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Bard Perfix Plug Lawsuit Filed Over Hernia Repair Complications

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A growing number of hernia mesh lawsuits are being pursued over problems with the Bard Perfix plug, with a recent complaint describing painful and disfiguring complications experienced after the product was implanted in an Idaho man when he was only 19 years old.

The Bard Perfix plug is a “dart-shaped” hernia mesh product, which contains several layers of polypropylene mesh. While C.R. Bard and it’s Davol, Inc. subsisidiary have claimed the material is inert and marketed the Perfix plug for hernia repair, product liability claims allege that the mesh material is biologically incompatible with human tissue and promotes a severe immune response in many individuals.

In a complaint (PDF) filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on February 7, Thomas Spencer indicates that a small Bard Perfix Plug was used during a ring inguinal hernia repair procedures in March 2010, when he was only 19. However, by February 2016, Spencer required additional surgery to remove the mesh due after experiencing hernia complications.

Spencer’s doctors noted that the Bard Perfix plug had migrated into his peritoneal cavity, causing dense inflammatory changes. This resulted in a lack of blood supply to the spermatic cord, and the doctor noted that the mesh had transected the vas deferens, which transfers sperm from the testicles to the urethra.

“There are dense inflammatory changes in the area and using combination of sharp dissection and minimal electrocautery, the mesh was completely mobilized off what appeared to be the cord structures,” Spencer’s surgeon, Dr. Robert Yates of NorthWest Hospital and Medical Center in Seattle, wrote at the time of the revision surgery, according to the lawsuit. “However this was particularly difficult to interpret anatomy mostly because of the chronic inflammatory changes and mass effect of this mesh… there may have been a very small amount of vascular supply that was still running in what appear to be the location of where the spermatic cord should be.”

According to allegations raised in the complaint, Bard Perfix plug complications occur in a large subset of the population undergoing hernia repair with the product, indicating that immune responses promote degradation and contracture of the polypropylene hernia mesh, as well as the surrounding tissue.

Spencer indicates that he continues to suffer pain and permanent injuries, raising claims against Bard and Davol for manufacturing defects, design defects, failure to warn, negligence, breach of express warranty, fraudulent concealment, misrepresentation, infliction of emotional distress and violations of consumer protection laws, seeking both compensatory and punitive damages.

The case joins a growing litigation being pursued against multiple manufacturers involving similar design issues with other hernia repair products. In addition to other Bard hernia mesh lawsuits  over products like the Perfex Plug and the Ventralex patch, a particularly large number of Atrium C-Qur lawsuits and Ethicon Physiomesh lawsuitshave been brought nationwide, leading to the federal court system to establish centralized pre-trial proceedings for the litigation involving those two products.

As product liability lawyers continue to review and file additional cases over Bard Perfix Plug hernia complications, it is possible that another multidistrict litigation (MDL) will be established for all claims filed against C.R. Bard and it’s Davol subsidiary.

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