Ethicon Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Filed Over Physiomesh Problems

According to allegations raised in a product liability lawsuit filed against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon subsidiary, complications from Physiomesh used during a hernia repair caused a Massachusetts man to suffer painful and debilitating health problems, including recurring hernia and the need for ongoing surgeries.

The complaint (PDF) was filed late last week by David Watring in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, indicating that the Ethicon hernia mesh was defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous.

Watring had a 15×20 cm Ethicon Physiomesh patch implanted in April 2013, to correct a parastomal hernia. However, by November 2013, his hernia returned, and doctors found that the hernia contained loops of small bowel. He was admitted again for recurring parastomal hernia in March 2016.

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“There were several loops of small bowel contained within the hernia, with dense adhesions between the loops of the bowel. An extensive amount of time performing adhesiolysis was required in order to reduce them, as well as the adhesions between the fascial defect and the small bowel,” the lawsuit states. “Following this procedure, Plaintiff developed yet another hernia at the implant site of the Physiomesh and is currently awaiting consultation to determine whether further surgery is feasible.”

Watring’s case comes after an Ethicon Physiomesh recall was issued by the manufacturer in several countries earlier this year, due to a higher-than-expected rate of problems resulting in recurrent hernias and revision surgery. Although the action was classified as a “Market Withdrawal” by the FDA, Ethicon has required all unexpired products be returned and decided to remove the hernia mesh from the market, after failing identify the cause of the problems or come up with ways surgeons may be able to reduce the recurrence rate.

The Ethicon hernia mesh lawsuit claims that the knew there were problems with the Physiomesh product, but kept promoting the hernia patch to make money.

“Prior to the introduction of the Physiomesh to the market, Defendants had been notified and warned about the risk of widespread and sometimes catastrophic complications associated with the Physiomesh by leading hernia repair specialists, surgeons, hospitals, patients, internal consultants, and employees,” the lawsuit states. “Instead of improving the design of Physiomesh, Defendants chose to push Physiomesh to market while misrepresenting the efficacy and safety of the Physiomesh through various means and media, actively and intentionally misleading the medical community, patients, and the public at large.”

The case joins a growing number of similar Ethicon Physiomesh lawsuits filed in courts nationwide, each involving individuals who experienced severe problems following hernia repair, with at least one case scheduled for trial to begin as early as January 2018.


  • LeighDecember 3, 2016 at 3:56 am

    severe pain in area where hernia repair with mesh was done. Have problems with bowels. surgery was done in 2008.

  • FrankNovember 30, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Could it cause gastroparesis

  • coreyNovember 30, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    mine was done in october,,lots of pain and burning with lumps

  • RyderNovember 27, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Constant pain and pinching from procedure in May2016. Lumps and irritation

  • RhondaNovember 26, 2016 at 7:03 am

    My fiance had surgery to repair a hernia in October of this year and he is still complaining of burning in his stomach and still a lot of pain.

  • geraldNovember 24, 2016 at 1:04 am

    had hernia in belly got infected had another surgery cut tsome intestin this time and in broke within a couple months had to have another but doctor that screwed it up would not operate again had to get another sergeon not sure what the mesh was

  • JamesNovember 23, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Severe pain in stomach area.

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