Ethicon Physiomesh Lawsuit Set for Trial in January 2018

One of the first lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon subsidiary over problems with Physiomesh used for hernia repair, is slated to go before a jury in January 2018, as a growing number of individuals continue to pursue cases in the wake of a recall issued earlier this year, due to high failure rates.

An Ethicon Physiomesh recall was issued in several countries in May 2016, and the hernia repair product was removed from the market worldwide. While the action was classified as a “Market Withdrawal” by the FDA, the manufacturer requested that medical providers return unexpired products, and the hernia mesh will not be returned to the market, after the manufacturer was unable to identify the cause of the problems.

Matthew Huff brought a lawsuit over Ethicon Physiomesh problems weeks before the hernia patch was recalled, filing a complaint (PDF) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois on April 1, alleging that the hernia repair mesh was defective, unreasonably dangerous and not suitable for it’s intended use.

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Cases reviewed for problems with several types of hernia repair products.

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Huff indicates that an Ethicon Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh product was implanted in 2013, for treatment of an abdominal wall hernia. In July 2015, Huff began to experience severe pain in the abdomen, as well as fever, nausea, chills and redness on the skin of his abdomen. During a subsequent hospitalization, it was discovered that the hernia mesh was infected, resulting in two abdominal abscesses, intestinal fistula and the need for surgery to debride the abscesses.

As a result of the complications with Ethicon Phsyiomesh, Huff claims that he was left with severe and serious health problems, including two open abdominal wounds that need to be cleaned and packed daily, as well as other injuries.

According to a docket entry posted by the court, the case has been assigned to an 18-month track, which calls for the case to go to trial before Judge J. Phil Gilbert on January 22, 2018.

By the time that trial date arrives, it is expected that hundreds, if not thousands, of similar Ethicon Physiomesh lawsuits may be filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide, each involving similar allegations. Therefore, the trial in the Huff case may be delayed if centralized proceedings are established in the federal court system to consolidate the cases before one judge for coordinated discovery, motions and other pretrial litigation.

Huff presents claims for strict liability, negligence and breach of warranties, seeking both compensatory and punitive damages.


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