Hernia Revision Surgery Needed After Failure of Ethicon Physiomesh, Lawsuit Alleges

After Ethicon Physiomesh failed following a hernia repair, adhering to a Pennsylvania man’s abdominal wall and causing severe pain, a product liability lawsuit indicates that hernia revision surgery was required to remove the recalled surgical mesh from his abdomen.

In a complaint (PDF) filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on September 1, Joseph Wass indicates that Johnson & Johnson and it’s Ethicon subsidiary sold

As part of a ventral hernia repair procedure in February 2013, Wass was implanted with a 15 cm by 20 cm patch of Ethicon Physiomesh, which features a unique multi-layer coating. However, in March 2017, additional hernia revision surgery was performed after Wass began experiencing chronic lower abdominal pain, a bulge in the lower abdomen and eventration of the mesh.

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During the revision surgery his doctor discovered failure of the Ethicon Physiomesh, with dense adhesions of the mesh to the abdominal wall, which had to be dissected.

The lawsuit indicates that there was nothing wrong with the mesh when it was implanted, so therefore it must have been poorly designed or manufactured.

“Defendants advertised, promoted, marketed, sold, and distributed the Physiomesh as a safe medical device when Defendants knew or should have known the Physiomesh was not safe for its intended purposes and that the mesh product could cause serious medical problems,” Wass’ lawsuit notes. “Defendants had sole access to material facts concerning the defective nature of the products and their propensity to cause serious and dangerous side effects.”

The case joins a growing number of hernia mesh lawsuits filed by individuals nationwide who have experienced complications following laparoscopic surgery where Ethicon Physiomesh was implanted in their body.

Given similar reports of failure, and the manufacturers failure to identify a solution for the problems, an Ethicon Physiomesh recall was issued last year, removing the hernia mesh from the market worldwide.

Wass’ case will be transferred to a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL), which has been established for all cases filed against Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon over Physiomesh. The case will be centralized with other claims before U.S. District Judge Richard Story in the Northern District of Georgia to reduce duplicative discovery, avoid contradictory pretrial rulings and to serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and the courts.

As hernia mesh lawyers continue to review and file additional Ethicon Physiomesh cases in the coming weeks and months, it is expected that several thousand complaints will ultimately be included in the litigation.


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