Hernia Mesh Lawsuit in Michigan: Do I Qualify?

If you have had a hernia mesh repair procedure performed and suffered serious side-effects or had to have the procedure redone, contact a good hernia mesh lawyer in Michigan, to evaluate your case and assist you with a possible claim.

What is a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit?

CR Bard Inc recalled the first hernia mesh product in 2005 that led to the filing of thousands of hernia mesh lawsuits in both America and Canada against the manufacturers of hernia mesh products.

Due to the high rate of serious complications following hernia mesh surgeries, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made the following statement in April 2016.

‘Many complications related to hernia repair with surgical mesh that has been reported to the FDA have been associated with recalled mesh products that are no longer on the market. Pain, infection, recurrence, adhesion, obstruction, and perforation are the most common complications associated with recalled mesh’.

Patients allege the products were faulty by design, by manufacturing, in some cases, fake products, and that the companies failed to adequately warn surgeons of potentially serious complications. Injured patients typically file a product liability case through a hernia mesh lawyer against the manufacturer of their hernia mesh product.

Personal injury cases can be lengthy and expensive to litigate and are best handled by a personal injury lawyer like Eileen Kroll at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. If you were injured by post-surgery hernia mesh complications filing a claim provides you the opportunity to get fair, and just compensation for losses and our law firms works on a contingency basis.

Steps in a medical malpractice or medical device liability suit include:

Filing a Complaint

Your allegations will be fully investigated by your attorney at our law firm, who will prepare the complaint with details regarding the facts surrounding the complaint, and an outline of the relief claims. Once the complaint is filed, the defendant gets the opportunity to respond to your allegations.

Pre-trial Discovery, Depositions, and Motions

Your Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. attorney will request documents regarding the details of the investigation and prepare interrogatories (written questions) for the defendant to respond to. Depositions will be taken (oral evidence and answers) under oath with a court reporter documenting proceedings. The defendant will do their own 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 will present your case in court, cross-examine and counter cross-examine witnesses, and make arguments on the merits of your case and requested compensation.

The jury will retire to decide on the verdict, render a verdict after which the judge enters a judgment as such. The judgment may include a monetary award, if you win the case.

The trial, depending on the complexity of the issues and the number of witnesses, may take several weeks.

Post-Verdict or Appeal

Your attorney or the defendant may file post-trial motions to set aside verdicts or to appeal. Otherwise, your attorney will work with the defendant to secure compensation if the manufacturer lost the case.

Your attorney and the defedants’ attorneys may agree on a settlement amount at any stage during the pre-trial or trial period, which will be presented to the complainant for approval.

Settled and Current Hernia Mesh Lawsuits/MDLs

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

Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon division issued an emergency safety alert in 2016 and 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 revision surgeries and the FDA warning statement.

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

Injured patients have filed thousands of lawsuits against multiple manufacturers, most of them as part of federal multi-district 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 assigned it to a specific court. The cases are then guided by an appointed MDL committee whom interact with your lawyer. Depending on the product, manufacturer, and types of injuries you may be included in the class action or an MDL or be heard individually if there are not enough cases to warrant a class-action or MDL.

CR Bard Inc settled a ten-year-long MDL in 2016, as well as a class-action in Canada, but another for a similar product is currently pooled into an MDL, with several others pending against Ethicon and Atrium Medical. Successful plaintiffs may be able to claim significant awards for expenses, pain, and suffering.

Hernia Mesh Firms

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

  • Ethicon (a Johnson & Johnson Company);
  • Atrium Medical;
  • Bard (Bard Davol)
  • Gore
  • Covidien / Medtronic

Top Settlement

The top settlement was that of CR Bard Inc’s $184 million MDL settlement; after a $1.5 million verdict for a case.

What is Hernia Mesh?

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

A hernia forms when abdominal tissue (such as muscle) separate and abdominal organs or part thereof slips through the resultant opening, cause lumps, pain and sometimes obstruction.

Most common types of hernias include:

  • Inguinal, in the groin area
  • Umbilical, in the belly button
  • Hiatal, when the stomach pushes into the chest area
  • Epigastric or ventral, in the wall of the abdomen
  • Femoral, top of the leg near your groin
  • Incisional, when a surgical wound fails to heal

The hernia mesh is used to stabilize the tissue surrounding the opening and to close it off. It is made of synthetic materials such as polypropylene which may degrade after implantation.

Atrium Medical coated their devices with Omega 3 from fish oil to stop it from adhering to other tissues; however, it has caused major infections and allergic reactions and did not prevent it from sticking. Other mesh products have degraded, broken, punctured bowel and caused bowel obstruction and 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, which have also resulted in thousands of personal injuries from medical devices lawsuits.

What Are the Known Side-effects of Hernia Mesh?

Failed hernia mesh repairs with serious complications have required several additional surgeries to remove the device, repairs and reconstructions and treatments for infections.

Known Side Effects Include:

  • Mesh migration
  • Mesh shrinkage
  • Tissue fusion
  • Hernia recurrence
  • Severe or chronic pain
  • Infection
  • Bowel blockage
  • Organ perforation

Common Injuries of Hernia Mesh Implants

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

Most Serious Injuries in Hernia Mesh Cases

  • 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

Notable Hernia Mesh Products Which Have Caused Severe Side Effects or Complications

C.R. Bard, Davol Division – Composix E/X Mesh, Composix LIP Mesh

Ethicon and Parent Company, Johnson & Johnson – Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh

Atrium Medical – C-QUR Mesh

If you or a loved one experienced complications from any of the above-named products or any other hernia mesh product, you should have your case evaluated by an experienced hernia mesh lawyer at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C.

Can I File a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit?

Most medical professionals provide excellent care; however, sometimes, things go wrong with serious or catastrophic consequences. It is important to understand the difference between medical negligence, an unavoidable injury, or an error of judgment.

Negligence is a common part of tort law and refers to a failure in Duty of Care.

As in all medical malpractice cases, you need to satisfy all four of the following components:

  • Duty of Care
  • Breach of duty
  • Causal connection; and
  • Actual loss or harm

Duty of Care

You will have to prove who owed you a duty of care – you cannot file against a doctor, manufacturer, or institution if no duty of care existed.

Were you owed a duty of care?

You most likely presented to a doctor or surgeon with a painful hernia and were advised to have the defect repaired via hernia surgery. In about 90% of cases, the surgeon uses a hernia mesh device to repair the defect, strengthen the surrounding area, and speed up recovery.

Who owed you a duty of care:

Doctor-Patient Relationship – the doctor whom advised you to undergo surgery and any professional person working with the doctor or taking care of you during and after the repair, have a legal obligation to provide a duty of care.

  • Anyone fitting this description that
    • Provided examination for hernia problems
    • Advised the surgery
    • Performed the surgery
    • Attended the post-op period and follow-up will owe a duty of care
  • This Duty of Care is qualified with the provisions to provide you with the skills and care expected from a reasonably competent professional under the same or similar circumstances. The courts will test this against the area of medicine practiced, the accepted medical practices in the field, the facility and equipment used, and exigent circumstances.
  • Duty of care includes providing enough information for informed consent and warnings regarding the potential consequences of the treatment options presented.

Surgical Facilities or Hospitals – where the surgery and post-op recovery took place.

Medical Device Manufacturers – owe a duty of care to the consumers of their products (patients), 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 provide appropriate instruction in the use of the products and to provide adequate warning of the potential side-effects and risks associated with the implant.

Was that duty of care breached?

You have to demonstrate that they breached their respective duties of care.

Doctors’ Breach of Duty of Care – you have to demonstrate that appropriate standards were not met, as could be reasonably expected from other medical professionals under similar or same circumstances, or as prescribed by state laws.

May include:

  • Incorrect diagnoses
  • Improper implant
  • Serious mistakes during treatment

Evidence required may include:

  • Patient’s medical records
  • witness testimony,
  • expert testimony,
  • cross-examination of the medical professionals at depositions or during the trial.

Hospital Breach of Duty of Care – ensuring a safe facility, properly working equipment, qualified medical professionals.

Examples include:

  • unsanitary conditions and lack of infection control
  • allowing professional to operate without the required qualifications or skills

Proving a hospital breached its duty of care may involve:

  • Medical records
  • Review of facility and equipment
  • Review of qualifications of professionals and hiring practice
  • witness testimony
  • expert testimony

Hernia Mesh Manufacturer Breach of Duty of Care – Defective product (design, manufacturing, or marketing defect) and Failure to provide adequate warning of foreseeable side-effects and complications.

Were you harmed by the breach and can you prove causal connection?

You have to prove the defective implant was the direct and proximate cause of the harm suffered, such as complications, injuries, or damages.

Can you prove actual loss or harm?

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

If you had a hernia repair and live in Michigan, and you have suffered injury, call Eileen Kroll, a nurse and Personal Injury trial attorney, at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. at 1-866-MICH LAW (1-866-642-6261) for a no obligation case evaluation. Cases are handled on a contingent fee basis.

Ms. Barry is studying Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. She has won multiple awards both for her persuasive and creative writing and has written extensively on the topics of medical malpractice law, personal and birth injury law, product liability law. When she’s not researching and writing about these topics, she edits a literary magazine and tutors students at Penn’s writing center.

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