Covidien Symbotex Lawsuit Filed Over Hernia Mesh Failure

The plaintiff underwent multiple surgeries until finally having the patch removed due to hernia mesh failure.

A Michigan woman has filed a product liability lawsuit over complications from Covidien Symbotex hernia mesh, indicating that the product failed and resulted in the need for multiple hernia repair surgeries.

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Karen Piotrowski late last month in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, presenting claims against Medtronic and it’s Covidien subsidiary, as well as Tyco International, Surgical Solutions Group, United States Surgical Corp. and Sofradim Productions, as defendants.

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According to the lawsuit, Piotrowski underwent surgery to repair an incisional hernia in August 2016, during which Covidien Symbotex mesh was implanted. However, she claims that a hernia mesh failure required her to undergo additional surgeries in March 2017, June 2017, May 2018, and July 2019, after she suffered an abscess, infected mesh, adhesions, as well as a painful inflammatory response.

These surgeries included excisional debridement of abscess, complex abdominal wound closure, drain replacement, clearing of seroma and fat necrosis, complex closure of abdominal wounds, and eventually the mesh was removed entirely.

The Covidien Symbotex lawsuit claims these hernia mesh complications were the result of a defective design used by the manufacturer, alleging that Covidien and other defendants knew about the problems with the mesh, but failed to take action to fix the problems or give adequate warnings to patients or the medical community.

The lawsuit notes that the polyester polymer used in the mesh has been known to incite inflammation and heightened foreign body response, which can increase the risk of post-operative complications. The material “is more brittle and significantly more susceptible to fatigue, fracture, breakage, fragmentation and other mechanical failures than alternative polymers” the lawsuit states.

“At the time of the operation, Plaintiff was not informed of, and had no knowledge of the complaints, known complications and risks associated with the Hernia Mesh Device,” the lawsuit states. “Plaintiff was never informed by the Defendants of the defective and dangerous nature of the Hernia Mesh Device.”

The lawsuit comes as the same defendants face a growing number of Covidien Parietex hernia mesh lawsuits being pursued by individuals who have experienced problems associated with this alternative design.

In addition to claims over problems with Parietex mesh, there are also a number of similar allegations being raised in complaints filed over polypropylene hernia repair products sold by other companies over the past decade, including Bard hernia mesh lawsuits, Atrium C-Qur lawsuits and Ethicon Physiomesh lawsuits.

Claims involving each of those hernia mesh products have since been consolidated in the federal court system, as part of different multidistrict litigations (MDLs). However, there are currently no consolidated pretrial proceedings established for lawsuits over Covidien Symbotex or Parietex mesh failures.

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