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Ethicon Proceed Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Filed Over Infection, Complications

  • Written by: Irvin Jackson
  • 31 Comments

A lawsuit has been filed over problems with Ethicon Proceed hernia mesh, alleging that the patch disintegrated inside the body of a Texas woman, leading to infection and other complications. 

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Shelly Coppedge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on August 2, against Ethicon, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

Coppedge was implanted with Ethicon Proceed Oval Mesh on August 24, 2009, but indicates that it did not alleviate her incisional hernia and instead made things worse.

In June and July 2011, Coppedge underwent revision surgeries after her condition worsened. She then discovered that the Proceed Oval Mesh had disintegrated and was the site of an infection.

Her lawsuit accuses Ethicon of strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty. The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages for past and future medical expenses, past and future loss of wages, physical impairment, pain and mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life. It also seeks punitive damages against Ethicon, due to the company’s alleged gross negligence in manufacturing, marketing and testing the Proceed Oval Mesh.

The lawsuit makes the Ethicon Proceed Mesh the latest in a number of hernia mesh products that have been the subject of product liability lawsuits alleging that problems were caused by design defects.

In recent years, C.R. Bard has faced several thousand lawsuits over it’s Kugel hernia mesh, which had a recoil ring that was supposed to make insertion easier. However, the ring often failed, snapping and puncturing intestines and causing other serious internal injuries. A number of settlements have been reached in that hernia mesh litigation, with an average payout of about $70,000 per plaintiff.

A growing number of hernia mesh lawsuits have been filed more recently against LifeCell Corporation over problems with Alloderm mesh, which is a biologic product made from donated human tissue. There are currently about 150 Alloderm lawsuits pending in New Jersey state court, alleging that the patch fails to hold its shape and can stretch up to 50%, leading to hernia recurrence, abdominal deformity and other complications.

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31 comments

  1. Peggy Reply

    I have the very same situation with that mesh. I had to have surgery again because the metal prongs used got embedded in my liver, colon and stomach. The ones in my stomach can not be removed. I want compensation for the same things as the person above.

  2. teresa Reply

    i had mesh in and from day one didnt work i hurt all the time bleed i lost my partner of 15 yr thanks for the mesh she i think something should be done birmingham al

  3. teresa Reply

    I have hurt for years lost my partner of 15 yrs. I think some body should do something about the mesh pain it has cause

  4. David Reply

    Hello I am 59 year old male I live in northern California I had a hernia repaired in 1998 with Bard Marlex mesh Davol 3″ x 6″ A year or so later i got where when I woke up I felt like I had a Hangover tired like I hadn’t slept at all.The mornings got worse and worse , I felt like someone had beat my arms and legs with a bat the pain was so bad I could not get out of bed and I felt like I was shakeing inside.This past Oct 2012 I had a small scab apear below my belly button two inches below were the hernia was I showed my DR.because it was not healing.She sent me to a surgeon,He told me to wait a couple of weeks to see if it would heal. Two weeks later I went bact because it was not getting any better.He took a close look at it and told me he wanted to cut it out and have it tested for cancer because there was some black coloring in it so he did. The test showed that there was no cancer but forgien bodies in it. Where he stiched me up after it healed I cut a piece of what I thought was just scab but it was a piece of plastic.Does anyone know of an attorney that is going aginist Davol for Bard Marlex mesh? This is killing me for sure now thr stomach pain has started. They also used Vicyrl Ligature and #1 Vicyrl and Vicryr sutures This has been in me for fifteen years. this is killing me.

  5. Jennifer Reply

    My mother had hernia surgery in 2010. In April 2012 while undergoing surgery to repair what was thought to be a mild bowel obstruction. The surgeon spent 8 hours trying to remove the proceed mesh, reconstruct her bowel, and repair. This also spread her cancer (stage 4) . She is not expected to live much longer since the mesh that had fused to her intestine has caused an access which has not been able to heal.

  6. oldaker Reply

    Infected mesh by proceed, still in me

  7. chris Reply

    I have had 5 surgerys in 4 years. Of them 2 involved proceed mesh I almost died from 1 due to an infection..

  8. amy Reply

    I had routine hernia repair in my abdomen June 21 2010, July 7th I was in the emergency room in horrible pain, my stomach had swollen, I went to a different surgeon he put a drain in and removed a large amount of dark fluid. Oct 8th the same year I had my first emerency surgery and drains on and off till yet another surgery in May, and oh yes a bowel obstruction and many er visits where they treat me like I am not at all having a problem. I still have a hole in my stomach to this day and am in chronic pain, I have nerve entrapment, now and many other complications from the mesh and have no insurance, and I have no one to help me. I cant even go shopping with out doubling over in pain. I feel the mesh inside sawing at me and I feel it catch like its going to rip. I believe it is eroding and will soon kill me. I have merca now and have had staff and many other horrible intections since. I was healthier before the repair and now I wait for help that never comes. Oh and 14 ct scans and the infections never present on them.

  9. Deborah Reply

    I have a large piece of prolene mesh in my abdominal wall. Dr. Put it in in 2006 even though CT showed no hernia. The type of hernia he claimed I had, Spigelian, can not even be repaired in this manner anyway. I have daily pain that is made worse with routine activity. I have been sent around the mulberry bush with CT\\\\\\\’s and exploratory surgeries but no one will touch the mesh. I think they should put some kind of radio-opaque threads in it so it can be viewed with X-ray. Radiologist told me it doesn\\\\\\\’t show up. How can they see if it is contracting or migrating? I will have to pay out of pocket to get it removed. I hope there is a class action suit I can join. I believe that mine was put in in the year they had a contamination recall but I was never notified.

  10. Debbie Reply

    hello I had hernia surgery in Katy TX and had the proceed mesh 25x 25 centimeters. I have had blockage 2 x’s last year and what they also found that since my surgery in 2008 a huge Seroma has formed and will have to have surgery to remove it .It is a sack of drainage still drained inside after surgery .I have been in pain since I had the surgery for the hernia with burning many times and pressure hard to sit at lengths of times .Very unconvertible .I am not sure if this one was a recall but wish there was other means to make this irritation go away.

  11. Julie Reply

    I too had surgery back in 2006 I have been in pain from the day they did the surgery. I have been sent to every doctor and still they tell me it\’s not from the prolene mesh. I have been trying to get my medical records but the more I go to get them the less records they have for me. It\’s like they don\’t want you to know what they have done to you. I went to 2 pain management places they did a nerve block which made things worse for me. Now all they want to do is cut all my nerve\’s. which is cray in it\’s own right. I have this in my on both left and right sides. It\’s very hard to work am an apartment mgr. most of the time I\’m in my bed because it too hard for me to just sit down any where. The pain is so bad sometime you just want to end your life. Why can\’t we have a class action lawsuit like all the rest of them. It the same for all of us. The cost for the meds it out of my range. Even with insurance they don\’t pay most of the cost. can any one help me

  12. Diane Reply

    have had numerous hernia surgeries. I fell in 2011 and the mesh gave way and was protruding in stomach. I have been in constant pain, unable to have bowel movements, nausea, vomiting and unknown fevers. After going to several doctors they have found the mesh is wrapped around my bowels and the mesh is in pieces. I am having surgery in December to remove the mesh and free up my bowels. Then in January 2014 I have to have the mesh removed. Why isn’t there a class action lawsuit for all the pain this mesh has caused?

  13. Dennicka Reply

    I had surgery in February of this year, had complications due to the Johnson&Johnson physiomesh. For starters I left the hospital in pain and with No bowel movement! I returned repeated back and forth to the hospital complaining that my stomach was inflamed and in pain. I started vomiting due to the constipation, returned back to the hospital with the same issues over three weeks. I had no bowel movement! Still after I suffered with the constipation, I still had issues with my inflamed stomach! Told the doctor something was wrong, they didn\’t listen. Finally in July after months of complaining I got a CT scan done, it showed the same hernias and a new inligual hernia and a defect from the mesh. Now I\’m pissed, who\’s fault is it that I\’m going through this issue when I complained immediately? Presently, I had a correction surgery in November, sorta forced to go back to the same hospital due to insurance and loss of employment! The surgeon first said the situation could of been fixed with two or three incisions, then later saying that I needed to remove the mesh that was inserted in February. I have never been in a situation like this before, I\’m dealing with pain in suffering, body image issues, loss of employment and lack of trust from most medical professionals! What do you do when the doctors do nothing? Finally my new surgeon told me it was the mesh that was defective, I\’m trying to seek representation. I want both the doctors and the manufactures of this product to face penalties for what they have put me through. I have no money, two teenage daughters and a terrible outlook on trusting medical providers. I guess it\’s Merry Christmas to me and my family. Went practically a whole year suffering.

  14. Betty Reply

    I had hernia repair Surgrey in April of 2012. The Doctor implanted a 20×15 piece of Johnson and Johnson Ethicon Mesh. I have abdominal and groin pain, numerous infections, Rectal bleeding, iraitable bowel problems and uninary incontinence. I can actually feel the mesh if bend over. I recently saw a Colon Rectal Surgeon who told me that he would have to remove over half of my stomach wall to remove the Mesh because it had become implanted in my Stomach wall and the Mesh may have migrated into my Colon, which would require additional surgeries. I need legal representaion but cannot find anyone in Arkansas or out of state who represents people in this kind of Lawsuit. The Doctor never told me the side effects of using this Mesh. My Colon doctor said the Mesh is causing all my health problems

  15. william Reply

    I had surgery for an inguinal hernia at my lower right abdomen. Immediately after surgery I was in major pain after coming out or operating room. They tried denying me anything for pain. Finally the gave me a small dose of pain medication which didn’t last long. Been going to my surgeon every since for follow up appoinments, telling her I cannot sit, stand for any length of time . I have to either lean back in a recliner(which is seldom) lay down in bed or on the couch. I can’t do any normal activities they said I would be able to return to. I have been to a pain specialist twice. He gave me a sample cream to rub on incision site and did not help. Went back to him againfor cortizone shots around incision site(8 shots) which did not help one bit either. My surgeon says according to the operative report she did everything fight but if I want she will cut it out. She used PERFIX MESH AND PLUG. (LARGE). My surgery was Jan.29,2014. It is now May 8, 2014 and I am only getting worse. Bowel mkveme.t trouble stomach is all bloated and swollen. Can’t eat normal. Trouble sleeping. HArd to walk. Hard to get up and down. Can’t have sex. Just CANT DO ANYTHING. Looking for an attorney. Thousands of other are affected by many other types of mesh as well. Ihave major loss of enjoyment of life. I am only 42 yrs old. My short term disability is about to end from work. I have been out of work since Jan. And have alredy lost my job since I couldnot return when I was told I would be able to. I am silently suffering and So is my fiance. Physically and mentally.

  16. carrie Reply

    I haved surgery in 2007. The doctor implanted in my abdomen the Ethicon prolene mesh. I am having the exact same problem with infection & other complications including pain.

  17. sheila Reply

    Like Dennica I had Physiomesh used in an incisional hernia repair on February 11, 2013. I had undergone gastric bypass when they noted and tried to repair a hernia I did not even know I had. They attached the Physiomesh with Strap Tacker. After the surgery I had at Forest Park Medical Center, Dallas, TX no one would listen to me regarding the enormous amount of pain I was in. The doctor assigned to my floor in the hospital would roll her eyes at me and tell me it was gas. Not so, I kept saying they sent me home anyway on February 13, 2013, I was then taken back to the hospital by ambulance where the same doctor said it was gas and I was big baby. Finally my friend contacted my surgeons office and the surgeon ran a bunch of tests where they finally found that the tacks used with the mesh had punctured my bladder and I was leaking urine into my body. Emergency surgery was performed the mesh was removed, I now feel the hernia that I never knew was there and had no pain from prior to the surgery. I now can feel the bladder protruding thru the abdominal wall. I am looking for an attorney who can stop Ethicon from using this product and for just compensation for the hospital bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering from this nightmare. Thanks.

  18. aquila Reply

    had ethicon hernia mesh went back for a real bad infection and have had 2 surgeries afterwards need some help im still in pain was told to take ibuprofin how about that

  19. donna Reply

    I had hernia.dr repaired in 6 16 2011.a proceed pvps mesh plug was used. I have suffered alot. Later the next yr I believe im not sure of date I had to be opened up and was in hospital for 4 days. Hernia work again. Ok then the next yr still pain I had surgery again. Its so painful in my stomach.i dont know what mesh was used both times after the first time, I wish I could find a attorney to see if I have a case.

  20. george Reply

    I had a incisional Hernia, In about 9 months later The hernia reappeared, At that time The doctor recommended Laparoscopic surgery Doctor made some small in To insert the mash Made by ethicon hey Johnson and Johnson company. I was released from the hospital after the surgery when I got home I was in so much pain I called the hospital they told me to come back to the emergency room, ended up having emergency surgery when I got there to remove the mask. the doctor at one point told me when he put the mesh in these are his exact words he said the mesh seem like it melted, I was released from the hospital I was at as I see it I had to return to have emergency surgery. I ended up with an infection and was in the hospital for a lengthy time, I am still having problems with my stomach the hernia has returned, I have an appointment to see the doctor the same one who implemented the mesh and since had to have surgery and was cut open from my chest to the bottom of my belly button hey hernia a reappeared and I am suffering as of this moment I need an attorney to check into the situation please someone help me.

  21. elizabetb Reply

    I have had five hernia surgerys the first November 2010 I had terrible pain and was throwing up this surgery healed ok then in April 2011 I again ended up at the emergency room in the middle of the night this surgery also went ok in August. 2012 the hernia had come undone I had a third surgery before my follow up appointment I was having holes open up and fluids come out the surgeon said it was infected and I could take antibiotics to keep to under control well after a few months it got worse the surgeon said I needed surgery from him and a plastic surgeon in January 2013 I had fourth surgery three weeks after that the incision opened up from above my navel to the bottom of my abdomen I was treated with a wound vac for 9months second surgery opened up again I am still open and being treated can anyone help

  22. Tom Reply

    Please Help!!!!
    I have a dual, two hernia surgery lawsuit; the first involves Ethicon prolene soft mesh that ripped and caused an additional hernia and surgery; the second involves surgical correction of the initial ventral/umbilical hernia and extensive component separation of parts procedure (3/17/11); where the initial hernia/mesh defect was repaired through a ventral/umbilical procedure where Davol/Bard Ventralex medium mesh was used on 10/26/12. I have had nothing but pain, and numerous mesh related problems to this date.

    The SOL on my case runs 10/26/14. Discovery of the initial prolene tear was first discovered during the corrective surgery of 10/26/12.

    Because of the aforementioned surgeries above, I have been declared permanently and totally disabled by 5 attending physicians and surgeon, my LTD carrier and social security disability.

    Prior to my surgeries I was a Global Chief Digital Media & Strategy Advertising Executive earning $300k per year. Now I collect social security and offset LTD; total $23k to $40k per year.

    Liability in this case is 100% and damages could be 7 figures plus!

    I desperately NEED a qualified product liability litigation firm with experience dealing with defective Ethicon prolene soft mesh and Bard ventralex medium mesh (recalled by Davol/Bard in mid – 2011.

  23. Lucy Reply

    Hello I have been reading every one`s comments .I had a umiblicord hernia mesh Surgery in 5/01/08 the products name ethicon johnson and johnson.And I have like a few years my symptoms are getting worse .I have pain in my adominal I feel my hernia has came out again.I have a lot of trouble with my bowelmoments .I have pain when am with my husband we have been married for 25 yrs I ask please some one to review this there is persons in pain losing there partners.family.sime one help us .I have a lot of pain in my bladder I feel like if I have spomething squeezing it.thank you

  24. Linda Reply

    I had two hernia surgeries In 1999 had the abdominal mesh put in. A year or two later I had my colon fixed was twisted! I didn’t know till years later it was due to the mesh! Have been in and out of er with abdominal pain excruciating pain crawling on the floor! They didn’t know what it was caused by! I thought it was kidney stones! Also many bladder and stomache infections! This year pain went around back and groin area had gotten so bad! It was constant pain So they sent me to a vascular surgeon! He did exploratory and found that the mesh moved it was pressing on my nerve close to the artery! I have medical bills I worked in pain not working now! Kept me from many family outing! I

  25. Charrissa Reply

    On November 21,2011 I had double hernia repair. One was at my belly button and the other was at my pelvic. The doctor used Ethicon mesh that was the size of a sheet of notebook paper. It is connected ti my umbilicus, right and left lumbar, pelvic, right hip, hypogastric, not to mention everything in between. I’m in alot of pain. My stomach bulges and is warm and tender to the touch. I stay nauseated all the time. My stomach will have spasms and I feel like something is stabbing me when I bend over. Itvis radiating to my legs now and I can’t do much of anything. Before my surgery I was in the best shape of my life. I coach basketball and have a 2 year old grandson. I can’t enjoy being outside with him because of the pain. The doctor that performed my surgery is no longer with the practice and her colleagues won’t see me. Been to numerous doctors and no one will touch me. Keep telling me they cant take it out. And if I have surgery again it will make it worse. What is a person to do!!? This is no life to live at the age of 40. I just want to be helped or be considered for compensation.

  26. Tonia Reply

    I am desperately seeking help for my brother, Ivory who had hernia surgery in 2006 and has been having pain and issues from the mesh since then. It is getting worse every month or so now. Most of the time he walks bent over holding his abdominal area graoning. And he has had to to stop working and is having financial hardship due to these complications. Please help my brother if you can. I don’t want to loose him!!!

  27. Byron Reply

    In September 2005, I had Ethicon and Proceed mesh implanted in my abdomen in place of my stomach muscles which had grown tight at the sides because of numerous surgeries in the past. The mesh has failed and I have developed multiple large bulges where it failed. I have areas where the mesh protrudes thru the skin that constantly get infected. I often experience extreme pain in my abdomen, depending what I’m doing at the time. This has cost me my career, my house, and I feel that the manufacturer should be responsible They made a defective product and now the surgeon that operated on me is reluctant to operate again because he is afraid of cutting in to my intestings to remove the mesh he previously implanted.

    Can you provide any information regarding a law firm that handles Ethicon mesh issues?? So far all I have found are attorneys that deal with vaginal mesh issues

  28. Kathy Reply

    Like so many of you I, too, have been suffering since my abdominal wall hernia repair. The doctor who implanted the Proceed mesh and 34 titanium clips told me he lost count regarding the number of abdominal hernias. I am a small, 55yo but look like I am 9 months pregnant b/c of the swelling (has been 8 years since the mesh placement.) Have had at least 8 surgeries in the past 3 years due to abdominal abscesses. I have had an open wound the past 11 months with Staph infection. My doctor is afraid to touch me again and says removal of the mesh would be a “nightmare surgery.” My infectious Disease MD says the mesh has to come out. I wish we could make those MDs that are in denial could experience the pain we live with 24/7. Can’t even have a bowel movement without the intestines twisting. Add me to the list of those who suffer from bowel obstructions and “no sex” b/c it’s too painful. Don’t let the docs tell you there’s nothing else they can do–a Plastic Surgeon will take over once the mesh is removed and take the muscles running down both sides of the mid-section, and then pull the muscles over the abdomen and sew them together. This is the only recourse available in order to keep the intestines in place. I will be speaking with an attorney again tomorrow to discuss options. Will pass along any helpful information to you as it becomes available. I truly “feel” for those of you who have to endure this horrible pain. Light, love, and strength to you all.

  29. dean Reply

    In 9-2007 I have hernia repair/abdominal reconstruction. The doctor implanted Ethibond suture in my abdomen wall and a 20 x 5cm Prolene mesh was placed to repair the abdominal wall. Now I have a chronic mesh infection, lot of pain and other complications. It look like I have (two) belly buttoms. I have a hole in my stomach that looks like a belly buttom, infection leaks out continually. I have diagnose with chronic mesh infection and major depression. I’m afraid to date because I am embarrassed.

  30. Penelope Reply

    Sepsis due to fistulas, hospitalized 10 months, tpn with no food just limited ice chips for 7 months, lost ablity to walk and stand independently, had 2 additional surgeries, compression frature l-3 and. L-4 due to inactive muscles in back for 10 months, surgeon can not do surgery to correct the problem because of possibility of return of infection

  31. Denise Reply

    I to am another that has unbearable pain…. I had hernia surgery, 4 small 1cm hernias, and doctor boone cut from my breast bone to my c-section, that was Oct 25, 2010, had to go into ER for fever and infection in my chest, you could feel the heat from it 5″ away, even though the ER doctor talked to Dr. Boone on Nov 4th they sent me home until the next day which I had an appointment with him. On Nov 5th woke up with a ‘football sized hole, 2.5″ x 4.5″ x 7″ was covered with a sponge and piece of tape with a vac unit (suction) on. Was getting something that made me throw up all the time, every time they put a bag on my IV about 10 min went by and I was throwing up again, not fun when your chest is apart. Healing up took until February 2011, it looked as though I was 8 months pregnant, and so much f***ing pain you couldn’t believe it…. 2014 still in so much pain, on pain management because of the quack that literately “screwed up my back”, an operation that I didn’t need but told I had to get because of the burning in my legs which happened to be NO BLOOD FLOW TO THEM, but doctor said had to do this….I get nerve blocks w pain med inside, 3 week process. the first one helped my chest, but really soon went away, they do help my back…. I have complained to my family doctor that I AM IN PAIN, since they are afraid to hand people pain meds, because we are all addicts, I took the natural way. I don’t really care what I try I am in so much pain, goes across bottom of breast bone all the way across and down were belly button used to be, have no more. Plastic surgeon put Alloderm in to make muscles stay together, starting to look about 7 months pregnant again, never been fat, I am 5’8″ and about 142 lbs. Pain is unbearable …. :( I really never thought I would make my 50th birthday, my doctor knows that this has been hurting, even to do a ultra sound it hurts, and they don’t press very hard, but they have to to see what is going on, he even sent me to a surgeon that is a p of the surgeon that screwed me up, he won’t touch me, no one will to see why i am hurting…. we need more law suits on this, the trans vaginal is the same thing, they are getting help for their pain and it seems like the ones that had the same mesh for hernias just have to sit in pain because nothing takes it away….. HELP ME

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