Surgical hernia meshes are implantable medical devices, designed to help treat hernias by providing support and structure for weakened tissues to heal. Hernias are very common injuries, making hernia meshes cheap, popular options for the hundreds of thousands of hernia sufferers who undergo surgery every year. However, hernia meshes aren’t without drawbacks, especially when there are problems with the manufacturing process or defective design flaws that are released onto the market. Manufacturers, as well as doctors, are facing increasing pressure from patients that have suffered serious and even life-threatening side effects, and lawsuits are piling up as a result.
Hernia Mesh History
Mankind has suffered from hernias for at least as long as recorded history. Hernia repair surgery is also nearly as old as civilization itself, with records of hernia diagnosis and treatment going as far back as ancient Egypt, around 1500 BC. Modern Western surgical interventions really started taking off in the mid-1800’s.
When plastics like polypropylene were invented in the early 1900’s, they quickly found medical applications, leading to the development of hernia meshes in the 1950’s and 60’s to treat this age-old injury. Today, upwards of 500,000 to one million people have hernia surgery every year, many of which will involve a surgical mesh implant. Surgical meshes have also found other uses besides hernia repair, such as in treating urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse in women, or to provide tissue support during reconstructive surgery.
Hernia Mesh Lawsuits Today
The point is that hernia meshes aren’t new, and surgery using them is not rare or uncommon. Yet today, there are upwards of 54,000 lawsuits against multiple mesh manufacturers by patients who claim to have been hurt by surgical mesh implants. What’s going on?
The issue seems to be with the devices themselves and the manufacturers that are creating new and experimental mesh products for fast release on the market. Many of these designs have been shown in court, again and again, to be flawed, or the way that they’re manufactured causes problems that aren’t caught until after the devices are already inside a human body. Many of the mesh products in question are made by the same group of companies, including:
- Atrium Medical
- Bard Davol
- Ethicon (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson)
- Medtronic Covidien
Products such as the Atrium C-Qur Mesh have faced significant resistance in light of the problems that they have caused. The Atrium C-Qur, in particular, has faced recall in 2013, due to a manufacturing defect; in 2015, the FDA filed suit to stop Atrium from making or selling more C-Qur meshes. The Ethicon Physiomesh flexible composite has also faced issues, and in light of the problems with the product, the company withdrew the product from the market voluntarily in 2016—but not before facing over 1,000 lawsuits in a Multi-District Litigation.
In prior years, the Bard Davol (then known as C.R. Bard) Kugel mesh was one of the earlier cases where the FDA intervened in a hernia mesh product not once, but three different times—in 2005, 2006, and 2007, due to mesh breakage causing bowel perforations and other complications.
To date, there have been over a billion dollars paid by mesh manufacturers to those who have been hurt, and many more lawsuits are pending by patients seeking relief after suffering serious health consequences, multiple revision surgeries, and more.
Get Help Today
If you or a loved one have suffered harm as a result of a defective hernia mesh product, you are not alone. The attorneys at Wayne Wright LLP understand your situation, and we are here to help you stand up for your legal right to compensation in a court of law.
To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced legal professionals, call us by phone today, use our online contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.