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Following a hernia repair where Ethicon Physiomesh was used, a product liability lawsuit filed by a New York man alleges design defects caused him to suffer extensive adhesiolyses and other injuries from the hernia patch.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Franklin C. Robinson on April 25, in New Jersey Superior Court, indicating that his injury is so severe that he may be unable to have future corrective surgeries due to the complications caused by the Ethicon Physiomesh patch.
Robinson was implanted with a 25 by 20 cm Ethicon multi-layered Physiomesh in June 2015, during a surgical repair of an umbilical hernia. However, he had to undergo partial revision surgery in February 2016, due to the hernia patch injury complications.
During the surgery, doctors discovered extensive adhesiolyses, which are bands of scar tissues. As a result of the problems, he had to undergo another partial revision in June 2016, but still suffers a number of health problems.
The lawsuit indicates that he suffers severe pain, nausea, inflammation, diarrhea, loss of appetite and other problems, and that he is now at a higher risk of severe complications during abdominal surgery, which means future surgeries to fix abdominal problems caused by the Physiomesh may not be possible.
According to allegations raised in the complaint, the manufacturers of the hernia patch mislead the medical community and patients about the safety of Ethicon Physiomesh, which involves a unique multi-layered design that has been linked to a number of similar problems.
“Reassurances of device safety were made through direct promotional contact by Defendants’ sales representatives and distributors, through word-of-mouth from Defendant’s physician/technical consultants, and/or through industry targeted promotional materials,” the lawsuit states. “Despite these reassurances, the defective design and manufacture of Ethicon MultiLayered Hernia Mesh continued to elicit severe and chronic inflammatory responses, resulting in adhesion formation, bowel injuries, mesh contracture, pain, hernia recurrence, infections, seromas, fistulas, erosion, extrusion, and additional complications.”
The case joins hundreds of other Ethicon Physiomesh lawsuits filed by individuals nationwide who have experienced a hernia patch injury in recent years. Given similar questions of fact and law raised in the cases, a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL), which has been established for all lawsuits over Ethicon Physiomesh, which are centralized before U.S. District Judge Richard Story in the Northern District of Georgia to reduce duplicative discovery, avoid contradictory pretrial rulings and to serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and the courts.
Given similar reports of complications, and the manufacturers failure to identify a solution for the problems, an Ethicon Physiomesh recall was issued in 2016, removing the hernia mesh from the market worldwide.