Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Settlements

Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran

If you had a hernia mesh repair procedure performed and suffered serious side effects or required another operation, you may want to learn about making a hernia mesh claim.

There have been nationwide claims and federal surgical mesh lawsuits resulting in major claims and major settlements paid out by major manufacturers such as C.R. Bard.

In 2011, C.R. Bard settled 2,600 Kugel hernia patch cases for $184 million, ending the MDL in 2017.

Hernia Mesh Attorney

The legal team at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. has extensive experience handling medical malpractice lawsuits, including mass torts and multidistrict litigations. When pursuing hernia mesh litigation, it’s essential to know the type of hernia mesh you have and what complications you suffered to determine if you can receive compensation.

Hernia Mesh Recalls

Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initiated hernia mesh recalls in 2016, thousands of patients have filed hernia mesh lawsuits in the United States and Canada against C.R. Bard and other manufacturers of hernia mesh products.

In most of these lawsuits, hernia mesh victims allege the products had a design defect or manufacturing fault. The victims also point out that the companies failed to warn surgeons adequately of potentially serious complications.

Hernia Mesh Cases

There are over 20,000 individual lawsuits against Ethicon, C.R. Bard, and Atrium Medical Corp. The COVID-19 epidemic forced multiple reschedulings of the initial hernia mesh bellwether trials.

In August 2021, the hernia mesh trial concluded with a defense victory for C.R. Bard. Bellwether trials have been rescheduled for a later time.

Filing a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit

If you suffered complications after having a hernia repair surgery for a hernia mesh patch, you likely have grounds for a product liability case. Since these cases are challenging to prove, you should work with an experienced hernia mesh attorney like Eileen Kroll, one of our senior partners at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C.

Her decades of experience as a registered nurse give her insight into your case both medically and legally as a hernia mesh lawyer.

When filing a medical malpractice or medical device liability suit, you’ll need to follow these steps:

File a complaint

Your attorney thoroughly investigates your allegations. They work with you to prepare a claim, ensuring all details are accurate. Once they file the complaint, the defendant gets the opportunity to respond to your allegations.

Pre-trial discovery, depositions, and motions

Your attorney at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. requests documents regarding the investigation details and prepares interrogatories (written questions) to which the defendant responds.

Depositions (oral evidence and answers) are taken under oath with a court reporter documenting proceedings. The defendant does their interrogatories and depositions.

Your attorney may file pre-trial motions to exclude evidence clarify procedural issues and other requirements. There may be several hearings on these motions.

Trial

Your attorney presents your case in court, cross-examines and counter cross-examines witnesses, makes arguments on the merits of your case, and requests compensation.

The jury deliberates and agrees on a verdict and settlement. The judgment may include a monetary award if you win the case. Depending on the complexity of the issues and the number of witnesses, the trial may take several weeks.

Post-verdict or appeal

Your attorney or the defendant may file post-trial motions to set aside verdicts or appeal. Otherwise, your attorney works to secure the compensation from the defendant if they lose the case.

Hernia Mesh Settlement

Your lawsuit may include recouping any past and future medical costs along with compensation for your pain and suffering. Your attorney and the defendants’ attorneys may agree on a settlement amount at any stage during the pre-trial or trial period. However, you need to agree to a settlement before it’s finalized.

Settled and Current Hernia Mesh Lawsuits/MDLs

The FDA issued a Class I recall for the Composix Kugel Patch (Kugel Mesh) manufactured by C.R. Bard in 2006, but most of Bard’s products remain on the market.

Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon division issued an emergency safety alert in 2016. It withdrew its Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh products from the market, but other Ethicon hernia mesh products are still available. This action followed a clinical study showing a high rate of hernia revision surgeries and the FDA warning statement.

The FDA issued Atrium Medical Corp several warning letters regarding manufacturing defects and sterility issues with the C-QUR mesh device. Manufacturing was temporarily halted in 2015 to correct these issues.

Injured patients have filed thousands of hernia mesh lawsuits against multiple manufacturers. Many of these lawsuits are part of federal multidistrict litigation (MDLs), which are often used to hear cases with similar injuries against the same defendant in a more efficient way. The federal courts pool cases into one pre-trial and assign it to a specific court.

An appointed MDL committee then guides the cases. Depending on the product, manufacturer, and types of injuries, you may be included in the class action or MDL. You may be heard individually if there are not enough cases to warrant a class action or MDL.

Hernia mesh lawsuit timelines vary. C.R. Bard Inc. settled a ten-year-long MDL in 2016 and a class action in Canada. Another lawsuit for a similar product is currently pooled into an MDL, with several others pending against Ethicon and Atrium Medical in the federal court district of New Hampshire.

What Hernia Mesh Manufacturers are Being Sued?

Several hernia mesh manufacturers are involved in these cases, most notably:

  • Ethicon (a Johnson & Johnson Company): Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh
  • Atrium Medical Corp: C-QUR Mesh
  • Bard (Bard Davol): Composix E/X Mesh, Composix LIP Mesh
  • Gore
  • Covidien / Medtronic

What is Hernia Mesh?

Hernia mesh is a surgical product or medical device commonly used in about 90% of hernia repair surgeries. Nearly a million of these hernia surgeries are performed annually in the USA.

The internal process that causes hernias occurs when abdominal tissues, which contain the stomach and other organs, separate and abdominal organs slip through the opening. Hernias often cause lumps, pain, and sometimes obstruction.

You can develop hernias because of an injury or if a surgical incision doesn’t heal. To stabilize the tissue surrounding the opening and seal it up. It is made of synthetic material, such as polypropylene, which may degrade after implant surgery.

To solve the degradation process problem of the polypropylene hernia mesh, Atrium Medical Corp coated their devices with Omega-3 from fish oil to stop it from adhering to other tissues.

However, in addition to causing infections and allergic reactions, Omega-3 did not prevent it from sticking. Other mesh products have degraded, broken, punctured bowel and caused bowel obstruction, concomitant infections, fistulas, and repeat surgeries.

The material used for hernia mesh is similar to that used for surgical repair products such as transvaginal mesh and bladder sling devices, resulting in thousands of personal injuries from medical devices lawsuits.

What are the Mesh Complications?

Hernia mesh surgeries resulting in serious complications have required multiple procedures to remove the mesh, repair and reconstruct, and treat infections. Some cases have resulted in permanent damage or death.

Defective hernia mesh can cause the following side effects:

  • Mesh migration
  • Mesh shrinkage
  • Tissue fusion
  • Hernia recurrence
  • Chronic or severe pain
  • Infection
  • Bowel blockage
  • Organ perforation

Hernia mesh implants can also cause the following complications:

  • Adhesions
  • Erosion of the implant device
  • Mesh failure
  • Abdominal and abdominal muscle pain
  • Groin and testicular pain
  • Mesh Migration
  • Infections
  • Recurrence of the hernia

The most serious injuries in hernia mesh cases include:

  • Perforation of organs or tissues and organ damage
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Fistulas
  • Seromas
  • Chronic pain
  • Life-threatening infections
  • Multiple surgeries
  • Autoimmune problems
  • Delayed or long-term consequences
  • Wrongful death

The mesh can also cause complications if your healthcare provider was negligent during the mesh implant surgery. A design flaw in the mesh itself can also cause these health issues:

  • High fever (over 101ºF)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain, swelling, or bruising
  • Difficulty passing gas, stool, or urinating
  • Abdominal pain and stiffness
  • Bowel perforation

Can I File a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit?

When determining if you can file a hernia mesh lawsuit, it is essential to understand the difference between medical negligence, an unavoidable injury, or an error of judgment. Your lawyer may need to prove negligence on behalf of the surgeon or the product manufacturer to win a lawsuit.

Lawsuit: Negligence

To prove negligence, your lawyer must show that:

  • The defendant had a duty of care
  • They breached that duty
  • Your hernia mesh injury would not have occurred without the breach of duty
  • You have provable damages

Lawsuit: Duty of care

You will have to prove who owed you a duty of care. For a viable hernia mesh case, you need to show that the product manufacturer owed a duty of care to inform doctors and patients of any potential hernia mesh problems.

Lawsuit: Who owed you a duty of care?

In most hernia mesh lawsuit settlements, lawyers argue that the medical device manufacturers owe a duty of care to the consumers of their products, the medical professionals that use the medical device in treatment, and the facilities that purchase the medical devices.

They have a duty of care to the patient to ensure a safe product when used as intended. They must also provide directions and adequate warnings of the potential side effects and risks.

Lawsuit: Was that duty of care breached?

Your lawyer will investigate if your doctor breached their duty of care through an incorrect diagnosis, using a faulty implant knowingly, or making a serious mistake during the surgery.

If the doctor acted in good faith, then your lawyer will likely try to show that the hernia mesh manufacturer breached their duty of care by creating a defective product or through a failure to provide adequate warning of foreseeable side-effects and complications.

Lawsuit: Did the breach harm you and can you prove a causal connection?

You have to prove the defective hernia mesh implant directly caused your injuries.

Lawsuit: Can you prove actual loss or harm?

You must be able to quantify the harm suffered in hernia mesh surgery in financial terms. This may include economic damages like past and future medical bills, travel costs, and lost wages, which has no cap. Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, mental or emotional anguish, loss of enjoyment, or loss of consortium are harder to prove.

Additional Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When filing a hernia mesh lawsuit, there are a few questions your attorney may ask:

  • Why are you interested in filing a hernia mesh lawsuit?
  • What severe injuries are you experiencing from your defective mesh?
  • Did your hernia mesh complications require further medical treatments, such as additional surgery?
  • Do you have copies of your medical bills and records from your healthcare providers?

There are also several frequently asked questions you may want answers to before you begin the filing process.

Can I sue for hernia mesh?

If you are experiencing symptoms of hernia mesh failure or had to have an operation redone because of a recall, talk to a personal injury lawyer about filing an individual lawsuit.

What are the grounds for filing a hernia mesh lawsuit?

To win a hernia mesh lawsuit, your lawyer must prove medical negligence by the surgeon or product manufacturer. This can include establishing a breach of duty of care and providing evidence that said breach caused you harm.

How long does a hernia mesh lawsuit take?

The time your lawsuit takes varies on a case-by-case basis, so it’s impossible to predict an exact timeline. If your case goes to trial, the trial itself can take several weeks. It’s rare for a hernia mesh lawsuit to be resolved in less than a year. Sometimes it may take up to three years to reach a hernia mesh settlement.

What is the time limit or statute of limitations to file a hernia mesh lawsuit?

The statute of limitations for filing a hernia mesh lawsuit varies by state. In Michigan, you must file within three years from the date the injury occurred.

What is the average hernia mesh settlement?

MDL (multidistrict litigations) settlements are highly structured instead of individual cases where settlement calculations revolve around the hernia mesh plaintiff.

MDL settlements consider your age, employment history, marital status, and your medical history, including the severity of your hernia mesh complications and additional surgeries needed.

The settlement amount increases if a plaintiff requires revision surgery to treat their injuries. A hernia recurrence may also increase the settlement amount. A settlement may be higher if a defective hernia mesh breaks a person’s ability to work or have conjugal relations with their spouse.

As a result, a plaintiff’s settlement may be $60,000, while another settlement could be as much as $250,000 if the victim experienced severe pain and suffering from their injuries.

What is the average payout for a hernia mesh lawsuit?

Various factors affect the average settlement for an individual hernia mesh lawsuit, including the severity of your hernia mesh injuries and economic losses. You may receive a bigger hernia mesh lawsuit settlement if the complications of implanting hernia meshes are really severe.

The amount of compensation you receive depends on how much your injuries have affected your quality of life. For instance, recurrence of a hernia, chronic inflammation, or extreme pain can be harmful to your quality of life. Our attorneys can calculate the settlement amount for your hernia mesh claim.

If your case goes to trial, the verdict can impact the amount you’ll receive. The bellwether verdicts provide a starting point for settlement negotiations with the manufacturers.

Is there a recall on hernia mesh implants?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) started the hernia mesh recalls in 2016. If you previously received a hernia mesh implant, you can review your medical documents to identify the product name, code, and manufacturer who made the implant to see if it’s part of the FDA recall.

What year did the hernia mesh recalls start?

C.R. Bard and Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon began hernia mesh recalls in 2005. C.R. Bard recalled its Kugel Hernia Mesh and its other polypropylene brands.

Ethicon recalled its Proceed surgical mesh products. Atrium recalled units of C-QUR brand hernia mesh in 2013, and Covidien LLC recalled 7333 units of hernia mesh in October 2018.

What compensation can I get if I sue for hernia mesh injuries?

When seeking damages in a hernia mesh lawsuit, you may be able to get compensation for your pain and suffering, resulting in medical expenses and lost wages.

Is the hernia mesh litigation a class action or individual lawsuits?

Hernia mesh litigation takes the form of individual lawsuits and MDLs, which are often used to hear similar cases against the same defendant more efficiently. There are also class action lawsuits for surgical mesh implants on behalf of multiple individuals suffering from similar injuries.

If You Are a Hernia Mesh Victim, Call Us for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one have a hernia mesh device and experienced complications, call Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. today. Arrange a free consultation with senior partner Eileen Kroll, a nurse and personal injury trial attorney, to discuss your case. She can determine if you can move forward with a claim.

Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 866-MICH-LAW and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.

Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.

Jasmine Holt is a freelance writer specializing in legal content marketing for attorneys and law firms. She hopes to provide better legal advice to the general public using her previous experience working with a franchise company and a law firm. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.

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