You may be wondering what the hernia mesh settlement landscape looks like. The issue covers several manufacturers and different types of products. It can be confusing to consumers. This update will bring clarity to the issue. The more information you have, the better you will know how to proceed. Here is what the current landscape looks like.
Hernia Mesh Class Action Suits
In 2017, a woman filed suit against Johnson and Johnson, the manufacturer of the popular Physiomesh surgical tool. The claim was constant pain and suffering caused by TVT Secure transvaginal mesh used during her surgery. Essentially, she claimed the mesh product caused her injury rather than helped cure it.. The hernia may have been repaired, but the tissue damaged surrounding tissue putting her in a state of constant pain. The case is known as Engelman vs. Ethicon and she was awarded a $20 million suit. This was the 5th major loss for hernia mesh products since 2014, and there are 54,000 hernia mesh cases pending.
That number just represents the lawsuits against Johnson and Johnson. There are others too. In 2014, Endo International paid $830 million dollars to settle 20,000 cases, C.R. Bard settled 3,000 cases for $200 million ($67,000 per plaintiff) and another $119 million to settle 2,790 cases the same year for claims resulting from complications experienced by transvaginal mesh and two other devices.
So what does all of this mean? Different manufacturers, thousands of suits, class action, individual, awarded, filed, it can be so confusing. If you have a suit in process, or are thinking of filing a claim, you may find the following information to be helpful. The process for filing suit is being streamlined
Hernia Mesh Cases and MDL
The federal courts have placed hernia mesh lawsuits under multi-district litigation with a Georgia judge assigned to preside over the cases. This federal statute (28 U.S.C. / 1407) is used when there are multiple cases in different jurisdictions revolving around the same issue. MDLs are a way to make the process more efficient and typically involves cases that are complex or multifaceted, like product liability lawsuits. So how does that look for the hernia mesh settlement landscape? It works like this.
In order to establish an MDL, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation it must first decide whether there is reason to have the cases consolidated, and if so, where they cases should be tried. Once established, instead of each case going to trial independently in their own court of jurisdiction, they are sent from one court transferor) to another court (transferee), for pretrial hearings and discovery. It is a way to make the process more efficient, giving one point of contact for hernia mesh lawsuits. Processing each case, especially if there are hundreds or thousands, would take years and essentially bog down the judicial system. MDL greases the gears of justice so they turn more smoothly.
What are the Benefits to Multidistrict Litigation?
So what are the benefits to this process as far as the hernia mesh settlement landscape is concerned? Why is MDL any different or better than filing and addressing each suit independently? First, let’s look at it from the manufacturer’s side. It is in fact the manufacturer who must apply for and MDL. Let’s say there are 8 different cases involving faulty hair dryers of the same brand, that explode after about 5 minutes of use. All of these cases are in different jurisdictions (states). This means the manufacturer would have to go to trial in 8 different states and defend each case independently. This would be extremely time consuming. MDL gives the manufacturer one court to go to for each case. This method is very efficient for manufacturers.
What about the consumer then? Are their benefits to an MDL? Sure. The old saying “safety in numbers’ comes to mind. Processing a case through MDL increases the chance of a uniform verdict. If each hernia mesh lawsuit was tried independently, some plaintiffs would likely receive more, while others would receive less or little to nothing. This is where MDL is helpful to the consumer. In fact, if several consumers had a very near or similar experience with the product, they might elect to have their cases heard by the same court. This brings even more efficiency to the hernia mesh settlement landscape.
Why the Physiomesh MDL is Unique
Even at that, the Johnson and Johnson Physiomesh MDL is unique. Most multidistrict litigation cases deal with dozens or hundreds of incidents at best. Hernia mesh MDLs are unique in that they could be dealing with thousands of cases. So even while the process is more efficient than trying each case independently, it could still take time. This is why we can not guarantee a time frame for your hernia mesh lawsuit. These cases take time.
Even with an MDL, time is necessary to review all of the claims made against the manufacturer. Plus, it is important to keep in mind that each case will go to trial according to manufacturer. Right now, cases are pending for Johnson and Johnson. If your mesh was made by a different manufacturer, your case will be heard when those cases are grouped together for processing and trial at a later date.
Hernia Mesh Settlement Landscape: You Still have Time
All of this to say, there is still time to file a claim if you qualify. The docket is growing for Johnson and Johnson, but with thousands of cases to process, time is an asset. Claims against other manufacturers for mesh products will be processed accordingly, in turn.
This does not mean you should wait though. The hernia mesh landscape is always changing. It is important to contact us immediately if you have questions or concerns about your hernia mesh or feel like you have experienced problems due to surgery. This will give us ample time to explore your scenario and see if you have reason to file a claim. We have experience with hernia mesh cases and will work with you to help you determine whether or not you have a case.
Now is the time to act. With and MDL already being established, hernia mesh cases will move forward. We understand that no amount of money can offset the chronic pain or challenges associated with a defective hernia mesh repair, but it could set you on the road to recovery. Regaining your health is priceless. If you have been injured by a faulty hernia mesh implant, or have wondered whether or not you should pursue a claim against the manufacturer for your pain and suffering, contact us. Now is the time to take advantage of the current structure of the hernia mesh settlement landscape. We look forward to hearing from you.