People who received hernia mesh implants in a hernia repair surgery may have been placed at risk for serious injury. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers like Ethicon, Atrium Medical and C.R. Bard for serious injuries caused by their surgical mesh products.
Hernia mesh is implanted surgically to stabilize tissues during an abdominal hernia repair surgery. Over 800,000 hernia surgeries are performed in the U.S. each year and about 90% of these are done with a surgical mesh product. Though the products were intended to decrease the chance for hernia recurrence, thousands of people may have been placed at a higher risk of complications.
Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against hernia mesh manufacturers like Atrium Medical, Ethicon, and C.R. Bard for injuries caused by their hernia mesh products.
Hernia mesh is similar to other types of surgical mesh, including transvaginal mesh and bladder sling products. It is an implantable mesh, constructed out of polypropylene which is a type of plastic polymer. Polypropylene mesh was intended to minimize tissue reduction and increase the chance for a stable hernia repair, but it may be prone to degradation, resulting in serious side effects.
Hernia mesh may cause serious side effects including:
- Severe pain
- Intestinal obstruction
- Tissue adhesion
- Mesh migration
- Mesh erosion
- Mesh shrinkage
- Organ perforation
- Hernia re-emergence
When complications of hernia mesh implantation are severe, and when hernia re-emergence has occurred, the patient may require additional surgery or surgeries to remove, repair and replace a defective mesh device. Each additional surgery will increase the risk for pain, infection and further complications.
Hernia Mesh Manufacturers
Of the nearly 800,000 hernia repair procedures performed annually in the U.S., about 90% are done using a surgical mesh device. The majority of these devices are manufactured by one of three companies, C.R. Bard’s Davol unit, Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, Ethicon and Atrium Medical. Though each company manufactures a number of surgical mesh products, the most reports of injury have come from:
Ethicon and parent company, Johnson & Johnson
- Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh
C.R. Bard and Davol
- Composix E/X Mesh
- Composix LIP Mesh
- C-QUR Mesh
Hernia Mesh Recall
Though thousands of patients have suffered severe side effects and complications from hernia mesh, few recalls have been issued by the Food and Drug Administration or the manufacturers. Most products remain on the market.
Recalls have included:
A 2006 Class I recalls was issued due to threat of severe injury that could be caused by the Composix Kugel Patch, manufactured by C.R. Bard. Other Bard products are still on the market.
In 2015, manufacturing of Atrium Medical’s C-QUR mesh was temporarily halted after the FDA had issued numerous warning letters regarding sterility and defects of the product. Despite these concerns, manufacturing was resumed and the C-QUR line remains on the market.
In 2016, Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, Ethicon issued a safety alert and voluntarily withdrew its Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh line of products from the market. This was after studies showed the devices had a higher than expected rate of required revision surgeries and thousands of serious adverse event reports had been filed with the FDA. Other Ethicon mesh products are still being marketed.
Hernia Mesh Lawsuits
Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Atrium Medical, Ethicon and Bard for injuries caused by their hernia mesh products.
Atrium Medical – Over 500 federal lawsuits have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL 2753) in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire. Atrium may also be facing lawsuits in numerous state courts and may expect more federal cases as well. The federal MDL will begin February 2020.
Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson – Nearly 1,400 federal lawsuits have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL 2782) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia for injuries caused by Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh. This is not the first challenge that Ethicon or parent company Johnson & Johnson has faced and the company is still facing thousands of transvaginal mesh and talcum powder lawsuits in addition to hernia mesh cases in state court. Federal hernia mesh lawsuit trials will begin September 2019.
Davol and C.R. Bard – Class-action lawsuits have already been settled for Bard’s Composix Kugel mesh and transvaginal mesh. Over 1,800 Composix E/X and Composix LIP lawsuits have been approved for consolidation in case MDL 2846. The company is also facing at least 200 case in state courts and may expect lawsuits for additional brand names of surgical mesh. The federal MDL date has not been decided.
How to File a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit
People or loved ones of those who suffered serious complications and side effects of hernia mesh implantation may be eligible for compensation for their medical costs, future costs, lost wages and pain and suffering. Past medical injury case have resulted in awards that reach into the $hundreds of thousands and even into the $millions.
Victims or loved ones of those who were diagnosed with one or more of the following after receiving a hernia mesh implant may be eligible for compensation.
- Hernia recurrence
- Mesh erosion, migration or shrinkage
- Organ perforation
- Bowel obstruction or intestinal paralysis
- Severe or chronic pain
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease or Sepsis
- Have required or been recommended to have hernia mesh removal and repair
Each case of hernia mesh injury is unique and there are no guarantees but you should seek evaluation by legal experts.
- Hernia Surgical Mesh, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2018)
- Hernia mesh litigation mounts, NH Business Review, (2/2018)
- Atrium Medical C-QUR MDL 2753, U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire (12/2016)
- Ethicon Physiomesh MDL 2782, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (6/2017)
- Transfer Order, C.R. Bard MDL 2846, Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (8/2018)