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The multi-layered design of Ethicon Prolene mesh increases the risk of serious and painful hernia patch complications, according to allegations raised in a recently filed product liability lawsuit.
Jamie Volquardsen brought the complaint (PDF) against Johnson & Johnson and it’s Ethicon, Inc. subsidiary on March 8, in the Superior Court of New Jersey in Middlesex County.
According to the lawsuit, Volsguardsen received an Ethicon Prolene Hernia system as part of a right inguinal hernia in April 2009. Years later, Volguardsen was diagnosed with a small-bowel obstruction and adhesions, suffering from repeated bowel obstructions, constipation, multiple hospitalizations, nausea, disfigurement and other injuries.
In April 2018, he underwent enterolysis of adhesions and treatment for the small bowel obstruction. However, the lawsuit notes that Volsguardsen is now at a higher risk of severe complications in additional abdominal surgeries, which may now not be feasible.
The lawsuit claims that the defective nature of the hernia mesh patch is responsible for his injuries.
“Ethicon Multi-Layered Hernia Mesh created an unreasonable risk of harm to Plaintiff,” the lawsuit states. “The unreasonable risk of injury and harm, including pain, dense adhesion formation, organ complications, mesh shrinkage, hernia recurrence, seroma and fistula formation, and infection, whether from a prolonged and pronounced inflammatory response caused by the multiple layers, degradation of polymers, non-conforming subcomponents, or some other mechanism, renders Ethicon Multi-Layered Hernia Mesh a defective product, unsafe for its intended use.”
The complaint raises allegations that are similar to those presented in other hernia mesh lawsuits filed in recent months against Ethicon over multi-layer hernia patch designs used in thousands of procedures nationwide.
Volsguardsen indicates that Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson failed to perform sufficient clinical trials or studies before marketing the multi-layered hernia mesh product line was introduced, which includes the Prolene Hernia System, as well as the recalled Ethicon Physiomesh product.
In addition to other Ethicon mesh lawsuits, there are also a number of Bard hernia mesh lawsuits and Atrium C-Qur lawsuits pending nationwide over complications associated with those other polypropylene designs sold by other companies.
As individuals who have experienced complications following a hernia repair continue to investigate and review potential cases with lawyers nationwide, it is expected that tens of thousands of complaints may be brought against manufacturers in the coming months.