Hernia repair surgery is one of the most common procedures performed in the U.S. About one million are performed each year, and the majority of the time a medical device, called a hernia mesh or hernia patch, is used to repair the wound.
Ethicon’s Flexible Composite hernia mesh is one of many devices manufactured for this purpose. However, patients are now filing lawsuits against it’s manufacturer after alleging severe pain and complications were caused by the hernia mesh. Many of these lawsuits are being filed after Ethicon issued a recall for their hernia mesh product, and after studies suggested higher rates of complications and revision surgeries compared to similar medical devices.
If you experienced complications or suffered health problems after undergoing a hernia mesh procedure, you may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses, past and future, including the costs of additional surgeries to remove the mesh or address complications or failure of the original surgery
- Lost wages
- Lasting damage
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering
Many individuals who suffered hernia mesh complications have filed suit against it’s manufacturer, Ethicon. Most of these lawsuits blame the mesh manufacturers, not the surgeons who implanted the hernia mesh. In other words, if you are suffering complications from hernia mesh surgery, you may be able to receive compensation without suing your own doctor. In many cases, surgeons relied on information provided by mesh manufacturers and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). This information failed to fully reveal the dangers associated with this product, meaning your doctor was kept in the dark to the same extent you were. For this reason hernia mesh litigation is focused on the manufacturers.
Hernia mesh lawsuits are currently being filed across the country against Ethicon. A lawsuit was filed on April 1, 2016, right before Ethicon’s recall of their hernia mesh device. This lawsuit was filed after the plaintiff suffered severe complications from a hernia repair using Ethicon’s Flexible Composite mesh. This will be the first hernia mesh trial, with a date set for January 22, 2018 before Judge J. Phil Gilbert.
Another lawsuit was filed against Ethicon by a woman from Florida. The hernia mesh grew into her intestines, which required surgery and caused serious health problems. Additionally, Ethicon has also had problems with it’s transvaginal mesh products that treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse in women.
Basis for a Claim
There are many circumstances that might provide the basis for a lawsuit, including, but not limited to, failure of the manufacturer to meet its legal obligations set forth by the FDA. You may have additional grounds for bringing a claim against the physicians, hospital, and other caregivers involved in your surgery.
Each case is different and each patient is distinct. An expert attorney with a thorough understanding of the law as well as the facts regarding mesh implants, their manufacturer, and the complications that may arise can help you evaluate the unique circumstances of your case, determine your options, and advise you on how to proceed.
If you do have grounds for a lawsuit, it doesn’t mean those responsible for your suffering will simply write you a check. The manufacturers and physicians have deep pockets, lawyers, and insurance companies on their side. Confronting them requires skill and fortitude — you need an advocate who will fight for the just compensation to which you are legally entitled.
Some of the legal grounds on which you might have a case against a manufacturer include:
- Negligence: Device manufacturers have a duty to design, produce, label, and market a product to avoid harm to the public. Complaints state that these companies are “guilty of carelessness, recklessness, negligence and willful, wanton, outrageous and reckless disregard for human life.”
- Fraudulent misrepresentation: Defendant companies presented their products as safe and effective, when they were not.
- Failure to warn: Mesh manufacturers did not warn the public that mesh might, and in fact did very early on, fail to implant correctly and cause complications.
- Failure to properly test: Mesh manufacturers did not properly test these devices before selling them.
- Consumer risk: Mesh manufacturers were aware of the dangers of hernia mesh but continued to profit from their sales.
- Failure to recall: Mesh manufacturers did not stop selling the product even though there was early evidence of the harm it could cause.
Statute of Limitations
As with any product liability or personal injury litigation, there are strict statutes of limitation. You only have a limited amount of time to file a suit once your adverse symptoms begin. These limitations vary by state and jurisdiction. In most cases, however, you do not get a second chance. It is therefore imperative that you contact an attorney as soon as you begin to experience adverse symptoms because that’s when the countdown begins.
Steps to Filing a Lawsuit
In order to file a lawsuit and receive just compensation, we must first conduct an investigation to establish that injured by hernia mesh. We will order your medical records and review them at no charge to you. Once we conduct this review, we will discuss when and where to file a claim on your behalf. You will never owe us anything unless we obtain a recovery for you.
We Can Help You
Additional activities may be required depending on the unique circumstances of your case, and there are numerous legal procedures to complete. It may feel overwhelming to tackle all this work and take on a confrontation with a big medical device manufacturer while you are dealing with chronic pain or other complications from your hernia repair surgery. Avram Blair & Associates, P.C. can help. That’s what we’re here for. We have experience handling these types of cases and we have staff standing ready to help you.
Call Avram Blair & Associates, P.C. at (800) 634-7490 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation. We will listen to your story, assess your chances for a successful claim, and advise you on how to move forward.