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Ethicon Prolene Hernia Mesh Carries Unreasonable Risk Of Injury: Lawsuit

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Johnson & Johnson faces a new product liability lawsuit filed by a Wisconsin woman, who suffered complications from Ethicon Prolene hernia mesh, alleging that the design is unreasonably dangerous and defective. 

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Courtney D. Boston in the Superior Court of New Jersey in Bergen County on June 4, indicating that that the Ethicon Prolene patch carries an unreasonable risk of injury and harm; including pain, dense adhesion formation, organ complications, mesh shrinkage, hernia recurrence, seroma, fistula formation and infection.

Boston claims that she had an Ethicon Prolene Hernia System implanted in November 2006, during umbilical hernia repair surgery. However, in July 2012 she required additional surgery to remove the mesh, during which her doctor found dense adhesions to Boston’s abdominal wall. The doctor noted that a loop of her bowel and omentum had densely adhered to the mesh, and appeared to have grown directly through it. It was then determined that she had to undergo a small bowel resection in order to remove the mesh completely.

The complaint raises similar allegations to those presented in a growing number of hernia mesh lawsuits filed over Ethicon products, which maintain that multi-layer hernia patch design is defective and unfit for use in human beings. Boston also indicates that Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson never performed any clinical trials or studies before marketing the Ethicon multi-layered hernia mesh product line, which includes the Prolene Hernia System, as well as the recalled Physiomesh product.

“Although Defendants represented and warranted the multi-layer polypropylene design to prevent or minimize hernia recurrence and chronic pain, the design did not do so,” Boston’s lawsuit states. “Instead, the multi-layer polypropylene mesh occupied two inguinal compartments instead of one, increasing the intense inflammatory and chronic foreign body response, which resulted in mesh stiffening, mesh hardening, mesh contracture, mesh deformation, mesh migration, granulomatous and/or fibrotic tissue, increased foreign body sensation, and increased chronic and debilitating pain.”

The complaint indicates that the manufacturers failed to provide adequate warnings about risks associated with their product, which were defectively designed and manufactured.

The case joins a growing litigation being pursued against multiple manufacturers involving similar problems with various hernia repair products. In addition to other Ethicon mesh lawsuits, such as Ethicon Physiomesh lawsuits, there are also a number of Bard hernia mesh lawsuits and Atrium C-Qur lawsuits pending nationwide, leading to the federal court system to establish centralized pre-trial proceedings for litigation involving those products.

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