Ethicon Physiomesh Hernia Lawsuits

When many manufacturers of hernia mesh built these products, they put profits over people.  Let's talk about the lawsuits involving hernia mesh manufacturers. 

Ethicon Physiomesh 

Physiomesh is a type II medical device?  It was approved by the FDA through a backdoor called 501 (k).  It means the product was not tested by the FDA as other new products would be because it is "substantially similar" to other surgical meshes.  So Physiomesh piggybacked off previous mesh systems like Prolene, UltraPro, and Physiomesh.  Naturally, they have all had their problems. Prolene has been the subject of FDA recalls and other actions.

There are probably lots of medical devices that should 501(k) approval.  But it is incredible how the discussion of the product history in mass tort lawsuits begins with "the product got 501(k) approval...."  

Sure enough, Physiomesh has had a lot of problems.  This mesh has had its share of tears -- arguably because arguably the "lightweight" feature it was selling was too light.  This mesh may also have had too little polypropylene exposed which means that the mesh was not properly incorporated into the abdominal cavity. 

On May 25, 2016, the problems with the Physiomesh reached a critical mass.  In a field safety notice, Ethicon/Johnson & Johnson admitted to doctors what many of them were already doing anyway: stop using the Ethicon Physiomesh.  

Was this a recall?  If you could waterboard a corporation, they would probably still say no.  But the line between a recall and a voluntary withdrawal is pretty razor thin.  It looks like what it is.  Ethicon took the product off the market because it was no safe. 

What We Can Expect in These Lawsuits Kugel Hernia Patch

It is hard not to look back to the ring issues with the Kugel Mesh cases to figure out where these claims are going. 

The Kugel mesh patch is made of two pieces of mesh that surround a flexible plastic ring. The surgeon places the mesh patch in a small incision. The surgeon would fold the patch and place it at the site of a hernia. The released ring would then spring back into its original shape, flattening the patch. The meshlike material would serve as a substrate, allowing the hernia patient's own tissue to grow and assist in healing the hernia.

Like the Ethicon Physiomesh, this mesh patch was prone to break, leading to bowel perforations and chronic intestinal fistulae. These are very serious conditions that pose a significant health risk to hernia patch patients. The problem with the Kugel hernia patch was that the plastic component could break and cut through a patient's internal organs and tissue. In many cases, the memory recoil ring can break while being inserted. If the Kugel recoil ring breaks, the most common complication is bowel perforations or rupture and chronic intestinal fistulae. 

The common thread is the idea of grabbing as much market share as possible without keeping an eye on safety.  

What Will Be the Average Settlement Value of These Cases?

We do not know how much the average settlement value will be in the Etthicon Phsyiomesh or Artium C-Cur or even whether these cases will end in a settlement.  But the smart money bets that these claim will ultimately reach a global settlement where most of the claims resolve where few if any plaintiffs every see the courthouse steps.  

What we do know is that the average settlement in the Kugel hernia mesh cases were about $70,000.   The conventional wisdom here is that the average settlement value of these cases will be higher. 

Our lawyers are reviewing cases for compensation for mesh hernia patch cases throughout the United States  Call our mesh hernia patch attorneys at 1-800-553-8082 click here for a free online web consultation.