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Latest Updates in Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

In December 2023, Ethicon reached confidential settlements with 224 plaintiffs in the MDL. As of February 2024, there were 25,026 total hernia mesh lawsuits pending in four multidistrict litigations against Atrium (2,770 cases), Covidien (893 cases), C.R. Bard (21,169 cases) and Ethicon (194 cases). People continue to file lawsuits.

The defendant in MDL 2753 before Chief Judge Landya B. McCafferty of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire is Atrium. The defendant in MDL 3029 before Chief Judge Patti B. Saris of the District of Massachusetts is Covidien. The defendant in MDL 2846 before Chief Judge Edmund Albert Sargus, Jr. of the Southern District of Ohio is Davol, Inc./C.R. Bard, Inc. The defendant in MDL 2782 before Senior District Judge Richard W. Story of the Northern District of Georgia is Ethicon.

Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Updates
  • February 2024: There were 25,026 hernia mesh lawsuits pending in multiple MDLs.
  • December 2023: Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon reached settlement agreements with 224 plaintiffs in the MDL for unspecified amounts.
  • October 2023: October 2023: C.R. Bard’s third bellwether test trial was scheduled to begin.
  • April 2023: Ethicon dismissed several cases from the MDL, which remains open despite a confidential settlement in September 2021.
  • March 2023: The judge rescheduled Stinson v. C.R. Bard et al., the third hernia mesh bellwether trial, for October 16, 2023. The trial was originally scheduled for May 2023, but the MDL Judge granted C.R. Bard’s request to postpone the trial.
  • April 2022: A jury awarded Antonio Milanesi a $255,000 verdict against C.R. Bard in the second bellwether trial.
  • December 2021: A judge granted a Motion to Establish a Qualified Settlement Fund in the Atrium MDL. The settlement terms are confidential, but Atrium reportedly set aside $66 million.
  • September 2021: Ethicon agreed to a confidential global settlement.

The bulk of the hernia mesh lawsuit cases are against C.R. Bard, and the mesh maker still faces more than 20,000 cases. A state case that went to trial in Rhode Island against C.R. Bard’s subsidiary, Becton Dickson, ended in a $4.8 million verdict in August 2022. This large single verdict may make Bard consider a settlement, according to attorneys.

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Why Are People Filing Hernia Mesh Lawsuits?

People who have filed hernia mesh lawsuits claim that mesh failed and caused severe injuries requiring at least one revision surgery. Some plaintiffs required multiple surgeries and others claim their complications continued after revision surgery.

The central claims made in hernia mesh lawsuits are:
  • Defective product design
  • Improper product labeling, failing to warn patients and doctors about the risk of mesh failure and complications
  • Defective product manufacturing
  • Malpractice committed by the plaintiff’s doctor who implanted the faulty mesh

Lawsuits seek compensation for lost wages and medical bills. They also name damages including pain and suffering, as well as loss of quality of life.

Complications Listed in Lawsuits

People who filed lawsuits suffered severe hernia mesh complications that required additional surgery. Mesh failure occurs when the implant causes complications such as hernia recurrence or pain that requires mesh removal.

Complications named in lawsuits include:
  • Adhesion: Hernia mesh sticks to tissue or other organs.
  • Bowel Obstruction: Hernia mesh sticks to the intestines or moves, blocking the bowel.
  • Groin or Testicular Pain: Pinched nerves lead to a burning sensation at the surgery site.
  • Hernia Recurrence: Mesh failing to prevent hernias recurring is a common complication.
  • Infection: Chronic inflammation around the hernia mesh can lead to infection.
  • Migration: Hernia mesh moves from the surgery site to other parts of the body.
  • Pain: Chronic pain may lead to nerve damage or chronic inflammation.
  • Perforation of Organs or Tissues: Other body parts can be punctured when mesh migrates.
  • Seromas: Pockets of fluid build up around the surgery site.
  • Revision Surgery: Patients may need one or more surgeries to remove faulty hernia mesh.

Symptoms that can require hernia mesh removal include urinary problems, fever or swelling at the surgery site. Delayed or long-term complications can also occur. These include adhesions, hernia recurrence or chronic pain that may occur years after the original surgery.

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Who Qualifies for a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit?

To qualify for a hernia mesh lawsuit, you must have experienced serious complications from mesh named in lawsuits. You must also file your claim within the statute of limitations.

You may qualify for a lawsuit if:
  • You had hernia repair surgery with mesh on or after January 1, 2006.
  • You experienced serious injuries including adhesions, hernia recurrence, intestinal blockage, mesh migration, organ perforation or infection more than 30 days from the original surgery date.
  • You required hernia revision surgery or additional surgery because of complications.

An experienced medical injury lawyer can help you to determine your eligibility to file a lawsuit. Contact an attorney immediately for the best chance to achieve a settlement.

Attorney Trent Miracle explains why it’s important to file your hernia mesh lawsuit as soon as possible.

Manufacturers and Brands Named in Litigation

Patients have filed lawsuits against three main manufacturers in federal court: Atrium, Bard Davol (C.R. Bard and Davol Inc.) and Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon. Maquet, a subsidiary of Getinge Group, bought Atrium in 2011. State lawsuits are also pending against Covidien/Medtronic and W.L. Gore & Associates.

ManufacturerModels Included in Lawsuits (incomplete)
AtriumC-Qur, C-Qur Mosaic, C-Qur Edge, C-Qur TacShield, C-Qur Lite Mesh V-Patch, C-Qur Mesh V-Patch
Bard DavolAll polypropylene brands, including Kugel, Composix Kugel, Ventralex ST, Ventralex Patch, Perfix Plug
Covidien/MedtronicParietex Composite, Parietex ProGrip, Parietex Plug and Patch
EthiconPhysiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh, Proceed, PHS, Prolene 3D, Prolene Hernia System
W.L. Gore & AssociatesGore-Tex DualMesh

Hernia mesh manufacturers such as Medtronic produce more than 70 different brands of mesh. Atrium is also a major manufacturer that dominates the U.S. market.

Hernia mesh is a net-like implant typically made from polypropylene plastic, which is non-absorbable and synthetic. Some synthetic meshes are coated with a physical barrier, such as omega-3 fatty acids or collagen, that is supposed to reduce the body’s inflammatory response. Another type of hernia mesh is biologic mesh, manufactured from disinfected animal tissue and absorbed into the body over time.

Hernia Mesh Multidistrict Litigation vs. Class Action Lawsuits

Multidistrict litigation is a legal process to centralize and transfer similar civil lawsuits from different parts of the country to one judge. Each lawsuit remains separate but addresses common questions of fact simultaneously. MDLs reduce the burden on the courts and make litigation less costly and more efficient.

  • Atrium: As of February 2024, there were 2,770 pending C-QUR mesh lawsuits.
  • Bard Davol: As of February 2024, there were 21,169 pending polypropylene products hernia mesh lawsuits.
  • Ethicon: As of February 2024, there were 194 pending Physiomesh Flexible Composite hernia mesh lawsuits.

A multidistrict litigation differs from a class action lawsuit. In class action lawsuits, the case combines individual plaintiffs into a single suit, whereas in MDLs, the court groups similar cases and decides them in one or a few bellwether trials.

The intent of these trials is to try a widely contested issue to anticipate how related future litigation will turn out. There are three main MDLs for hernia mesh, and the bellwether trials are underway.

Compensation for Hernia Mesh Injuries

Plaintiffs filing hernia mesh lawsuits claim compensation for economic losses, non-economic losses and, in some cases, punitive damages. Economic losses include past and future medical expenses and wage losses. They also include the cost of any additional surgery the plaintiff may require to fix the original complications.

Non-economic losses relate to compensation for emotional and mental distress. For example, one plaintiff experienced sexual difficulty because of hernia mesh surgery. This category of damages addresses the loss of quality and enjoyment of life.

Verdicts and Settlements

In its current multidistrict litigation, Bard has lost three bellwether trials in a row. The verdicts ranged from $250,000 to $4.8 million. The next bellwether trial is set for April 2024.

A jury ordered Bard to pay $1.5 million to one plaintiff in a Kugel patch lawsuit in 2010. The mesh maker also paid $184 million to settle 2,600 lawsuits, closing the Kugel Patch MDL.

 

Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making decisions about your health or finances.
Last Modified: February 1, 2024

31 Cited Research Articles

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  1. U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. (2024, February 1). MDL Statistics Report - Distribution of Pending MDL Dockets by District. Retrieved from https://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/Pending_MDL_Dockets_By_Actions_Pending-February-1-2024.pdf
  2. Curley, M. (2023, December 4). J&J, Ethicon Settle 224 Hernia Mesh Defect Suits In MDL. Retrieved from https://www.law360.com/classaction/articles/1772908/j-j-ethicon-settle-224-hernia-mesh-defect-suits-in-mdl
  3. Singh, V. (2023, February 21). US Supreme Court Refuses to Reject $302M Judgment Against Johnson & Johnson Over Pelvic Mesh Marketing. Retrieved from https://finance.yahoo.com/news/us-supreme-court-refuses-reject-201134356.html
  4. Pierson, B. (2022, August 29). R.I. jury orders Becton Dickinson to pay $4.8 mln in hernia mesh trial. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/legal/litigation/ri-jury-orders-becton-dickinson-pay-48-mln-hernia-mesh-trial-2022-08-2/
  5. Pierson, B. (2021, July 30). Becton Dickinson faces first bellwether trial over hernia mesh. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/legal/litigation/becton-dickinson-faces-first-bellwether-trial-over-hernia-mesh-2021-07-0/
  6. United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio. (n.d.) Multidistrict Litigation 2846. Retrieved from https://www.ohsd.uscourts.gov/multidistrict-litigation-2846
  7. United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. (2021, August 13). MDL Statistics Report - Distribution of Pending MDL Dockets by District. Retrieved from https://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/Pending_MDL_Dockets_By_District-August-13-2021.pdf
  8. Pierson, B. (2021, July 30). Becton Dickinson faces first bellwether trial over hernia mesh. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/legal/litigation/becton-dickinson-faces-first-bellwether-trial-over-hernia-mesh-2021-07-30/
  9. In Re: Atrium Medical Corp. C-Qur Mesh Products Liability Litigation. (2021, July 1). Plaintiffs’ And Defendant’s Joint Agenda For July 8, 2021 Status Conference. Retrieved from https://aboutlawsuits-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2021-07-01-Agenda.pdf
  10. In Re: Ethicon Physiomesh Flexible Composite Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation. (2021, May 18). Practice and Procedure Order No. 27. Retrieved from https://aboutlawsuits-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2021-05-18-Order.pdf
  11. U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. (2019, April 15). MDL Statistics Report. Retrieved from https://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/Pending_MDL_Dockets_By_District-April-15-2019.pdf
  12. U.S. District Court, Northern Dist. of Georgia. (2019, January 17). In re: Ethicon Physiomesh Flexible Composite Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation; MDL No. 2782; Practice and Procedure Order No. 15. Retrieved from http://www.gand.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/rws2782_doc425.pdf
  13. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2018, October 5). Class 2 Device Recall Parietex Composite Parastomal Mesh. Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfres/res.cfm?id=168668
  14. Supreme Court of New Jersey. (2018, August 15). Notice to the Bar; Multicounty Litigation – Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh Litigation. New Jersey Courts. Retrieved from https://www.njcourts.gov/notices/2018/n180815a.pdf
  15. U.S. District Court, Southern Dist., Ohio. (2018, August 2). Introduction – MDL 2846. Retrieved from https://www.ohsd.uscourts.gov/introduction-mdl-2846
  16. U.S. District Court, Dist. of New Hampshire. (2018, May 29). In re: Atrium Medical Corp. C-QUR Mesh Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2753); Case Management Order 3H. Retrieved from http://www.nhd.uscourts.gov/pdf/Atrium_CMO3H.pdf
  17. U.S. District Court, Northern Dist. of Georgia. (2018, May 29). In re: Ethicon Physiomesh Flexible Composite Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation; Practice and Procedure Order No. 11. Retrieved from http://www.gand.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/rws2782_Doc345.pdf
  18. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2018, February 4). Hernia Surgical Mesh Implants. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/implants-and-prosthetics/hernia-surgical-mesh-implants
  19. U.S. District Court, Western Dist. of Missouri. (2018, January 18). Rowe v. Davol, Inc., et al.; Jury Trial Demanded; Civil Action No.: 6:18-cv-3019. Retrieved from http://www.pacer.gov
  20. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2017, December 28). Hernia Surgical Mesh Implants: FDA Activities. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/hernia-surgical-mesh-implants/hernia-surgical-mesh-implants-fda-activities
  21. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2017, December 28). Hernia Surgical Mesh Implants: Reporting Problems to the FDA. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/hernia-surgical-mesh-implants/hernia-surgical-mesh-implants-reporting-problems-fda
  22. U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. (2017, June 2). In re: Ethicon Physiomesh Flexible Composite Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation; MDL No. 2782; Transfer Order. Retrieved from https://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/MDL-2782-Initial_Transfer-05-17.pdf
  23. Villarraga, M.l. and Kane, W. (2017, February 21). Preserving Evidence in a Product Liability Case: Focus on Medical Devices. American Bar Association. Retrieved from https://www.americanbar.org/groups/litigation/committees/expert-witnesses/articles/2017/preserving-evidence-prod-liab-case-focus-on-medical-devices/
  24. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2017, January 28). Hernia Surgical Mesh Implants: Information for Patients. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/hernia-surgical-mesh-implants/hernia-surgical-mesh-implants-information-patients
  25. U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. (2016, December 8). In re: Atrium Medical Corp. C-QUR Mesh Products Liability Litigation; MDL No. 2753; Transfer Order. Retrieved from https://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/MDL-2753-Initial_Transfer-12-16.pdf
  26. U.S. District Court, Dist. of Massachusetts. (2016, November 12). Watring v. Ethicon, Inc.; Complaint and Jury Demand; Case 1:17-cv-02300. Retrieved from http://www.pacer.gov
  27. U.S. District Court, District of New Hampshire. (2016, August 5). Hicks v. Atrium Medical Corporation, et al.; Complaint and Jury Demand; Case 1:16-cv-00357. Retrieved from http://www.pacer.gov
  28. Moylan, T. (2010, August 23). Plaintiff Awarded $1.5 Million in Second Bellwether Trial in Kugel Hernia Patch MDL. LexisNexis. Retrieved from https://www.lexisnexis.com/legalnewsroom/litigation/b/litigation-blog/posts/plaintiff-awarded-1-5-million-in-second-bellwether-trial-in-kugel-hernia-patch-mdl
  29. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2007, January 10, 2007). Class 1 Device Recall Davol Composix Kugel Hernia Patch. Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfRES/res.cfm?id=49722
  30. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2005, December 22). Class 1 Device Recall Bard. Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfRES/res.cfm?id=43767
  31. Town of Merrimack New Hampshire. (n.d.). Merrimack Business Profiles. Retrieved from https://www.merrimacknh.gov/economic-development/pages/merrimack-business-profiles