linked to high rates of the following complications:
- Bowel obstruction
- Abdominal wall pain
- Mesh erosion or failure
- Kugel hernia mesh patch removal
- Pain in the upper thigh
Atrium C-QUR Hernia Mesh Patch Recall
In June 2013, Atrium Medical Corp. issued a surgical mesh patch recall  for its C-QUR Edge hernia patch after it was found that coating on the defective hernia mesh devices could adhere to the inner packaging sleeve because of high humidity.
The C-QUR Hernia Patch is coated in fish oil (Omega-3), which is advertised as an “anti-adhesion barrier” to prevent scar tissues that stick abdominal wall organs together abnormally during the healing process.
However, surgical mesh lawsuits claim that the patch causes inflammation, infections, and mesh removal.
Gore Medical Hernia Mesh
In addition to Physiomesh and the Atrium C-QUR hernia mesh products, hernia mesh lawyers are filing lawsuits for people who were injured by mesh products made by Gore Medical.
- Gore-Tex Soft Tissue Patch
- Gore Bio-A Hernia Plug
- Gore Dualmesh Biomaterial
- Gore Dualmesh Plus Material
- Gore Synecor Intraperitoneal Biomaterial
- Gore Synecor Preperitoneal Biomaterial
- Kugel Mesh
Hernia Recurrence After Surgery
Many Kugel hernia mesh cases of recurrence after surgery are caused by mesh retraction or contraction, which exposes the previous defect.
Retractions can also cause ripping of the mesh medical devices at transfascial suture sites, resulting in defects within the mesh.
Primary failure, infection, loss of domain, and failed hernia mesh devices have also been noted in patients who suffered a recurrence of ventral hernias.
Oregon Woman Sues J&J, Alleges Corrective Surgeries from Physiomesh
An Oregon woman who claims she developed severe injuries which required multiple corrective surgeries after receiving Physiomesh has filed a products liability lawsuit against J&J.
The complaint over medical devices was initially filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, and subsequently transferred to the hernia mesh MDL in Georgia.
How Do I Know Which Hernia Patch I Received?
Most patients are unaware of the specific hernia repair device that was used during their surgery, and are often not told about a hernia mesh recalls.
In fact, doctors have been instructed to treat patients with recalled Ethicon Physiomesh products in the usual manner, and few, if any, have specifically been informed that they have a defective hernia mesh implanted in their body.
If you had hernia surgery but are unsure about the specific device and/or its manufacturer, you should contact your surgeon and/or the facility where your surgery was performed to obtain this information.
How Do I Know if My Hernia Mesh Failed?
Failure means that the device used in your hernia surgery failed to perform as intended. This could be due to a defective mesh product, either from bad design or improper material. Other times this is due to the surgeon’s errors.
Hernia mesh failure symptoms can arise within 2 weeks of surgery to several years after hernia surgery. Complications can impact your quality of life and even be life-threatening if untreated.
Seven common complications and signs of mesh device failure include:
Bulging in the area where the device was implanted is often a sign of the mesh dislodging or mesh migration, causing inflammation. Some patients have bulges the size of a softball or greater protruding through their skin. Bulging can also be a sign of recurrence.
This bulging is not merely a cosmetic issue. Bulges can become an infection site and have a build up of fluid (seromas or ascites), and/or spontaneously rupture.
In some patients, these bulges can take a long time to form. In others, these bulges may grow very quickly. They may also cause the patient to wrongly worry that he/she has a cancerous tumor.
Warm or hot skin in the area of the implant (surgical site) is also common when the mesh has dislodged, shrank, or disintegrated. Burning may also indicate that the device has caused an infection.
Depending on the patient, this burning may appear abruptly or slowly increase over time. The burning may also come and go.
For instance, patients prescribed antibiotics may feel some temporary relief as the medication causes the inflammation to subside. But the burning side effect will return once the patient stops taking them.
Defective meshes along the abdominal wall may put pressure on the stomach, small intestines, or colon, causing patients to suffer gastrointestinal problems such as the inability to pass gas or stools. This is especially true for patients with umbilical hernias (where intestine protrudes through the belly button) and who develop scar tissue.
Constipation itself can lead to other painful or dangerous conditions, such as bloating, hemorrhoids, or fissures. And in some cases, the act of straining to use the bathroom may cause fecal impaction or rectal prolapse.
Constipation is a common symptom of many different problems. But anyone with an implanted medical device should take their constipation symptoms very seriously, especially if increasing fiber intake or taking laxatives does not help.
Note that difficulty urinating can also be a sign of mesh failure.
Men with hernia mesh implants may experience sexual dysfunction. This is most common in patients with inguinal hernias (where soft tissue protrudes through the abdominal wall muscles).
The precise cause of the impotence varies by patient. Sometimes it is due to any inflammation or irritation caused by hernia mesh implants. Or perhaps a nerve got caught in the device. In other cases, the patient’s spermatic cord can adhere to the device.
Patients who consult with urologists about their impotence should disclose right away that they have a mesh implant. Otherwise, the doctor may not consider the hernia mesh surgical implants as a possible cause of their sexual problems.
Like constipation, nausea is a common symptom of several different medical problems. But if the patient has implanted hernia meshes, it can be a serious sign that something is wrong.
Perhaps the mesh migrated to the patient’s intestines, causing an intestinal blockage. Or perhaps it caused the stomach tissue to become infected, inhibiting digestion.
Persistent nausea can lead to other problems, including dehydration and an electrolyte imbalance. Therefore, anyone with an implanted medical device who experiences nausea or any flu-like symptoms is advised to consult with a doctor right away.
It is not normal for patients to feel fatigued once they have recovered from the implantation surgery. Lack of energy can be a sign that the body is not responding well to the device, especially if the patient has a fever and chills as well.
For instance, the patient may be having a poor reaction to the polypropylene mesh material. This can create oxidative stress, which in turn causes white blood cells to create an immune response.
Feeling tired can also be a sign of mesh infection or inflammation as the body is working overtime to fight it. In any case, patients suffering from chronic fatigue are advised to seek medical help quickly.
Perhaps the most common sign of mesh failure is pain (often abdominal wall pain). Pain may be at the site of the implant and/or from other complications the mesh is causing. Pain may be mild or severe, acute or chronic.
Texas Couple Sues Ethicon Over Physiomesh Complications
A married couple from Texas has filed a products liability lawsuit against J&J's Ethicon division over injuries alleged from the company's Physiomesh hernia patch.
Plaintiff underwent hernia repair surgery with a Physiomesh patch in September 2013, and less than a year later ended up back in the hospital to treat complications from the hernia patch.
The surgeon who operated on the patient allegedly found “numerous balled-up, rolled-up, and incorporated Physio]mesh,” all of which had to be taken out “with difficulty using cautery and sharp dissection,” according to the lawsuit.
Why File a Lawsuit?
People may file hernia mesh lawsuits to receive compensation for damages including pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life. Hernia mesh plaintiffs who have filed lawsuits against hernia mesh manufacturers have 3 main causes of action against mesh manufacturers: Defective design, manufacturing defects and failure to warn.
Causes of Action
Lawsuits allege that hernia mesh manufacturers defectively designed their products in a manner that made them prone to breaking and causing complications.
These manufacturing defects resulted in the mesh being “substandard, adulterated, and/or non-medical grade polypropylene which deviated from their material and supply specifications,” according to a recent lawsuit.
The mesh companies also failed to warn the public despite knowing that their product could cause health problems.
Compensation claims in hernia mesh lawsuits include economic factors such as past and future medical expenses and wage loss. Non-economic damages include loss of quality of life, loss of consortium and pain and suffering.
Some hernia mesh problems require more than one surgery to fix, and some injuries such as infections and pain may mean you will need treatment for the rest of your life. These bills add up. If you were the main wage earner for your household and chronic groin pain from failed mesh prevents you from working, you may be able to claim lost wages from the past and future.
Non-economic losses are emotional and mental. These problems result in loss of quality and enjoyment of life as well as emotional issues.
In cases where the jury finds a defendant’s behavior particularly negligent or harmful, they may award punitive damages in addition to compensation for economic and non-economic losses. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and discourage the behavior from happening again.
Related Article: What Are Punitive Damages in a Lawsuit?
Who is Eligible to File a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit?
Any medical device that is used on a patient must meet pre-market testing conditions. Patients who develop complications from any faulty hernia mesh device have the right to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the defective hernia mesh device.
Is There a Hernia Mesh Class Action?
No. Most of these lawsuits will be filed and managed as part of multi-district litigation (MDL). There is often more strength in numbers than in a one-off lawsuit.
An MDL resembles a class action. Similar hernia mesh victims band together to sue the same defendant in one federal court. In a class action, all plaintiffs are together in one lawsuit. In a mass tort MDL, each plaintiff has his or her own hernia mesh claim against the defendant.
Currently, the hernia mesh MDLs are coming out of the pre-settlement phase where both sides file pre-trial motions and exchange “discovery” (evidence). But currently or in the near future, the judge is allowing a small, select number of plaintiffs to go to hernia mesh trial. These are called “bellwether” trials.
The results of the bellwether hernia mesh trial will set the stage for settlement negotiations with the remaining plaintiffs. If the plaintiffs win their trials and get awarded high damages, this will likely translate to higher value settlements for all the plaintiffs. From start to finish, MDLs may take several years.
Currently, there are three federal hernia mesh MDLs, amounting to more than 21,000 lawsuits as of 2022. Each is against a different medical device manufacturer.
Hernia Mesh Settlement Amounts / Lawsuit Payouts
On average, plaintiffs get $50,000 to $250,000 in hernia mesh lawsuit settlements. If the plaintiff suffers a serious injury, the hernia mesh lawsuit settlement could be up to $100,000.
Factors Affecting Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Settlement Amounts
Here are some factors that determine average mesh settlement:
- Severity: If the effects of implanting hernia mesh are severe, the plaintiff will get a higher hernia mesh lawsuit settlement. The compensation depends on how severe the injuries are.
- Quality of Life: The settlement amount depends on how much the injuries have affected the patient’s life quality. For instance, hernia recurrence, pain, inflammation, or excessive pain may have affected the plaintiff’s sleep quality and general wellness.
- Economic Impact: The hernia mesh lawsuit settlements tend to be higher if the plaintiff had more economic loss, such as lab tests, surgeries, and medical bills.
- Future Loss: Some effects of hernia mesh complications are life-long. Therefore, the settlement amounts also vary depending on if complications will affect the patient in the coming years.
Is a Hernia Mesh Settlement Taxable?
In most cases, hernia mesh settlements are not taxable.
The Internal Revenue Service clearly designates which portions of a personal injury settlement are excluded from income tax. You will not be taxed on money from a personal injury settlement or jury award that compensates you for physical injuries, lost wages resulting from physical injuries, or any emotional distress you suffered as a result of those injuries.
Therefore, money compensating you for economic damages like medical bills and lost income, along with non-economic damages like pain and suffering, will usually be tax-free.
There are some exceptions to these rules, and it’s important to speak with a tax advisor to determine if any such exceptions affect your situation. Depending on the decisions you’ve made when filing your taxes in previous years, there is still a chance you’ll owe the IRS some money.
For example, if you’ve already received a tax benefit at some point in the past that relates to your case, you cannot take advantage of further tax benefits. An example would be if you deducted the out-of-pocket costs of your medical care that stemmed from your accident on your previous year’s income tax return. In that case, you would need to pay taxes on your settlement.
If you earned interest on any money you recovered in your personal injury settlement, that interest is not exempt from taxation. That includes any interest you accrue from that money sitting in a bank account or investments purchased with the settlement money.
Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Process
After you’ve hired a hernia mesh lawyer, the hernia mesh lawsuit process begins with filing a complaint. Ideally, a lawsuit ends with a settlement or jury verdict. Most cases settle before trial, but keep in mind there is no guarantee of receiving compensation.
Steps in a hernia mesh lawsuits include:
- File responses to the complaint
- Both sides exchange information and gather records in discovery process
- Pre-trial motions to allow or dismiss claims and evidence
- Trial is held
How Long Does a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Take to Settle?
They can take at least one to three years to resolve, depending on the case, and only under very rare circumstances will they take less than a year. Recently, federal courts have been placing large numbers of hernia mesh lawsuits under MDLs to speed up the litigation process more quickly for people who have suffered from mesh failure.
What You Should Know Before You File a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit
Five things to know before filing a mesh lawsuit include:
- Who manufactured your hernia mesh surgical implant?
- The dates of your hernia mesh implant and revision surgeries.
- Contact a hernia mesh attorney to find out if you have a compensation claim.
- Act quickly, as each U.S. state imposes a time limit (statute of limitations) on filing a claim. If you wait, you could be barred for receiving compensation for your injuries.
- Find experienced hernia mesh attorneys.
Questions Hernia Mesh Lawyers May Ask
Some questions your attorney may ask include:
- What injuries are you experiencing from your hernia mesh?
- When did your hernia mesh complications occur?
- What symptoms did you experience?
- Why are you interested in filing a lawsuit?
- Who made your hernia mesh?
- Did you preserve your mesh?
- Has your mesh been recalled?
- How is your medical provider treating your complications?
- How have your hernia mesh injuries impacted your daily life?
- When were the dates of your surgery and revision surgeries if you had them?
How Much Does it Cost to File a Claim?
Hernia mesh lawyers near me handle hernia mesh patch lawsuits on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable outcome in your case.
If we determine that you have a valid claim, you may be entitled to compensation to assist with medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Status of Hernia Mesh Lawsuits
Ethicon Inc. defended itself in the first Physiomesh hernia patch lawsuit to go to trial in the Southern District of Illinois in 2018.
Plaintiff in the case, Matthew Huff, claims he developed abdominal abscesses and intestinal fistulas after being implanted with Physiomesh in 2013.
Hernia Patch Problems May Occur Years After Surgery, Study Finds
Patients who undergo incisional hernia repair surgery with a mesh patch may have a lower risk for hernia recurrence, but serious problems can occur up to 5 years after the procedure, a new study has found .
Complications included bowel obstruction, perforation, bleeding, pain, non-healing wounds, infections, fluid buildup and fistulas (organs fused together).
See the other related defective medical device lawsuits we've covered.
Get a Free Hernia Mesh Patch Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Lawyers
The Medical Device Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in hernia mesh patch lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new hernia mesh claims in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you had problems following surgery, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing hernia mesh litigation and a hernia mesh lawyer can help.