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Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Compensation Payouts and Timeline

Surgical MeshOur lawyers are seeking new hernia mesh clients suffering serious side effects from these defective products. Over 6,000 hernia mesh lawsuits have been filed.

None of the current hernia mesh device lawsuits have settled or gone to trial. But the trials are coming in summer 2021 so hopefully our lawyers will have a new update for you soon. Trial verdicts usually lead to settlements in mass tort cases. So, after waiting far too long for settlement compensation in the hernia mesh lawsuits, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for victims.

If you are a potential plaintiff, you want to know the expected average settlement amounts of the hernia mesh cases. Below, our hernia mesh lawyers look at statistics and data and try to give answers as to what the average hernia mesh payout might be.

This is a useful exercise. These cases are ultimately about money to compensate victims for the harms done. But just keep in mind when it comes to ultimate settlement value and the expected average individual payout, our lawyers are merely speculating based on the facts and prior cases.

So what do we estimate for the average payout for a hernia mesh lawsuit? Certainly, this will depend on how successful these summer 2021 trials are. Prior verdicts and settlements from comparable cases suggest that hernia mesh claims will likely be worth $50,000 to $1,000,000 depending on individual circumstances. Yes, that is a big range. Keep reading. Our lawyers break down our thinking - and throw in the caveats - below.

Summary of Hernia Mesh Defects

A hernia is a very common medical condition that must be surgically repaired. Almost 1 million hernia repair surgeries are performed at hospitals in the U.S. every year, making hernia repairs the most common type of surgical procedure in modern medicine. Over the last 20-30 years, most hernia repairs have involved the use of a mesh or patch implant device. These devices most typically treat:

  • Incisional Hernia: weakness in the muscle of the abdomen
  • Ventral Hernia: weakness specifically in the abdominal wall muscles
  • Femoral Hernia: upper thigh or outer groin
  • Inguinal Hernia: inner groin
  • Umbilical Hernia: bulge that forms at the belly button
  • Hiatal Hernia: stomach bulges up into your chest

When performing hernia repair surgery, doctors tuck the protruding organ (usually an intestine) back into place and then surgically repair the muscle wall that holds it in place.

A mesh or patch is like a small little net or screen that the surgeon implants in or around the repaired muscle tissue. The surgical mesh has biological materials. This allows connective tissue to develop that acts as structural support to strengthen and reinforce the repaired muscle wall at the site of the hernia. The muscle tissue regrows around the mesh or patch.

Because these devices are implants they need to be made out of inert materials that can exist inside the human body without triggering an immune system response. They also need to stay intact so as not to move after the surgery or protrude into adjacent tissue.

Most of the earlier mesh products were non-permanent/absorbable. They were made out of animal byproducts that were designed to be gradually absorbed by the body and disappear after implantation. These absorbable devices had a good safety record, but they did not provide permanent abdominal wall support.

In the early 2000s, a new wave of permanent hernia mesh devices from various manufacturers began to hit the market. These devices were made out of a special type of plastic, surrounded by some type of inert coating material that was supposed to make them bio-compatible inside the body. Unfortunately, many of these new permanent mesh/patch implants had major design flaws which led to chronic pain and other disastrous consequences for many patients, including the need for another hernia mesh surgery.

Adverse event reports from health care professionals to U.S. Food and Drug Administration grew. Eventually, and arguably belatedly, the FDA issued safety warnings and demand product recalls.

The fundamental problem with this type of hernia mesh had to do with their bio-compatibility inside the human body. Instead of being inert once implanted in the body, the permanent mesh devices had design or manufacturing issues that caused these synthetic materials to be incompatible with the human immune system which leads to a ton of health problems.

Once implanted, the defective hernia mesh devices would trigger an immune system attack resulting in inflammation and other complications. Another related problem is that their outer coating degraded too quickly, causing the mesh to become abnormally attached to internal organs or tissue.

Injuries Causes by Hernia Mesh Defects

The defective hernia mesh devices can cause internal injuries and/or health complications. The most common injuries linked to defective hernia mesh products:

  • Internal infections and pain
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Mesh detachment and migration
  • Puncture of adjacent tissue/organs
  • Adhesion to other organs or tissue from scar tissue formation

Many of these complications require additional surgery to repair or correct.

In some cases, hernia repair surgery patients started experiencing some of these complications within just a few days after the mesh was surgically implanted. For others, however, there was a substantial delay between the hernia surgery and the onset of symptoms related to defects in the hernia mesh device.

The Defective Hernia Mesh Products

The hernia mesh recalls and lawsuits have primarily revolved around 3 hernia mesh product lines by different medical device manufacturers. The table below lists the 3 companies and the names of their defective hernia mesh products.

The product liability litigation involving the Kugel hernia mesh devices is mostly over at this stage. However, the mass tort litigation involving the Physiomesh and C-Qur products is just getting started.

We may have a C-Qur trial coming up soon. On June 10, 2021, U.S. District Judge Mary M. Rowland rejected Atrium Medical Corporation’s summary judgment motion that sought to dismiss a C-Qur hernia mesh plaintiff’s lawsuit. The judge did dismiss plaintiff’s defective design claims but allowed his failure to warn and manufacturing defect claims to proceed.  Ultimately, that is what these cases are about: the failure to warn doctors and patients of the risk. 

Our hernia mesh lawyers will update this page when we get a trial date from the court. 

Infographic

With Physiomesh, plaintiffs' lawyers have filed lawsuits alleging the multi-layer coating prevented adequate incorporation of the mesh. The result was victims coming in for a common type of hernia and having serious post-surgery complications because the polypropylene mesh portion of the Physiomesh could not withstand normal abdominal forces.

How Much Will Hernia Mesh Cases be Worth?

In June 2017, the MDL Panel created MDL 2782 to coordinate all federal Physiomesh hernia mesh lawsuits alleging complications when implanted in patients, "including herniation through the mesh, recurrent hernia formation and/or rupture, and deformation of the mesh.”

Fast forward to May 2021. Things are now moving quickly in terms of the litigation. There is an Atrium C-Qur trial set to start on July 7, 2021, and the first Bard trial is set for August 2, 2021. Yes, our lawyers understand that this has been way too long for the thousands of victims that have been filed and are currently pending in state and federal MDLs. We know victims continue to suffer the consequences from the use of surgical mesh that was defective. Hopefully, we are on the verge of real progress.

None of these new lawsuits have gone to trial or been settled so we don't know exactly how much these defective product lawsuits will be worth. However, this is actually round 2 of the hernia mesh mass tort litigation. Round 1 involved multidistrict litigation of thousands of claims against C.R. Bard regarding defects with its Kugel hernia devices.

So let's make some predictions on the settlement value of the hernia mesh lawsuits. Our lawyers can estimate the likely value of round 2 hernia mesh cases based on the outcome of round 1 as well as the settlement values in other surgical mesh lawsuits and other related factors. It is just speculation but it is a start. Let's begin by comparing these cases to previous hernia mesh suits.

  • Hernia Mesh Litigation Round #1

    In round 1 of the hernia mesh litigation, C.R. Bard was defending thousands of individual lawsuits by plaintiffs alleging injuries resulting from defects in the company's Kugel Hernia Mesh device. The Kugel implant had a design defect that causes a plastic ring on the mesh to break off inside the patient. When the Kugel ring broke off it caused bowel obstruction or in more serious cases perforation of the bowel. Both results were very painful and required surgical repair.

    The Kugel federal court cases were consolidated into an MDL in Rhode Island. A bellwether case, Thorpe v C.R. Bard Inc, was selected for trial. The victim in Thorpe suffered some of the most severe injuries associated with the defective Kugel implant. When the ring on the mesh broke off inside him it punctured and obstructed his bowel and he had to undergo 5 surgeries to repair it. In August 2010, a federal jury in Rhode Island awarded Mr. Thorpe $1.5 million in damages.

    Based on the outcome in Thorpe, C.R. Bard eventually agreed to a global settlement of all pending Kugel cases in the class action lawsuit. C.R. Bard agreed to pay $184 million to settle over 2,000 pending Kugel lawsuits. Although this equated to only $70,000 per case, it does not mean that each mesh victim got $70,000. The 2,600 Kugel cases were divided into different tiers based mainly on how severe the injuries were and how strong their case was. Tier 1 plaintiffs with the most severe level of injuries probably got over $1 million. Plaintiffs in tier 2 with less severe injuries likely got $500,000-$900,000. Tier 3 plaintiffs probably received less than $100,000. Finally, claimants in the lowest tiers probably received some nominal amount or nothing at all.

  • Vaginal Mesh Settlements

    The current round of hernia mesh lawsuits share some similarities to the mass tort litigation involving defective transvaginal mesh devices. The vaginal mesh litigation involves many different devices and manufacturers and many cases are still pending. However, device manufacturer Endo International agreed to pay out nearly $900 million in a global settlement agreement for 20,000 vaginal mesh lawsuits. This equates to roughly an average settlement of $45,000 per individual case. Again, this does not mean that each vaginal mesh plaintiff received $45,000 for their claim. Why? The best cases got a lot more and the worst cases got a lot less. As with any mass tort, the vaginal mesh claims were divided into separate tiers based on the severity of injury and strength of the case.

How Much for Average Hernia Lawsuits Settlement?

Based on the results of the prior litigation outcomes discussed above, we believe that the average settlement value of the top tier hernia mesh claims may be around $250,000 to $1,000,000. These are the most serious injury and wrongful death cases.

Mesh lawsuits in the lower settlement tiers (those involving less serious injuries) will have a much lower value. There are cases with less serious and permanent injuries. Our lawyers think the average settlement amounts in these case will be $50,000 to $250,000.

These estimations are based in some measure on the older hernia mesh cases that settled. Thankfully, the defendants this time (Atrium & Ethicon) are larger corporations with deep pockets. Atrium Medical is only somewhat bigger than C.R. Bard. However, the other second round defendant, Ethicon, is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson Inc. which is one of the largest drug/medical companies in the entire world.

Keep in mind a few things. First, this is all speculation. Our lawyers cannot project with accuracy the average settlement value in these lawsuits. Second, these summer 2021 trials will be crucial in determining the final settlement values. So these settlement numbers could swing both ways depending upon how victims fare in these two trials

Do I Qualify for a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit?

Our law firm is accepting new hernia mesh cases from anyone who meets the following basic criteria:

  • You had a hernia repair surgery sometime in the last 15 years AND a hernia mesh device was implanted as part of the procedure.
  • You experienced complications or injuries related to defects in the hernia mesh implant device.

If you, or a family member, meet these criteria CONTACT US.

How Long Will It Take to Get a Hernia Mesh Settlement?

No one knows how long it will be until a hernia mesh lawsuit settlement. But with trial coming up this year, the timeline seems to be shrinking and a settlement could be on the horizon. Still, hernia mesh plaintiffs should not expect to receive any settlement compensation in 2021 (even if there was a settlement later this year). Could they get settlement checks in 2022? It is possible and our hernia mesh lawyers are hopeful.

How Do I Know If My Hernia Mesh Has Failed?

When a hernia mesh implant fails it can trigger a number of acute physical symptoms including

  • abdominal bloating or discomfort
  • constipation or bowel blockage
  • fever
  • nausea and vomiting
  • hernia recurrence
  • pain and swelling.

In most cases these physical symptoms will be severe enough that the patient will seek medical attention. This is usually when the failure of the hernia mesh implant is identified.

Which Hernia Mesh Cases Are Your Lawyers Handling?

Our hernia mesh lawyers are handling mesh lawsuits involving products:

  • J&J/Ethicon - Physiomesh
  • Atrium - C-QUR - C-QUR Mosaic - C-QUR Edge - C-QUR TacShield - C-QUR Lite Mesh V-Patch - C-QUR Mesh V-Patch
  • Covidien - Parietene - ALL Parietex - SurgiPro - Symbotex
  • Bard - All 3D Max - Bard Mesh - All Composix - Flat Mesh
  • Monofilament - All Kugel - Marlex
  • Keyhole - Perfix Plug - Sepramesh - Spermatex - Ventralex - Ventralex ST - Ventrio - Ventrio ST - Ventralight ST - Visilex
Hernia Mesh Lawsuits Medical Studies

The key to success for victims in hernia mesh lawsuits at the settlement table and at trial is the strength of the scientific and medical literature that underscores the risk of mesh implants.  These are some of the key studies at issue in the litigation.  
  • Dong, Z., et al. "Does the use of hernia mesh in surgical inguinal hernia repairs cause male infertility? A systematic review and descriptive analysis." Reproductive Health. 15.1 (2018): 1-14. (This study looked at the association between hernia meshes and male infertility. The researchers looked at 29 related trials. They found that hernia mesh repairs, open and laparoscopic-assisted, did not negatively affect male fertility.  This nixed any claim in this regarding in the hernia mesh lawsuits.)
  • Gachabayov, M., et al. "Recurrence of infection and hernia following partial versus complete removal of infected hernia mesh: a systematic review and cohort meta-analysis." Hernia. 24.3 (2020): 433-439. (This meta-analysis and systematic review compared infection and hernia recurrence rates in partial and complete hernia mesh removals. Infection recurrence rates were about 59 percent in partial removals and about 26 percent in complete removals. Hernia recurrence rates were about 10 percent in partial removals and 40 percent in complete removals. The researchers concluded that partial removals increased the infection recurrence risk, while complete removals increased the hernia recurrence risk.) 
  • Ilyashenko, V. V., et al. "Laparoscopic management of large hiatal hernia: mesh method with the use of ProGrip mesh versus standard crural repair." Surgical Endoscopy. 32.8. (2018): 3592-3598. (This study compared and contrasted the effectiveness of laparoscopic-assisted hernia mesh repairs and crural repairs. The researchers found that one hernia mesh repair patient experienced recurrence compared to eight crural repairs. They also found that the mesh repair group experienced higher patient satisfaction than the non-mesh group. The researchers concluded that hernia mesh repairs were “effective and durable” for an extended period.)
  • Raj, P.P., et al. "Morbid obesity with ventral hernia: is concomitant bariatric surgery with laparoscopic ventral hernia mesh repair the best approach? An experience of over 150 cases." Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases. 15.7 (2019): 1098-1103. (This study looked at whether combining bariatric surgery with an intraperitoneal hernia mesh repair was the best treatment for obese patients with ventral hernias. The researchers examined 156 patients who underwent these procedures. They found that no post-operative infections and only one hernia recurrence. The researchers concluded that bariatric surgeries with intraperitoneal hernia mesh repairs could treat obesity and hernias without significant risk of recurrence.)     
  • Sandø, A., et al. "Long-term patient-reported outcomes and quality of the evidence in ventral hernia mesh repair: a systematic review." Hernia. (2020): 1-11. (This study looked at whether patient-reported outcomes changed three months after a ventral hernia mesh repair. The researchers found that patients who underwent large incisional hernia mesh repairs experienced pain, physical impairment, and social involvement improvements. They also found that patients who underwent medium parastomal hernia repairs experienced improvements in their stoma-related complaints.)  

Contact Miller & Zois About the Value of Hernia Mesh Claims

If you have a potential hernia mesh implant lawsuit and would like to discuss the potential value of your claim, contact a hernia mesh attorney at Miller & Zois for a free consultation. Three things to know:

  1. You pay nothing unless you get compensation.
  2. You will not get a hard sell from us. Just information and help if you want it.
  3. Our law firm has spent the last 19 years fighting exclusively for injury and wrongful death victims.

Call our lawyers today at 800-553-8082 or submit an online contact form.

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