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Ethicon Prolene hernia mesh used during an umbilical hernia repair allegedly caused a Florida woman to suffer infections, recurrent hernia and other complications, resulting in the need for the mesh to be surgically removed.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Arlene Marcus in the Superior Court of New Jersey on June 13, joining a growing number of product liability lawsuits that blame Johnson & Johnson and its Ethicon subsidiary for selling a defective and substandard medical implant.
Marcus indicates that a medium-sized version of the Prolene Hernia System was implanted in February 2005. However, four years later, the surgeons had to remove the hernia mesh, resection her small bowel and repair a recurrent incisional hernia. The surgeon reported that the Ethicon hernia mesh was infected, and had also impacted her abdominal wall.
The surgeon noted that two loops of the small bowel had merged with the mesh and that the wound was draining bile. Even after having the mesh removed, the lawsuit indicates Marcus is at a higher risk of severe complications during abdominal surgery and warns that she may be unable to undergo further abdominal surgeries even if they are needed.
“The mechanism of failure in Plaintiffs device was a mechanism of failure that Defendants had marketed and/or warranted would not occur because of Ethicon Multi-Layered Hernia Mesh design and composition,” the lawsuit notes. “The implanted device that Defendants marketed and warranted (i.e., the Prolene Hernia System) would not have failed but for the defective design and composition of Ethicon Multi-Layered Hernia Mesh.”
The complaint raises allegations that are similar to those presented in other hernia mesh lawsuits filed in recent months against Ethicon over multi-layer hernia patch designs used in thousands of procedures nationwide.
In addition to claims involving Prolene mesh, Ethicon Physiomesh lawsuits have been filed over a similar multi-layered product that was removed from the market in 2016, amid a large number of reports involving premature failure.
As individuals who have experienced complications following a hernia repair continue to investigate and review potential cases with lawyers nationwide, it is expected that tens of thousands of complaints may be brought against various hernia mesh manufacturers in the coming months.