The first lawsuit against the Ethicon division of Johnson & Johnson regarding the company’s Physiomesh surgical mesh product is set to go to trial in January 2018.
Multiple Physiomesh lawsuits have already been filed against Ethicon; the case scheduled to go to trial in the Southern District of Illinois next January is only the first of many.
The company withdrew its mesh from the market in 2016 following studies showing that the product was linked to a higher rate of complications, including hernia recurrence and reoperation. The withdrawal occurred in tandem with a safety announcement from the FDA, instructing all physicians and surgical facilities to remove any extant Physiomesh units from their practice and return them to the company.
The mesh was designed to repair abdominal wall hernias, but was made from a composite material that includes polypropylene. This material has been shown to break down, leading to hernia recurrence, bacterial infection, and swelling at the surgical site. In most cases, patients need follow-up surgeries to repair the problem.
Patients who undergo hernia repair experience significant pain and recovery time and a second procedure may be more debilitating. Recurrence of a previously repaired hernia can be much more painful and reoperation procedures may be more difficult, require longer in-operation time, put the patient at additional risk for infection and complications, and may require a lengthy recovery period.
This is not the first time Ethicon’s mesh products have caused trouble for the company. A transvaginal mesh manufactured by Ethicon also employed polypropylene and was the subject of a host of claims against the company. Patients claimed that the faulty mesh led to the puncture and perforation of organs, leading to pain and infection.
Patients who have experienced complications after receiving Ethicon Physiomesh may be eligible for compensation if they had Ethicon Physiomesh implanted between March 1, 2010 and May 31, 2016. The mesh also needed to have been implanted laparoscopically in order to treat a ventral or abdominal hernia
Though a lawsuit filed for effects suffered due to dangerous medical devices has no guarantee of settlement, patients who have experienced complications stemming from use of Ethicon’s Physiomesh may be eligible for compensation for those injuries and should seek expert, legal advice.