Hernia Mesh Lawyer Representing Injured Clients
According to information provided by the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA), more than 1,000,000 hernia repair procedures are performed every year in the United States. Approximately 800,000 of those repairs are for inguinal hernias, with the remaining 200,000 repairs accounting for other types of hernias.
The use of surgical mesh in hernia repair procedures is very common, and while some patients do well with the help of surgical mesh, a substantial number of patients do not. In fact, many patients have experienced debilitating injuries following hernia repair surgeries involving the use of mesh.
Mesh is not the only tool available to treat hernias, but because procedures using mesh are intended to be quicker and easier, surgical mesh has been the go-to option for many years. Patients can choose non-mesh options when seeking a hernia repair but must be diligent in discussing such options with a surgeon.
Each hernia mesh lawyer at our firm is highly experienced in mass tort litigation. The team at Searcy Denney has seen first-hand just how devastating hernia mesh injuries can be. Anyone who has suffered complications or injuries following a hernia mesh repair (such as the need for revision/removal procedures) should consider contacting our office to discuss potential legal options.
What is a Hernia, and Why is Repair Needed?
Although hernias are common, many people may not know what hernias are and that there are different types of hernias, some of which are more severe than others. A hernia occurs when an internal organ, an intestine, or fatty tissue protrudes through an opening or weak spot in the abdominal wall.
Weak muscles are often a leading cause or contributing factor to the development of a hernia. Depending on the severity, some hernias are more severe than others. Examples of common types of hernias include, among others, the following:
- Inguinal – develops in the inner groin
- Femoral – develops in the upper thigh or outer groin
- Incisional – develops through an incision or abdominal scar
- Ventral – develops in the abdominal/ventral wall
- Umbilical – develops at or near the belly button
- Hiatal – develops within the abdomen and along the upper stomach or diaphragm
Hernias have many causes, which often collectively contribute to the development of a hernia. Pressure against muscles or connective tissues and an opening or weakness within the muscles or connective tissue contribute to the development of most hernias. Pressure in conjunction with having an opening allows organs to protrude through the opening.
Examples of things that can cause abdominal pressure include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Lifting heavy objects
- Constipation, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal conditions (such as bowel obstruction)
- Chronic coughing or sneezing
- Overuse of abdominal muscles
- Poor nutritional habits
Surgical intervention is the only way to treat a hernia effectively. Depending on the severity of a patient’s hernia, a doctor may recommend “watchful waiting.” If a patient is doing well with a hernia, he or she may not require surgery. However, more often than not, patients with hernias undergo repair procedures.
Except in mild cases, hernia repairs are necessary to allow patients to regain functionality without the risk of further damage resulting from an untreated hernia. Because most patients undergo surgery, many of them have opted for the use of mesh based on their doctors’ recommendations.
Surgical Treatment Options for Hernias
For patients who must undergo hernia repair procedures, there are two types to choose from – laparoscopic repair and open repair. With laparoscopic hernia repairs (which are considered minimally invasive), small incisions are made in the patient’s abdomen, allowing the surgeon to insert tools in the openings to repair the hernia. A laparoscopic repair may be performed with or without the use of mesh.
The second surgical treatment option for hernia repairs is an open repair. With open repairs, an incision is made near the hernia, which is larger than the incisions made during a laparoscopic procedure. Surgeons have the option to use mesh or proceed without mesh when dealing with open repairs.
What is Hernia Mesh? Our Hernia Mesh Lawyer Explains
Hernia mesh is a small piece of material that is typically comprised of polypropylene or animal tissue. Polypropylene is a synthetic material used to make many products other than implantable medical devices but is the material of choice for many surgeons.
Polypropylene surgical mesh is intended to remain in the body permanently, meaning that the material is non-absorbable. Tissue grows around the mesh and through the pores of the mesh. The mesh is supposed to provide permanent protection or reinforcement of the hernia repair site.
Unlike polypropylene mesh, mesh made of animal tissue is not a permanent implant. The mesh is absorbable, degrading over time. As the material degrades, new tissue growth is supposed to provide support at the repair site.
While animal-derived mesh may carry serious consequences, most defective hernia mesh products are comprised of polypropylene, a material that was never intended to be used in products that are implanted into the human body.
Polypropylene is commonly used to make consumer products, such as food packaging and bottles. Because of the nature of polypropylene, many patients have suffered significant injuries, most of which are permanent.
Active Mass Tort Litigation Regarding Defective Hernia Mesh Products
Thousands of hernia mesh lawsuits have been filed by injured plaintiffs from all over the country. Given the significant number of individually filed cases, hernia mesh lawsuits have been consolidated into one court as multi-district litigation (MDL), as well as some consolidated state actions. Hernia mesh litigation is one of the larger mass torts at issue right now.
A mass tort is a collection of individual lawsuits that have the same or similar allegations but that are based on the unique facts of each injured plaintiff. Mass torts are not class actions. A class action is one lawsuit that involves numerous plaintiffs.
Plaintiffs injured by hernia mesh products are filing claims in state and federal court, depending on where a plaintiff lives and/or was injured. In most cases, plaintiffs are filing claims in either the federal MDL or a consolidated state action (which is basically an MDL at the state level).
The following table identifies all the known hernia mesh products at issue in this large mass tort litigation. Many of the products have been recalled after causing injuries to thousands of patients.
NAME OF DEFENDANT MANUFACTURER
NAME OF PRODUCT/MODELS AT ISSUE
C-QUR Edge Mesh V-Patch
C-QUR Lite Mesh V-Patch
C-QUR OVT Mesh
C-QUR RPM Mesh
Ventralex ST Mesh
Sepramesh IP Composite Mesh
Composix E/X Mesh
Bard Mesh Dart
Kugel Hernia Patch
Modified Kugel Hernia Patch
Composix Kugel Hernia Patch
Parietex Surgical Mesh
Parietex Composite Mesh
Parietex ProGrip Mesh
Parietex Composite Ventral Patch
Parietex ProGrip Self-Fixating Mesh
Parietex Optimized Composite Mesh
Parietex Plug and Patch System
Parietex Composite Open Skirt (PCO OS) Mesh
Parietex Optimized Open Skirt Mesh
Parietex Composite Parastomal (PCO PM) Mesh
Parietex Composite Hiatal Mesh (PCO 2H)
Parietex Hydrophilic Anatomical Mesh
Parietex Folding Mesh
Parietex Flat Sheet Mesh
Parietex Lightweight Monofilament
Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh
W.L. GORE & ASSOCIATES
Most patients who undergo hernia mesh repair procedures are not informed about which specific product/model of mesh will be used. As such, injured patients do not know whether the type of mesh used in their procedures is one that is the subject of the hernia mesh mass tort litigation.
To determine whether a hernia mesh product is the subject of litigation, our hernia mesh lawyer will obtain medical records that identify the manufacturer of the hernia mesh implant, the model or name of the implant, and the LOT or serial number associated with that implant.
Our Hernia Mesh Lawyer is Knowledgeable About the Injuries Associated with Using Mesh to Repair Hernias
While most patients who undergo hernia mesh procedures experience the same or similar injuries, the extent of such injuries will be unique from patient to patient. Different types of potential injuries resulting from the use of hernia mesh include, among others, the following:
- Chronic pain
- Mesh erosion
- The need for one or more revision/removal procedures
- Recurrence (return) of the hernia that was repaired with mesh
- Perforation of surrounding organs
- Bowel obstruction
- Migration (movement) of the mesh from its original location within the abdomen
- Serious infections
The above-listed injuries provide a snapshot of common injuries that hernia mesh manufacturers knew were likely to develop for many patients following surgery. Yet, these manufacturers did not warn physicians or patients of such serious risks, preventing patients from making informed decisions.
In addition to alleging a failure to warn claim, many hernia mesh lawsuits allege negligence, defective design of the hernia mesh, defective manufacturing of the hernia mesh (in some cases), and breach of warranty. Given the complicated nature of hernia mesh lawsuits, it is critical to speak with a hernia mesh lawyer right away if you have suffered injuries following a hernia repair with the use of mesh.
Damages Resulting from Hernia Mesh Injuries
Damage is a term used to describe the harm a patient suffers at the hands of negligence and/or a defective product. Damages, like the type of injuries associated with hernia mesh, will differ from patient to patient.
Examples of recoverable damages in a hernia mesh lawsuit include, but may not be limited to, the following:
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
- Lost wages (present and future)
- Medical Expenses (present and future)
- Punitive Damages, which are awarded when a defendant’s conduct is willful, wanton, or egregious
Generally, punitive damages are difficult to recover at trial. However, because of the defendant manufacturers’ bad conduct (such as failing to warn of known risks associated with the use of hernia mesh), juries may conclude that the defendants are liable for punitive damages.
Contact a Hernia Mesh Lawyer at Searcy Denney Today for a Free Case Evaluation
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries following implantation of hernia mesh, you have limited time to speak with a qualified hernia mesh lawyer who can evaluate your potential claim. At Searcy Denney, our mass tort attorneys are nationally recognized for providing outstanding legal representation.
To find out whether you or your loved one may be entitled to compensation, contact our office today by calling (800) 780-8607 or by completing a case inquiry form on our website. A member of our legal team will provide you with a free case evaluation.