LifeCell Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Filed After Strattice Tissue Matrix Failed

The LifeCell hernia mesh lawsuit claims the Strattice Tissue Matrix failed after only a year.

LifeCell Corporation faces a hernia mesh lawsuit brought by a South Carolina woman, who was left with painful and life-long injuries after a Strattice tissue matrix used during a hernia repair failed, resulting in the need for revision surgery only a year later.

Amelia Lamonica filed the complaint (PDF) in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on August 3, indicating that the Strattice hernia mesh made from pig skin is defective, and causes an inflammatory response in the human body.

LifeCell introduced the Strattice Reconstructive Tissue Matrix in 2008, which is a biological mesh constructed from pig skin, and preserved in a phosphate buffered aqueous solution. It is known as a cross-linked graft device, which is intended to chemically link the proteins in the tissue together. However, cross-linking has been linked to a risk of foreign body response and infections, according to allegations raised in a growing number of hernia mesh lawsuits filed over infections and other complications.

Lamonica indicates that she underwent hernia repair surgery in February 2020, at which time she was implanted with a Strattice mesh. However, by February 2021, she was diagnosed with a recurrent incarcerated ventral hernia mesh, and surgeons discovered the mesh had failed. Lamonica, 74, had to undergo revision surgery to remove the failed hernia mesh, leaving her with permanent physical injuries, disfigurement, pain and suffering and other damages.

“Defendants failed to design, manufacture, market, promote, and manage the product post-market in a reasonable, safe manner,” the lawsuit states. “Defendants knew or should have known the product was dangerous and would injure patients, including in the ways Plaintiff was injured.”

The lawsuit presents claims of negligence, strict product liability for design defect and failure to warn, breach of warranties, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, Consumer Fraud Act violations, and also seeks punitive damages.

Hernia Mesh Litigation

In addition to LifeCell lawsuits over Strattice mesh filed in the federal court system, the manufacturer also faces dozens of complaints brought in the state court of New Jersey, where the company’s U.S. headquarters are located.

Given common questions raised in complaints brought throughout New Jersey, the state court Strattice mesh litigation was centralized and consolidated before New Jersey Superior Court Judge John C. Porto in Atlantic County in October, as part of a multicounty litigation (MCL), which is intended to reduce duplicative discovery and avoid conflicting pretrial rulings from different judges.

Similar to multidistrict litigations (MDLs) used at the federal level, consolidating the cases as part of a New Jersey MCL transferred claims pending throughout the state to Judge Porto for all pretrial proceedings. While each lawsuit remains an individual case, the Court will coordinate discovery into common issues in the claims and likely schedule a series of early “bellwether” trials to help the parties gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation.

The allegations presented in the litigation are different than those raised in other hernia mesh lawsuits filed in recent years over products made with polypropylene; a thermoplastic polymer. There are tens of thousands of Bard hernia patch lawsuitsEthicon Physiomesh lawsuitsAtrium C-Qur mesh lawsuits and similar claims alleging that design defects with the polypropylene products resulted in painful and complications. However, the Strattice mesh lawsuits allege that similar problems have been linked to this biologic pig skin mesh product.

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