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A Beginner’s Guide To Hernia Mesh Litigation

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

What is a hernia?

A hernia is a medical condition that takes place when an internal organ protrudes via the abdominal wall of the tissue or muscle. Hernias typically take place in areas of the abdominal region such as the hips or chest.

If hernias are not treated promptly, they can have life-threatening effects. Because of this, it is vital to get proper treatment as soon as you start experiencing symptoms such as sudden pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting.

One of the common potential treatments for hernias is hernia mesh, a mesh that permanently reinforces the hernia once it has been repaired by surgery.

Hernia mesh is intended to degrade over time, meaning it is not supposed to offer long-term reinforcement to the herniated site. Instead, the body’s tissue and muscles are expected to grow, allowing them to provide permanent support to the repaired site.

Although hernia mesh can be an effective treatment, many patients face serious complications soon after implantation. In some cases, the hernia mesh may fail due to medical malpractice.

What is a hernia mesh lawsuit?

Hernia mesh lawsuits are filed against the manufacturers of the hernia mesh in cases where the mesh failed to help the patient and caused severe bodily harm.

Hernia mesh lawsuits aim to compensate the patient for lost quality of life, lost wages, medical bills, pain, and suffering.

Common hernia mesh lawsuits claim defective product design or manufacturing, improper labeling on the hernia mesh, failure to warn doctors about possible complications, and even medical malpractice by the doctor who implanted the mesh.

Over the past few years, thousands of hernia mesh lawsuits have been filed against various hernia mesh manufacturers. When filing these cases, common claims among plaintiffs include:

  • The hernia mesh eroded inside their body
  • The hernia mesh was not packaged properly
  • The hernia mesh lost its laminate coating inside the body
  • The hernia mesh broke apart leading to bowel obstruction and perforation

Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Compensation

Various factors affect the amount of compensation a patient receives in a hernia mesh settlement. If the effects of implanting hernia mesh are drastic and severe, the plaintiff will receive a higher settlement. Examples of these effects include quality of life, economic impact, and future loss.

One plaintiff might receive $50,000, while another could receive $500,000.

All plaintiffs who filed hernia mesh lawsuits did so because their complications led to at least one surgical procedure. Even worse, many patients required multiple surgeries and still suffered from complications afterward. Examples of these complications include:

  • Adhesion: instances where the hernia mesh implants adhere to various tissues and organs within the body
  • Bowel obstruction: instances where the hernia mesh moves within the body and blocks the bowels
  • Perforations: instances where the hernia mesh moves within the body and punctures other organs and tissues
  • Seromas: instances where pockets of fluid build up around the surgical site

If you are experiencing any complications from hernia mesh, set up a free consultation with our experienced attorneys at Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP.

Types of Hernia Mesh Settlements: Collective vs. Individual

In an individual hernia mesh lawsuit, the plaintiff must argue their case while the manufacturer offers a settlement. Once the plaintiff accepts the settlement, the case is complete.

Multidistrict litigation settlements (MDL), otherwise known as collective settlements operate differently. These collective settlements are composed of multiple similar cases tried in a single federal district court. Therefore, instead of filing 1000 separate lawsuits for each patient, all the cases would be heard under one multidistrict litigation.

Many plaintiffs prefer multidistrict litigation because it streamlines the whole process regarding summary judgment motions, evidence discovery, expert/witness depositions and interrogations, and motions to dismiss. However, the downside of an MDL is that patients do not get the same level of individuality as if they were filed separately since all the hernia mesh cases are heard at once.

Associated Costs

A hernia mesh attorney is typically paid to represent the plaintiff, and expert witnesses need to be hired. All together, filing a hernia mesh lawsuit can be a costly process.

Here at Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP, our law firm pays all the upfront costs to ensure that our clients can successfully resolve their claims and gain their rightful financial compensation.

If you or a loved one has faced any complications from an implanted hernia mesh, please contact us at Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP for a free consultation.

Picture of David B. Rheingold, Partner

David B. Rheingold, Partner

David specializes in an active trial practice primarily involving drug products, medical device liability and product liability cases. On both a state and national level, he has obtained substantial client settlements through arbitration, mediation and direct negotiations with some of the largest national and international drug and medical device makers. David has been involved in multiple high-profile legal cases including the $2.5 billion DePuy ASR and DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant settlement plan and the $1.4 billion Stryker Rejuvenate metal-on-metal hip implant settlement plan.

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