Upcoming Hernia Mesh Trials Ahead Name 3 Makers in 15,000 cases

Upcoming Hernia Mesh Trials Ahead Name 3 Makers in 15,000 cases

If the upcoming hernia mesh product liability trials are any indication, they could exceed the 100-thousand pelvic mesh cases amassed in West Virginia multidistrict litigation (MDL).

Thousands of litigants claim that an implanted polypropylene hernia mesh injured them severely. So far, there are three MDLs that have formed and since the COVID-19 court shutdown litigants had to be patient in 2020. With the new year, that may change.

Bellwether trials are being scheduled for the three mesh makers.

Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson, Atrium Medical, and C.R. Bard/Davol are facing 15,000 cases filed by plaintiffs who claim defective design of the hernia mesh. With more than one million hernia meshes implanted in the U.S. every year, the potential numbers of litigants may ultimately exceed the pelvic mesh litigation.

Ethicon makes its hernia mesh from the same polypropylene (PP) that is used in pelvic mesh. It tends to shrink, erode, migrate, and become infected once implanted. Nerve damage is also reported as is sepsis and fatalities.

Ethicon’s PHYSIOMESH™ MDL 2782 is located in the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, MDL 2782 (1:17-md-02782-RWS).

So far, there are 3,334 cases filed there. The first trial is set for January 25, 2021 before Judge Richard Story.

Ethicon’s PHYSIOMESH™ is a flexible composite mesh coated with DS (Polydioxanone) film. The unique design was supposed to minimize adhesions and inflammation while facilitating incorporation of the mesh into the abdomen. Instead, plaintiffs argue that the layers coating the polypropylene prevented adequate incorporation of the mesh into the body and weakened the strength of the mesh. Physiomesh was taken off the market by Johnson & Johnson in May 2016.

Plaintiff Jim Crumbley had Physiomesh implanted which failed. He alleges defective design and manufacturing, failure to warn, negligence and a violation of Georgia’s consumer protection laws.

Atrium Medical

Atrium’s C-Qur hernia mesh lawsuits numbered 2,378 as of October and are consolidated in an MDL in New Hampshire before Judge Landya B. McCafferty in Concord (MDL 2753). Currently there are 2,477 with 2,433 unresolved. Carrie Barron is the lead plaintiff in this MDL with her trial set for January 20, 2021. Followed by Martha Luna. Case No.16-md-2753-LM.

Atrium is headquartered in Merrimack, New Hampshire.

Like Physiomesh, C-Qur is a polypropylene mesh coated with three fatty acids made of highly purified pharmaceutical grade fish oil. The presence of the oil allegedly presents a high rate of infection and rejection, organ perforation, inflammation, and encapsulation of the mesh with scar tissue which results in pain. Patients implanted with C-Qur have complained of adhesions of the mesh to the bowel, rashes, poor memory, and chronic dental problems.

C-Qur was recalled by the FDA in 2013 after a number of adverse events were reported to the agency. The hernia mesh was not removed from the shelves of hospitals or doctor’s offices. Atrium simply wrote a letter notifying doctors to be aware the mesh coating could stick to the packaging.

C.R. Bard/ Davol & Ventralight ST Hernia Mesh

Plaintiff, Steven Johns is the first case that will go to trial April 19, 2021 in the Bard MDL (2846) based in the Southern District of Ohio. Columbus Ohio.  (Case 2:18-md-2846).

The New Jersey-based company is facing more than 8,000 product liability claims naming Bard’s Ventralex, Perfix, 3DMax.

In September, U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus denied the manufacturer’s motion for summary judgment. Judge Sargus ruled the defense experts cannot say the mesh “is in no way defective,” or that the warnings about the risk are sufficient.

The judge issued a pre-trial order that the jury may award punitive damages to those who have been severely injured by the defective Bard Ventralight ST hernia mesh medical device. Failure to warn is party of the case against the defendant and Johns’ doctor said if he had been fully informed by Bad Davol he would not have used this mesh on the plaintiff.

Steven Johns v. C.R Bard, et al. (Case No. 2:18-cv-01509-EAS-KAJ), alleges he faces pain, hernia recurrence, and adhesions. Johns had surgery to remove the mesh and replace it with a new Ventralight ST.

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