More Than 300 Lawsuits Over Alloderm Mesh Problems Pending in NJ

Product liability lawsuits filed over problems with AlloDerm hernia mesh continue to mount, with more than 300 cases now pending in New Jersey state court and about 10% of those complaints being filed over the past 45 days. 

Originally introduced in the early 1990s, the AlloDerm Regenerative Tissue Matrix is a skin graft product that is manufactured from tissue harvested from cadavers, which is stripped of the original cells to ensure that recipients do not reject it.

Although it was originally introduced by LifeCell Corporation for use with burn victims during plastic surgery and for certain dental procedures, the manufacturer allegedly promoted the patch for hernia surgery and abdominal repairs without adequately researching the application or warning about the serious risk of complications that may develop.

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Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

Cases reviewed for problems with several types of hernia repair products.

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In the New Jersey state court system, all Alloderm mesh lawsuits filed throughout the state have been consolidated for pretrial proceedings as part of a Multi-County Litigation, or MCL. Formerly known as “mass tort treatment,” the litigation has been centralized before Judge Jessica R. Mayer in Middlesex County.

According to the latest case list (PDF) posted by the Court, as of January 12, there were at least 304 lawsuits over Alloderm mesh problems pending in the state.

While the first complaint was brought in May 2011, there has been a sharp increase in lawsuits filed in recent weeks, with more than 30 of the cases currently pending filed since December 1, 2012.

All of the Alloderm lawsuits involve common allegations, indicating that the manufacturers of the mesh failed to provide proper instructions for physicians using the product during hernia repair or abdominal surgery.

Many individuals have experienced problems following surgery, where the Alloderm mesh patch began to stretch or thin out once in place. This has been linked to reports of severe abdomoninal pain, infection, inflammation, injury to nearby organs, adhesion failure, hernia recurrence and other problems.

Lawsuits allege that the manufacturer knew or should have known that the Alloderm graft should be “pre-stretched” before use during hernia or abdominal repair. However, they sold the product for years without providing proper warnings and instructions that could have reduced the risk of the mesh expanding, thinning, sagging and bunching up over time.

The next case management conference in the New Jersey Alloderm litigation is scheduled for January 23 at 10 a.m.


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