The first step prior to bringing a hernia mesh lawsuit is to identify the make and model of the plaintiff's mesh. Plaintiffs can learn the product ID by either:
- contacting the medical records department at the hospital which performed the surgery, or
- relying on their personal injury attorney to compile the records
Depending on the case, hernia mesh injury plaintiffs may sue the medical manufacturer for negligence and product liability. If successful, plaintiffs may recover sizable compensatory damages to pay for all of their medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
In this article, our defective medical device attorneys discuss the following topics:
- 1. Identifying your hernia mesh
- 2. Product types
- 3. Mesh manufacturers and products
- 4. Suing following a hernia mesh injury
People who do not know what kind of hernia mesh they have can always contact the hospital where they had the surgery. Its medical records department could then give them all their surgery/discharge records. These record should indicate the model of mesh that was used and the manufacturer.
Alternatively, people can hire a personal injury attorney to obtain the records for them. Medical records departments can be difficult to deal with, and sometimes they claim records have been lost when they are simply in storage.
In practice, medical records departments are more likely to comply with records requests from a law firm than from individual patients. Law firms always have the resources to keep on the record department's case and even take them to court in case they resist the request.
There are about six dozen different hernia mesh products made by various manufacturers. In general, the three types of mesh implants are:
- Patches, which are placed above or below the injured or weakened tissue;
- Plugs, which stop up the hole caused by the hernia; and
- Sheets, which the surgeon can cut in any way to meet the patient's medical needs
Mesh comes in all different types of materials, including:
- synthetic, including polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), or expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE);
- animal-derived, usually from a pig, cow, or a human; or
- coated, which are usually covered with collagen, cellulose, or absorbable fatty acids
Mesh can be permanent ("non-absorbable"), meaning that it is supposed to remain intact until the surgeon removes it (if ever). Or mesh can be temporary ("absorbable), meaning that it is supposed to break down and be absorbed into the body.
Some of the medical device companies and their past and current mesh products include the following:
LifeCell Corporation (now Allergen)
For a list of meshes that have been recalled, see our article on recalled hernia mesh products.
If you are suffering from a defective mesh implant, you may have legal claims against the medical device manufacturer (defendant). Common causes of action might include:
- defective product, and
- failure to warn
Your attorney can discuss whether you can bring an individual lawsuit or join a hernia mesh MDL (where all similar lawsuits are consolidated in one court). After aggressive negotiation, the manufacturer may agree to a large settlement to cover such expenses as:
- doctor's bills and home health care,
- loss of future earnings
- lost wages
- pain and suffering
And if the case goes to trial and you win, the jury may also award significant punitive damages to punish the manufacturer for its wrongful conduct. Punitive damages are often larger than compensatory damages (listed above).
Call a personal injury attorney...
The defective medical device attorneys at Shouse Law Group are devoted to scoring the maximum possible settlement for our clients. We take care of everything -- including gathering your medical records and negotiating with the manufacturer -- so all you have to do is concentrate on getting better.
To discuss your matter for free today, contact our medical device attorneys at (855) 396-0370. We will go over all your options and the chance of a successful resolution. And it is risk-free because you pay us nothing unless we win your case.
We are here 24/7, so call anytime. Just act quickly so that the hernia mesh statute of limitations does not pass.