Can I Sue for Hernia Mesh?
According to Cleveland Clinic, hernias occur when an internal organ pushes through a weak muscle or tissue. While some smaller hernias can heal themselves, more often than not, the hernia will worsen and may necessitate surgery. Even though hernia surgeries can be stressful, they are fairly common and usually offer a high success rate.
However, in recent years, there have been issues linked to the hernia mesh that is implanted in patients during their surgery. Hernia mesh aims to help strengthen the weakened muscle or tissue to prevent a hernia from happening again. Sometimes, the mesh will actually cause more harm than good and leave the patient with additional surgeries and other complications.
If you have had to have an additional surgery or have had health problems due to a hernia mesh surgery, you can sue for financial compensation. The key to a successful lawsuit will be finding the right lawyer—one who will fight to ensure that you receive fair compensation and has a solid understanding of hernia mesh lawsuits. Your product liability lawyer will help you determine the best path forward for your situation and whether you qualify for the hernia mesh lawsuit.
Reach out to us today to find out more about the mass tort attorneys in our network.
Who Is Eligible to File a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit?
Your eligibility to file a hernia mesh lawsuit depends on if your complications stem from the hernia mesh. If following your surgery, you were in constant pain, suffered an infection, or needed additional surgeries, you may qualify to file a hernia mesh lawsuit.
If you are unsure of your eligibility, the best thing that you can do is contact a law firm that handles hernia mesh cases and explain your case to them. They will review your medical records and discuss your symptoms and ailments with medical professionals to determine whether your complication was from the hernia mesh.
Types of Injuries Associated with Hernia Mesh
Injuries that occur due to hernia mesh range from infections to adhesions and bowel perforations. In most cases, hernia mesh injuries require another surgery, as hernia mesh normally needs to be removed before causing more damage.
Self-diagnosing what could be causing your pain or complication can be difficult. That is why it is important to seek medical care as quickly as possible if you are suffering any symptoms following a surgery involving hernia mesh. Below are some of the most common injuries that can occur as a result of hernia mesh.
Adhesion occurs when scar tissue forms around the hernia mesh and causes it to stick to other internal organs. This condition can be very painful, and it can lead to other serious problems such as bowel obstruction. In addition to abdominal pain, adhesion can cause pelvic, back, and chest pain, fever, vomiting, and bloating.
Hernia mesh manufacturers have been working on coatings to prevent adhesion, yet the problem still persists. The coating often wears off long before the mesh has had a chance to dissolve, which gives the mesh the opportunity to attach to an internal organ and cause complications.
Bowel Obstruction or Perforation
Generally speaking, bowel obstruction occurs when the hernia mesh adheres to the intestines. This complication is one that requires immediate medical attention, as it can lead to a reduction in blood flow. If left untreated, the patient may experience further complications or even lose their life.
Bowel perforations occur when the hernia mesh creates a hole in the bowel, which can allow fecal matter to leak into the body. Perforations are life-threatening medical emergencies that can cause a variety of serious health problems, including sepsis. If you have severe abdominal pain and your abdomen is hard following hernia surgery, then you could have a bowel perforation.
Symptoms for both obstructions and perforations include nausea and vomiting, while obstructions will also lead to constipation. Due to the seriousness of both injuries and the additional complications they can cause, it is best to seek immediate medical attention if you have any of these symptoms following hernia surgery.
In some instances, your body will simply reject the hernia mesh. The reason for this is generally unknown, but there are instances where your body’s immune system will start to fight against the hernia mesh material as if it were an illness or harmful foreign object. In that case, you will likely need surgery to have the mesh removed.
Symptoms of rejection include swelling at the point of surgery, abdominal pain and tenderness, and flu-like symptoms. These symptoms are similar to those that patients experience with an infection following surgery. In both cases, you should seek medical assistance to prevent the situation from getting worse.
Migration occurs when the hernia mesh detaches from where it was meant to remain and moves around the body. This can cause serious problems such as bowel perforation. However, it can also remain entirely symptom-free. Migration generally goes undetected until it begins causing damage. It can sometimes take months or even years for hernia mesh migration to start to cause damage.
Symptoms of migration are a bit difficult to define, but you may have abdominal pain, chills, fever, and weight loss.
Recurrence occurs when a hernia comes back after surgery to remove it. While hernia mesh aims to prevent this outcome, there are many who will still suffer recurrence even with hernia mesh. When this happens, the patient may need additional surgery to resolve these issues and prevent further complications.
You should discuss with your doctor whether the mesh itself was a problem. While mesh is meant to strengthen the area that was weakened, you will want to know if it had a different effect on you or if your body just needed more help following your surgery.
Infections are a risk for all surgeries, and they can become apparent immediately following surgery. However, with hernia mesh, there is the chance that an infection caused by the product may not appear for weeks, months, or even years after the product has been implanted. If you suffer an infection, you could need surgery to remove the mesh, or your doctor may put you on intravenous antibiotics to clear up the problem.
What Is the Status of the Hernia Mesh Lawsuits?
As of June 14, 2022, claimants have filed more than 16,000 hernia mesh lawsuits against hernia mesh manufacturer, C.R. Bard. The lawsuits allege that C.R. Bard manufactured a product that resulted in complications following surgery. These complications range in severity based on what health problems patients who underwent hernia mesh surgery suffered and if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled their particular hernia mesh.
Bellwether trials are already underway, with two of them having been settled as of June 2022. One was a resounding victory for C.R. Bard, which saw them cleared on all seven claims against them, while the other resulted in a $255,000 settlement in favor of the plaintiff, Antonio Milanesi. The third bellwether trial has not had a date set yet, but there are many who believe it will take place later in 2022.
Once the third bellwether trial has taken place, it is likely that C.R. Bard will agree to a global settlement for those who are involved in the lawsuit. This process could continue to take time, as the current lawsuit has been going on for years already. However, with bellwether trials nearly over, there is hope among many that the lawsuit could be resolved this year.
What Is the Average Payout for Hernia Mesh Lawsuits?
The $255,000 settlement is the only one that has currently been obtained during this lawsuit. To get a better sense of what to expect when the bellwether trials are over, take a look at previous mesh lawsuits, including one that C.R. Bard settled over a decade ago.
In 2005, Bard Davol issued a recall for hernia mesh called Kugel, which was causing serious complications in patients. Much like in the current lawsuit, the first bellwether case saw a victory for Bard. However, the second bellwether case saw a $1.5 million verdict. After that verdict, Bard agreed to pay $184 million in a global settlement. After the court reviewed all the cases, the average settlement per plaintiff came to about $70,000. However, as is the case with mass tort lawsuits, how badly the product affected a plaintiff determined whether they got more or less than the average settlement amount.
When mass tort lawsuits are settled, plaintiffs are broken up into tiers. If you have been affected in a very serious way, then you will likely end up in a tier that will receive more compensation than those with lesser complications. The third bellwether trial in the current lawsuit against Bard should give lawyers a much better sense of what they should expect for their clients who have suffered hernia mesh complications.
How Do I File a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit?
To file a hernia mesh lawsuit, you will need to contact a law firm that will help you get involved with the current case. Ensuring that you pick a lawyer with knowledge of the current hernia mesh lawsuit will be an asset to receiving optimal compensation.
When you have chosen a lawyer, they will want to review your medical records, your medical bills, and any other information that will help them determine if you are a right fit to join the lawsuit. Once they have all the information they need, they will determine if you qualify for the hernia mesh lawsuit. At that time, they may present your lawsuit and get you involved in the ongoing mass tort lawsuit.
Best Lawyers for Hernia Mesh Lawsuit
If you have suffered complications from hernia mesh, then you will want to make sure that you have a good lawyer on your side. There are many law firms that are currently involved or have recently been involved with hernia mesh lawsuits. These attorneys will be able to help you since they have experience with the subject.
Make sure that you choose a lawyer that you are comfortable with. You will be sharing very personal information with your attorney, and you want to ensure that you select someone who is understanding and sensitive to your situation.
Research is the most important task you can undertake when selecting a lawyer. The more research you do, the more likely you will be to find a lawyer that fits your specific needs. You should reach out to multiple law firms to help you narrow down the one that is best for you.
With compensation on the line, you also want to make sure that you have someone knowledgeable and ready to fight for you on your side. Be sure to research other settlements that have been obtained by the attorneys that you are thinking about. You will want to see if they have a high success rate with prior lawsuits, including ones that involve large corporations.
Ready to File a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit?
If you feel that it is time for you to take the next step and pursue legal assistance, then you should begin the process of finding the best lawyer for you. We understand how stressful this time can be for you and your loved ones. After surgery, one does not want to be burdened with another one or with complications that lead to further problems. Unfortunately, things do not always go right in surgery, and that can lead to the need for medical and legal assistance.
When you are ready to take the next step, head to our website and fill out our contact form today. You’ll learn more about how an attorney in our network can help you in your pursuit of fair compensation for the hardships you have endured.