Surgimesh Lawsuit Over Infected Hernia Mesh To Be Prepared For Trial

Lawsuit alleges Surgimesh is made of a polypropylene material that is incompatible with human tissue, resulting in adverse immune system responses

A joint discovery plan has been submitted by parties involved in a hernia mesh lawsuit filed over problems with Surgimesh, which will result the case being prepared for trial that should be ready to begin in the first half of 2023.

The complaint (PDF) was was originally filed by Melvin Todacheene in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico in August 2021, alleging that the Surgimesh XB product was defectively designed and failed within a year of when it was used during a hernia remair, after it became infected.

Surgimesh is a polypropylene hernia mesh, which the lawsuit claims is biologically incompatible with human tissue, causing adverse immune system responses that result in inflammation around the surrounding tissue, as well as other severe adverse reactions. This may cause the hernia mesh to degrade and weaken in the body, resulting in material failures, according to the complaint.

Todacheene indicates he underwent a surgical procedure where Surgimesh XB was used in August 2017. However, by August 2018 he had to undergo revision surgery to have the infected hernia mesh.

“Defendants ignored reports from patients and health care providers throughout the United States of the Surgimesh mesh’s failure to perform as intended, which led to the severe and debilitating injuries suffered by Plaintiff and numerous other patients,” the lawsuit states. “Rather than doing adequate testing to determine the cause of these injuries or rule out the Surgimesh product’s design as the cause of the injuries, Defendants continued to market Surgimesh mesh as a safer and more effective medical device as compared to other available alternative treatment for hernias.”

On December 27, attorneys for Todacheene and the Surgimesh manufacturers filed a joint status report and provisional discovery plain (PDF), which puts the case on track to be prepared for trial over the next year.

The plan details which witnesses, medical experts, and documents are expected to come into play during the trial, and lays out the discovery that the parties will need to prepare for jury.

While the parties indicate that meaningful Surgimesh settlement negotiations can not be conducted until the fact discovery and disclosure of expert reports is complete, the Court has been asked to schedule a settlement conference for December 2022, to discuss potential resolution. Otherwise, the parties estimate that trial will require ten days, and ask that a pretrial conference be set for the Spring of 2023.

The allegations raised in the claim are similar to those presented in other hernia mesh lawsuits filed in recent years against makers of different polypropylene products, including products sold by C.R. Bard, Ethicon, Covidien and Atrium Medical.

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