How Do I Know If I Have a Hernia Mesh Claim?

STEP 1: Obtain Medical Records

hernia mesh lawsuitThe first step in figuring out whether you have a potential hernia mesh claim is to confirm which type of hernia mesh you had implanted. There is a simple way to do that. Whenever doctors use a medical implant or device, like hernia mesh, it comes in its own shiny new box (as you can imagine, a lot of marketing goes into the packaging of these expensive products). The box has stickers on it that specifically identify everything about the mesh (manufacturer, model, lot number, etc.). The surgeon takes the sticker off of the box and attaches it to the Operative Report. Consisting of only a few pages, the Operative Report is a basic summary of your hernia mesh implant operation. The stickers are usually attached to the last page of the Operative Report. You can go to your medical provider and ask for your Operative Report (this should only take you a couple of days), or you can retain an attorney to formally request your operative report (this will take a few weeks).


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On April 17, 2019, Judge Sargus, who is overseeing the Bard Hernia Mesh MDL in the Southern District of Ohio, held a Case Management Conference. At the time of the conference, the Court noted that there were just over 1,700 cases filed in the MDL, with approximately 80-100 new cases being filed each week. The parties advised that the protocol and schedule for conducting various depositions were still being discussed, including the depositions of the treating physicians, corporate designees, and company witnesses. Paper discovery from defendants is also still being produced and reviewed by Plaintiffs’ leadership. Another conference is scheduled for early June.

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Currently, there are more than 10,000 IVC filter cases filed across the country, in state and federal courts, with a majority being filed against manufacturers, Bard Medical and Cook Medical. IVC filters are small devices surgically implanted into the inferior vena cava in an effort to catch blood clots (where they should naturally dissolve) before they travel to the lungs, causing a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism. The Bard MDL (multidistrict litigation) is venued in the District of Arizona, while the Cook MDL is venued in the Southern District of Indiana. Additionally, lawsuits are being filed against Boston Scientific for its Greenfield Vena Cava Filter in Ohio; as well as Rex Medical and Argon Medical for their Option and Option Elite IVC Filters in Pennsylvania.

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We have already written about the thousands of Bard hernia mesh cases pending in Rhode Island state court moving swiftly towards bellwether trials. Not to be outdone, the federal Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) cases in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, before Judge Edmund A. Sargus, are heating up as well.

The MDL encompasses claims against C.R. Bard and its corporate subsidiary, Davol, based upon allegations that Bard’s polypropylene hernia mesh was defective and caused injuries to patients. Even though the MDL was formed in August 2018, the Court has already put together an aggressive procedure and schedule for bellwether cases.


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You have seen a lot of commercials and have probably been searching the internet for some straightforward explanations about hernia mesh lawsuits.

Very simply, a hernia is when a piece of internal tissue pushes through an opening in the flesh meant to contain that tissue. As you can imagine, this can be very painful. Hernias have many different causes, such as weakness in certain parts of the body (like muscle weakness), overexertion (like lifting heavy things), or lifestyle effects (like obesity). The most common types of hernias occur at the: inner groin (inguinal), thigh/outer groin (femoral), belly button (umbilical), upper stomach/diaphragm (hiatal), or an incision site (ventral). So, hernias are very common in just about every type of person.


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Thousands of individuals have filed Bard mesh lawsuits against Bard and its corporate subsidiary, Davol. The Bard Hernia Mesh litigation, is currently pending in Rhode Island state court, as well as in federal court, in the Southern District of Ohio. The Rhode Island state court litigation began in late 2017, while the federal court litigation in Ohio was only formed in August 2018. Because both litigations are still relatively young, the litigations are expected to continue throughout at least 2019, if not longer.

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There is a pending application in the Hernia Mesh litigation in New Jersey state court to have the litigation designated as a multicounty litigation (MCL). An MCL would permit centralized management of all related cases filed throughout New Jersey.

The MCL parameters proposed by the application would encompass all cases related sixty-two cases currently pending

The sixth pelvic mesh product liability trial against Ethicon, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, is underway in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiff was injured by Ethicon’s TVT Secur pelvic mesh product, requiring her to undergo multiple corrective surgeries and removal of mesh fragments from her urethra. The plaintiff alleges that the defective pelvic mesh product has caused perforations to her urethra, incontinence, and pain. The complaint alleges design defect and a failure to warn.

Citing the recent United States Supreme Court decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court of California (BMS), Ethicon, Inc. argued that the company’s lack of tangible links to Pennsylvania prevented the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas from hearing pelvic mesh cases. Ninety of the cases filed in the Philadelphia court that alleging injuries caused by defective pelvic mesh implants were filed by out-of-state residents.


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In case you missed it, Stark & Stark has garnered a significant amount of local, regional, and national press attention for our recent $20 million pelvic mesh verdict against Johnson & Johnson in Philadelphia, PA. In the case, plaintiff Peggy Edelman alleged that a Johnson & Johnson pelvic mesh device implanted to relieve stress urinary incontinence in 2007 failed due to defect. Subsequent attempts to surgically remove the mesh after Ms. Engleman began experiencing pain and discomfort were unsuccessful. Nationally, Johnson & Johnson is facing tens of thousands of additional pelvic mesh lawsuits, including nearly 200 more in Philadelphia.

Below are some of the local, regional, and national press mentions for Stark & Stark and this very important verdict:
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A Pennsylvania jury awarded a New Jersey woman $20 million for injuries she suffered after receiving a pelvic mesh implant made by Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

Following a three-week trial in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, Peggy Engleman of Cinnaminson, New Jersey, was awarded $2.5 million compensatory damages and $17.5 million in punitive damages.

Martin P. Schrama and Stefanie Colella-Walsh, both partners with Stark & Stark, filed the complaint on behalf of Ms. Engleman in 2013 and worked with a team of attorneys on the case.

The suit claimed that a TVT-Secur device manufactured by Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, was defective and the companies failed to warn users of the risks. Ms. Engleman had the device implanted in 2007 to relieve stress urinary incontinence, but said the device failed shortly thereafter. She began to experience pain and discomfort as the mesh started to erode inside her body and underwent multiple surgeries. Physicians were unable to remove all the shards of mesh in her abdomen.


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