On June 2, 2017, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) created a new MDL for the federal lawsuits alleging injury caused by the synthetic hernia repair product, Physiomesh, filed against Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson. In the June 2nd order, the JPML ordered the transfer of the cases to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia before Judge Richard W. Story for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings. (A MDL is a type of legal proceeding that helps federal courts efficiently manage many similar cases filed in many different federal courts across the U.S. by allowing the temporary transfer of all of the federal civil lawsuits to one or more district courts for pretrial consolidation or coordination. The JPML is a group of federal judges designated by the Chief Justice of the United States, which has the responsibility for determining which cases qualify for MDL treatment, as well as which district court to transfer and consolidate these cases. The transfers are made if the Panel determines that the transfers will result in the convenience of the parties and witnesses and will promote the just and efficient conduct of the cases. For more information about MDLs and the JPML, contact Borgess Law.)
Specifically, the Court held:
“All of the actions share common factual questions arising out of allegations that defects in defendants’ Physiomesh hernia mesh can lead to complications when implanted in patients, including herniation through the mesh, recurrent hernia formation and/or rupture, and deformation of the mesh. Many plaintiffs more specifically allege that the multi-layer coating in Physiomesh prevented adequate incorporation of the mesh and caused or contributed to a variety of serious complications, and that the polypropylene mesh portion of the Physiomesh was insufficient to withstand normal abdominal forces. Centralization will eliminate duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings; and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary.”
(The C-Qur Mesh products have already been consolidated since December, 2016 as MDL 2753 in the U.S. District Court of New Hampshire before Judge Landya B. McCafferty.)
Lawsuits have been filed and many more are expected to be filed resulting from injuries alleged to be caused by synthetic hernia repair products, including, but not necessarily limited to Physiomesh, sold by Ethicon, Inc./Johnson & Johnson and C-Qur, sold by Atrium Medical Corporation. The lawsuits alleged that these hernia mesh products are defective and that manufacturers such as Ethicon and Atrium failed to warn patients and their physicians about the allegedly increased risk of danger to patients, including inadequate repair, adhesions, infections, hernia recurrence, bowel obstruction, sepsis, and other complications, injuries, or death following hernia surgery. For example, the Physiomesh claimants/Plaintiffs argue:
Physiomesh has a unique design incorporating five (5) distinct layers: two layers of polyglecaprone-25 (“Monocryl”) film covering two underlying layers of polydioxanone film (“PDS”), which in turn coat a polypropylene mesh. This design has never been used in any other hernia repair product sold anywhere in the world. The multi-layer coating was represented and promoted by the Defendants to prevent or minimize adhesion and inflammation and to facilitate incorporation and fixation of the mesh into the abdomen. However, Plaintiffs intend to demonstrate that the multi-layer coating instead prevented adequate incorporation of the mesh and caused or contributed to a variety of serious complications. In addition, the polypropylene mesh portion of the Physiomesh was insufficient to withstand normal abdominal forces, which often resulted in herniation through the mesh itself, recurrent hernia formation and/or rupture and deformation of the mesh itself. The defendants ultimately voluntarily withdrew the Physiomesh device from the market in May 2016, which Plaintiffs intend to establish was a direct consequence of the frequency and severity of the complications experienced with this product worldwide.”
It is believed that there were more than 330,000 Physiomesh devices sold worldwide, and that approximately 50% of those products were sold in the United States.
Borgess Law will continue to keep you updated on the status of the Hernia Mesh litigations.
How We Can Help:
If you or someone you love has suffered an inadequate repair, adhesions, infections, hernia recurrence, bowel obstruction, sepsis, other complication, injury, or death following hernia surgery, you should be aware of the ongoing litigations.
Attorney Pamela A. Borgess, the founder of Borgess Law, LLC, has extensive experience with numerous national high-profile defective medical drug/device cases and can discuss your legal options. For more information about the hernia mesh litigations or to discuss a potential claim, contact Borgess Law at (567) 455-5955 or toll-free at (844) LAW-9144. You can also contact Borgess Law by submitting an online inquiry. Borgess Law never charges for initial consultations. We welcome any questions you may have.