Hernia mesh devices involve designing, manufacturing, and marketing like any other medical product. Manufacturers have a duty of care to their consumers and should warn them of any danger related to their goods. Healthcare professionals use medical apparatuses to address specific health conditions or disorders. So many patients rely on the safe use of the devices for their health and well-being. But if the product is defective, it causes harm affecting their quality of life. The manufacturer may be held liable in a hernia mesh lawsuit. Consult Personal injury and product liability lawyers at Phillips Law Offices for guidance. We can evaluate your hernia mesh case and take the legal action needed to attain reimbursement for your injuries and losses.
Complications associated with hernia mesh
A hernia is a critical medical condition that may develop due to increased abdominal pressure. For instance, obesity, persistent coughing, or lifting heavy objects can cause a hernia. Smoking, overexertion, or poor nutrition are also contributing factors. Hernia repairs are typical, with over one million performed annually in the United States. However, hernias have a high recurrence rate, and surgeons often use medical devices like surgical mesh to strengthen the repair. They implant hernia mesh in the abdomen, groin, or upper stomach. The goal is to support weakened tissues or seal openings in damaged muscles. But the problem arises when a hernia mesh implant fails due to defective surgical devices. It leads to severe or even life-threatening complications, such as:
Many medical conditions can cause nausea as a symptom. But the nauseating feeling in a hernia mesh patient indicates something wrong. For instance, the mesh might have moved into the intestines and clogged them. Or, it might have triggered a stomach infection and caused digestive issues. If nausea persists longer, it can further cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.
Experiencing fatigue after implantation surgery is common. But lack of energy could also mean the body is not responding well to the implanted device. Since there is an adverse reaction, it may cause inflammation, oxidative stress, fever, and immune response. Patients with such problems could feel worn out as their bodies work nonstop to combat the infection.
Pain and discomfort
Patients with hernia mesh complications may experience pain near the testicles, groin, leg, and abdomen. In other instances, they may feel a burning sensation near the surgical site or a bulging area that protrudes through the skin. The mesh may move or dislodge, causing swelling, bruising, stiffness, and discomfort. Skin rashes could also develop near the incision and create itchiness.
A faulty mesh along the abdominal wall can cause gastrointestinal issues such as constipation or the inability to pass gas. It is because of the pressure that the mesh puts on the small intestines, colon, and stomach. Other painful and potentially harmful conditions like fissures, hemorrhoids, or bloating can also emerge due to this condition. Besides this, bowel obstruction or blockage in the large/small intestine is a potential side effect of a failed hernia mesh.
Mesh complications could cause sexual dysfunction in patients with inguinal hernias. It could be because the mesh is causing irritation or inflammation. In extreme cases, a nerve might entangle in the device, or the spermatic cord attaches to it, resulting in impotence. Minor discomfort, lamenting feeling numb, swelling, and a shrinkage of the testicles are some additional problems. Moreover, research shows that mesh-related issues can reduce the blood flow to the testicles, potentially creating conditions that necessitate testicular removal.
While using mesh to repair a hernia generally lowers the risk of recurrence, defective mesh usage can worsen the condition. After surgery, the mesh could become loose, move through the abdomen, and cause inflammation. Additionally, it can cause typical problems such as fistulas, adhesions, abscesses, bowel obstruction, perforation, and hernia recurrence. In specific cases, patients need revision surgery to repair hernia mesh damage and replace the defective mesh implant.
Medical assessment for Hernia Mesh case
When a hernia mesh fails, there are several factors to consider. It includes your pre-existing health condition, product design, invalid product labeling, surgical method, and revision surgeries. If you want to sue the healthcare provider or manufacturer, collect and share all necessary information with your attorneys to address questions about your claim. Get a thorough evaluation of your injuries and the required treatment course. Your documentation from the surgery, including brochures, medical records, and consent forms, serves as evidence to file a hernia mesh lawsuit. These reports will determine whether you are eligible for a compensation claim. If you qualify for the suit, the compensation value will depend on your medical diagnosis, surgical costs, lost wages, recovery period, and other damages.
Joining a Hernia Mesh Class Action Lawsuit
Negligence or malpractice is the primary clause of hernia mesh cases. The possible defendants in these cases are your doctor who performed the surgery or the product manufacturer. You must first identify the manufacturer of your hernia mesh product if you decide to sue the manufacturing company. Thousands of hernia mesh lawsuits are pending against manufacturers like CR Bard, Ethicon, and Atrium Medical. On the contrary, the targeted hernia mesh products are C-QUR mesh, Bard 3D Max mesh, Proceed mesh, Physiomesh, and Parietex Plug and mesh. You can go through the hospital’s surgical records to gather information about the brand and product name of the surgical mesh used in your hernia operation.
If pursuing to file a hernia mesh lawsuit against the manufacturer, you will likely join an already-existing MDL with other plaintiffs. Generally, the litigation will take place in a federal court. But when MDL cases include plaintiffs from multiple states, the case could be heard at the state level. Likewise, hernia mesh cases of similar interest from counties within a single state can be consolidated into multi-county litigation or MCL. Most of the pending MDLs and MCLs for hernia mesh litigation in the United States sue the product manufacturer. For guidance, consult our experienced Hernia mesh attorneys at Phillips Law Offices. Our lawyers will inform you of any active hernia mesh lawsuits that are relevant to your situation at the time of your case. They will advise you on the best legal course of action to take.
Timeline of Hernia Mesh lawsuits
Like personal injury lawsuits, your hernia mesh suit will start when you file with the court and serve the defendant with your complaint. The statute of limitations is the time limit from when your complications became apparent to the deadline for filing. The statutory deadline varies from state to state, depending on the facts of your case. You should seek legal advice and carefully preserve evidence to meet the specified timeline because health issues caused by a failed hernia mesh may take time to manifest. If the facts and defendant of your case coincide with an ongoing lawsuit or MDL that has not yet gone to trial, you can participate in the mass tort lawsuit. Your case may join the litigation with hundreds or even thousands of other plaintiffs with similar claims.
Reaching a Hernia Mesh Settlement
The discovery process and pretrial motions are the most crucial phase of any personal injury lawsuit. While in these phases, both parties exchange information and evidence pertinent to their claims and defenses. The legal teams review all case-related documents for the plaintiff and the defendant. For instance, your hernia mesh lawsuit will involve assessing hospital bills, medical records, expert witness testimony, financial data, insurance policies, and more.
An out-of-court settlement can happen if it becomes apparent during discovery or pretrial motions that one side is more likely to win. The parties may also settle their dispute in a formal court-mandated manner, like mediation or a settlement conference. But if both fail to resolve, the judge or jury will hear your case at trial.
Federal court cases typically take a long time to resolve fully. If your case is a part of an MDL, it might take months or even years of litigation before reaching a settlement or rendering a verdict at trial. What you can expect as a payout will primarily depend on the facts of your case.
However, your settlement should cover the followings aspects:
- Quantifiable financial damages (your medical expenses from injuries, revision surgery, health care, and lost wages)
- Non-economic damages (pain, suffering, depression, or reduced quality of life)
It is hard to anticipate the precise amount or how much time it will take to settle the case. However, an experienced attorney can review your medical records and provide a rough estimate of what you might expect to receive in a settlement.
Update on Hernia Mesh Lawsuits (2023)
Thousands of hernia mesh lawsuits are currently pending in courts across the nation. Presently, four medical device companies are defendants in the litigation. Their names are C.R. Bard, Ethicon, Covidien, and Atrium Medical Corp. Ethicon is a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that has settled most lawsuits. Whereas, Atrium is the smallest of the hernia mesh class action MDLs. It has 3,308 cases pending as of September 2022 and is gradually expanding. On October 1, 2022, a trial in the C.R. Bard hernia mesh MDL was scheduled for February 21, 2023. The respective trial may proceed further if Bard does not settle with the plaintiffs in this case. The defense won the first bellwether trial, the second produced a mediocre verdict, and the third highlighted a $4.8 million verdict.
Patients who face hernia mesh complications can claim compensation for their losses. However, seek the guidance of a knowledgeable and experienced medical litigation attorney to proceed successfully within the statutory deadlines. Our skilled lawyers at Phillips law offices are available online for a free case evaluation. Visit our website and consult them before you pursue your hernia mesh lawsuit.