Pursuing Justice for Injured Victims of Defective Hernia Mesh
The Mass Tort Unit at Searcy Denney recently filed an individual lawsuit against Davol, Inc., a division of C.R. Bard. in Broward County on behalf of a Margate, Florida resident. This South Florida woman underwent a hernia repair surgery in November of 2005 and was implanted with a Composix Kugel hernia mesh product manufactured by the defendants. At the time of this surgery, the defendants were aware of defects in the design and/or manufacture of the hernia mesh patch, included an embedded plastic memory recoil ring, which was known to break or buckle and cause a number of injuries to patients.
The first recall of a portion of the Composix Kugel hernia mesh product line occurred in December of 2005 (less than a month after this South Florida plaintiff was implanted) with expansions of the recall occurring on March 24, 2006, and January 10, 2007. To this day, defendants have failed to recall the sizes of hernia mesh patches, which contain this defective memory recoil ring, even after facing lawsuits filed by more than 3,000 injured patients or their surviving family members involving both recalled as well as non-recalled products that include the defective memory recoil ring. This South Florida plaintiff suffered numerous injuries due to the failure of the memory recoil ring to perform as represented, including the need for extensive hospitalizations and surgeries necessitated by chronic infections, migration of the hernia mesh patch, bowel obstruction, formation of fistulas, and other serious mesh-related complications
This lawsuit will shortly be transferred from the local state court to MDL No. 1852, the coordinated hernia mesh proceedings based in federal court in Providence, Rhode Island. This MDL (Multi-District Litigation) has been pending for more than five years, and the work in the MDL litigation as well as state court proceedings in Rhode Island have been essentially stayed for the past several months due to ongoing settlement negotiations. It is estimated that nearly 2/3 of the pending cases have now been resolved, and the judges overseeing the litigation have encouraged the parties to expedite settlement negotiations on the remaining cases in hopes that the individual claims can be resolved without the need for additional trials or transfer or remand of hundreds of cases back to local jurisdictions for trial settings.
In July of 2011, the FDA issued some guidelines for patients who are contemplating undergoing hernia mesh surgery. Patients are advised to ask detailed questions about the need for the use of hernia mesh prior to their surgeries, since hernia repairs that utilize mesh products are more likely to have complications than those repairs that do not require the implantation of a medical device. Patients are urged to ask their physicians to share the warning label and instructions that are included with the hernia mesh product, but rarely seen by patients. The FDA also urges patients with complications to report those problems to the agency. This is terribly important as MedWatch reports to the FDA are vital to the ability of our government to oversee medical device safety rather than merely relying on the device manufacturers, and their efforts to monitor safety are severely hampered by the fact that perhaps only 1% of adverse events are ever reported by doctors or patients to the FDA.
The Mass Tort lawyers at Searcy Denney are proud to represent clients in their individual lawsuits against Davol, Inc. as well as other defective medical devices, drugs and consumer products.