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According to allegations raised in a product liability lawsuit filed against the makers of Ethicon Physiomesh, a Texas woman suffered debilitating complications from the hernia mesh when it balled up inside her body, resulting in the need for complicated revision surgery and painful injuries.
The lawsuit (PDF) was filed by Matreia Gentry and her husband in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on May 11, naming Johnson & Johnson and it’s Ethicon division as defendants.
Gentry was had a 15cm by 20cm Ethicon Physiomesh patch implanted in September 2013, for hernia repair. However, in June 2014 she had to undergo revision surgery to have it removed. During the operation, the surgeon reported finding “numerous balled-up, rolled-up, and incorporated old [Physio]mesh,” which he had to remove using cautery and sharp dissection during what was described as a difficult surgery.
Even after the hernia mesh removal, Gentry indicates that still she continues to suffer long-term health complications and pain, alleging that Ethicon misrepresented the safety and effectiveness of the Physiomesh to the medical community and patients.
“Physiomesh…was defectively designed, was not reasonably safe for its intended use in hernia repair, and the risks of the design outweighed any potential benefits associated with the design,” the lawsuit states. “As a result of the defective design of the Physiomesh, there was an unreasonable risk of severe adverse reactions to the mesh or mesh components including chronic pain; recurrence of hernia; foreign body response; rejection; infection; inadequate or failure of incorporation/growth; migration; scarification; deformation of mesh; improper wound healing; excessive and chronic inflammation; adhesions to internal organs; erosion; abscess; fistula formation; granulomatous response; seroma formation; nerve damage; tissue damage and/or death; and other complications.”
The case joins a growing number of Ethicon Physiomesh lawsuits filed in recent months over hernia mesh bowel adhesions and other complications, each raising similar allegations that the manufacturer knew or should have known about the risk of problems. However, rather than promptly issuing a nationwide hernia mesh recall, the manufacturer opted to simply remove the product from shelves and cease further sales within the United States last year.
As hernia mesh lawyers continue to review and file a number of lawsuits for individuals nationwide who had Ethicon Physiomesh implanted, a motion was filed last month with U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), seeking to transfer all cases to the Middle District of Florida for coordinated discovery pretrial proceedings. The panel will consider oral arguments on the motion during an upcoming hearing session scheduled for May 25, in San Antonio, Texas.