For thousands of patients who have undergone surgery to correct their hernias, recovery has proven to be much more challenging than expected. Defective hernia mesh products are causing a variety of severe complications for hernia mesh patients, but patients are fighting back with lawsuits filed against hernia mesh manufacturers.
Ethicon, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (J&J), manufactures Physiomesh hernia mesh. Ethicon recalled its Physiomesh products in 2016 due to high rates of failure. Over a dozen lawsuits have already been filed against Ethicon, and these lawsuits have been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation (MDL).
In August 2017, the attorneys in the Physiomesh litigation convened for a status conference in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The status conference addressed procedural, case management, and discovery issues during the litigation; and, afterwards, Judge Richard W. Story, who is overseeing pretrial proceedings, issued a court order to keep the momentum going in the litigation.
The court order states both parties in the litigation must meet together to prepare an order allowing additional lawsuits to be filed directly in the Northern District of Georgia. The court order also set a schedule for monthly status conferences to ensure the litigation doesn’t suffer any lag time. In February 2018, the court decided on a trial date for the first bellwether lawsuit. The federal court overseeing the Physiomesh litigation set a trial date for September 16, 2019.
Atrium Medical Corporation manufactures C-Qur hernia mesh, which has been on the market for over 10 years. After years of failing to comply with FDA regulations, the FDA issued a permanent injunction against the company in 2015 to prevent it from producing more unsafe hernia mesh products.
This past December, over 300 C-Qur hernia mesh cases were consolidated in an MDL in New Hampshire and are currently undergoing pretrial proceedings.
Kugel Mesh Settlement and Remaining Lawsuits
Kugel Mesh products manufactured by Davol are some of the most widely used hernia mesh products in the country. Despite Davol Kugel Mesh being the subject of recalls dating as far back as 2005, it remains available on the market today. In 2011, Davol paid $185 million to settle approximately 2,600 hernia mesh lawsuits. However, the company still faces over 1,000 hernia mesh lawsuits in an MDL in Rhode Island.
Patients Fighting Back
Although there are three separate hernia mesh litigations, the outcome of each could affect the outcome of the others. If one litigation sees large trial verdicts or settlements, the other two might follow suit. While it will be some time before a hernia mesh case goes to trial, once the litigation begins in earnest, the results will have profound implications for patients across the country.