What Is the Status of the Hernia Mesh Lawsuits?

As of June 2022, claimants have filed over 20,000 hernia mesh lawsuits against C.R. Bard. A hernia mesh manufacturer, C.R. Bard, is one of the leading defendants in this legal battle. Since the company thinks many of these cases against them lack merit, it has asked a multidistrict litigation (MDL) judge for a “dock control order” to limit the number of plaintiffs joining the MDL. We are still waiting for a response from the court.

If the judge grants C.R. Bard the dock control order, claimants must prove they have a medical diagnosis that links the injury to the hernia mesh implant. Their legal representation would also have to undergo certain screening to ensure that their hernia mesh lawsuit is real. Other product liability lawsuits against manufacturers Ethicon, Atrium, and Covidien are also in progress or have already been resolved.

Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Timeline

There are four main defendants in hernia mesh lawsuits. The circumstances for all of these cases vary on the number of plaintiffs, how much they’re asking for in compensation, and what they allege.

Ethicon Physiomesh Lawsuits

Thousands of plaintiffs are suing Ethicon, which is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, for the defective design of Physiomesh Flexible Composite (a brand of hernia mesh) and for failing to warn doctors and patients about the potential risks of their product. The plaintiffs complained of experiencing health complications, such as:

  • Infections
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Chronic and/or debilitating pain
  • Nerve damage

A federal Georgia court consolidated nearly 1,000 lawsuits into MDL 2792 in 2017. By July 2020, there were over 2,900 pending lawsuits and more than 3,500 in April 2022. The first trials were set to begin in November 2020, with the second and third trials scheduled for 2021. However, the court decided to postpone the first trial to mid-2021. The company closed the case for an undisclosed global settlement amount in May 2022.

Plaintiffs are also filing cases against Ethicon in New Jersey, which is where the company is based. In August 2018, The New Jersey Supreme Court consolidated the cases into multicounty litigation, but the judge set the deadline for discovery to July 2021. That means that patients roughly had another three years to discover that the physiomesh injured them.

Atrium C-Qur Lawsuits

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Atrium issued a recall on their C-Qur hernia mesh in 2013. However, people didn’t start bringing hernia mesh lawsuits against Atrium until August 2016. Hundreds of other victims joined the legal pursuit, and the court later consolidated these cases into an MDL in New Hampshire that December. The bellwether trials began in July 2021. Now, over 3,000 lawsuits are pending in this MDL.

Plaintiffs allege that Atrium used toxic materials to manufacture C-Qur, which is a hernia mesh that contains Omega-3 Fatty Acid Fish Oil. Doctors are supposed to remove this fatty tissue before inserting it into the patient during surgery. If the device has any fish remains, it can trigger a negative immune response. Claimants have said they have experienced the following side effects as a result of this toxin:

  • Delayed wound healing
  • Infections
  • Inflammation
  • Organ damage
  • Serious pain
  • Sepsis

The federal court has already heard cases not included in the MDL. In October 2021, an Illinois jury deemed Atrium not liable for a patient’s complications after hernia surgery. The court has yet to schedule the next individual trial date.

C.R. Bard Kugel Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

The FDA recalled C.R. Bard Kugel devices in 2006. However, it wasn’t until 2018 when the first group of plaintiffs began an MDL against C.R. Bard. A Rhode Island court consolidated the cases. They claimed that they sustained severe injuries after getting the company’s hernia mesh implants. The device had a plastic ring that broke off in the patient and led to bowel obstruction. 

Some of them required surgery or surgeries as a result of this painful complication. In the Bellwether trials, the representative of the MDL secured $1.5 million in damages. This outcome prompted C.R. Bard to settle more than 2,000 pending lawsuits for $184 million in May 2022.

Individuals are going up against these manufacturers, too. One claimant went up against C.R. Bard on his own and settled for $250,000 in April 2022.

Round two of MDL, comprising nearly 17,000 lawsuits against C.R. Bard for its defective Kugel hernia mesh is underway. However, the manufacturer wants to decrease the number of lawsuits in this MDL, as they deem the pending claims weak. The court has yet to decide on this matter.

Covidien Hernia Mesh Class Action Lawsuit

In February 2022, Covidien filed a petition that dictated it faced 73 lawsuits against them. The claimants alleged that Covidien’s hernia mesh product failed and triggered health complications that may call for surgery. This legal action is in its infancy, but it is expected that it will turn into a class-action lawsuit.

Do I Qualify for a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit?

Getting injured or sick following a hernia surgery doesn’t necessarily constitute grounds to take legal action against the manufacturer. As such, you may suffer side effects as you usually would after any kind of surgery. For example, you could develop an infection or have mobility restrictions for several weeks, among other possibilities that your doctor warns you of, such as the device:

  • Sticks to or tears organs and other tissues;
  • Erodes or tears;
  • Moves around your body;
  • Fails.

If your experience of side effects went beyond the anticipated, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer. However, you must prove that it was negligent in that:

  • You used its hernia mesh implant
  • The implant was defective
  • It caused you to suffer health complications or your loved one’s demise
  • You have sustained monetary damages as a result of your injuries or illness

Statute of Limitations on Your Hernia Mesh Lawsuit

Each state enforces a statute of limitations on how much time you have to file a lawsuit, so you only have so long to take legal action. Regardless of where you live, this time frame is subject to change and depends on the circumstances of your case.

For example, the statute of limitations may start on the day you had surgery. Alternatively, if you didn’t discover that the hernia mesh implant was the source of your complication, the deadline would begin on the day you discovered it or on the day you should have reasonably discovered it.

If you wait too long to start building your case, you may jeopardize your case. Missing the deadline would give the courts reason to deny your lawsuit. Then, you may be out of options for seeking financial recovery for your related complications.

What Is the Average Payout for Hernia Mesh Lawsuits?

It’s difficult to determine what the average payout for a hernia lawsuit is. Everyone’s circumstances and needs are different, and the financial outcome should reflect them. However, certain factors go into what makes a fair settlement, including:

  • Nature of injury or illness you developed: The more severe your condition is from the effects of the hernia mesh, the more compensation you may be entitled to collect.
  • Quality of life: If you have to endure chronic pain, deal with mental and emotional health problems, and/or cannot enjoy or do activities you did before the surgery, your settlement should account for these impairments.
  • Age: Younger people may collect more compensation for their damages since they may have to deal with the complications longer than an older person.
  • Future losses: If you face a long recovery and time off work, you may be entitled to recover more damages than someone who just needs to take a few weeks off and go to follow-up appointments.

After reviewing how the after-effects of the hernia mesh implant have impacted your life financially and non-financially, you may discover that you are eligible to recover compensation for:

Past and Anticipated Medical Bills

Having the initial surgery for a hernia can already be costly. However, when it leads to further complications, you may incur more expenses for:

  • Surgery
  • Pain medications
  • Assistive medical devices
  • New hernia mesh implant
  • Hospital stays
  • Follow-up doctor’s appointments
  • Imaging screenings

Other compensation for medical bills may also be available based on the facts of your case.

Lost Income and Reduced Earning Capacity

After hernia surgery and its unexpected complications, you may have had to take leave from work. When you file your lawsuit, you could claim financial losses for:

  • Business opportunities
  • Lost tips, bonuses, or commissions
  • Promotions
  • Vacation days
  • Salary
  • Hourly pay

You also may not be able to work for the foreseeable future—at least not in the same capacity. In that case, you may be to request compensation for the difference in earnings.

Pain and Suffering

The unprecedented illnesses or injuries that arise from a defective hernia mesh can lead to chronic pain and discomfort, mental health struggles, and loss of enjoyment in life. Even though these are intangible damages, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t account for them in your life. Compensation for them will help you cope with these hardships.

Wrongful Death Damages

Tragically, some people who had complications from their defective hernia mesh pass away. If you lost your loved one in those circumstances, you could recover damages for:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Final healthcare costs
  • Loss of consortium or companionship
  • Loss of financial support

You and your family may be entitled to seek other forms of compensation that aren’t mentioned here. A mass tort lawyer can review your case and determine what you may qualify for.

Best Lawyers for Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

There are certain attributes you should look for when picking the best lawyer to represent you in your hernia mesh lawsuit:

  • Experience with managing mass tort cases
  • Client testimonials
  • Track record, especially for cases similar to yours
  • Educational background
  • Accolades, achievements, and credentials
  • How many lawyers and team members they have to work on your case

Lawyers should also list the typical services they offer their clients, such as:

Gathering and Analyzing Evidence

Solid evidence will be the foundation of your case. Some of it is difficult to access, but a lawyer may have the resources for it. They may collect evidence, such as:

  • Medical diagnosis from your doctor
  • Medical records
  • FDA recall or warning regarding the hernia mesh implant in question
  • Expert witness testimony

If you have your defective mesh implant, hold on to it. It could be invaluable evidence to establish that the manufacturer was negligent in creating their product.

Communicating with Involved Parties

Keeping up with letters, emails, and phone calls with the courts, insurance companies, and other legal teams can get tedious and confusing very quickly. Save yourself the stress, and allow a lawyer to speak to them on your behalf.

An attorney should be familiar with communicating with these parties. These giant companies are armed with robust representation, so they may try different tactics to get out of paying you what you need. Using their experience, a lawyer can ensure the other side doesn’t act in bad faith.

Representing You Throughout All Legal Proceedings

If and when your case goes to court, you can expect a lawyer to advocate for you through it all. They may:

  • Review the other side’s evidence
  • Cross-examine witnesses
  • Question their witnesses
  • Present evidence
  • Fight for a fair financial outcome for you
  • Convince the jury that you were a victim of the manufacturer’s negligence

Many mass tort lawyers handle cases on a contingency-fee basis, so they won’t take payment unless and until they secure a settlement or verdict for you. That way, you limit your financial risk and they can start working on your case right away.
We can refer you to a mass tort lawyer in our network. They can determine if your claims for a hernia mesh lawsuit are real and if so, go after the damages you need to get back on your feet. Tell us about your case, by filling out this contact form, and let us connect you with one of our attorneys to assist you with your legal matte