Hernia Mesh lawsuit

Finalized settlements have been reached for over 160 plaintiffs in their hernia mesh lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary, Ethicon, marking the beginning of what is predicted to be several thousand settlements resolving accusations that the company sold a flawed polypropylene product. This product was prone to failure, leading to injuries and necessitating additional surgeries.

These lawsuits were prompted by Ethicon’s Physiomesh recall in 2016. The product in question, a multi-layered, flexible composite hernia mesh, was withdrawn from the market only six years after its introduction due to a surge in complaints involving high failure rates and painful complications experienced by users.

More than 4,000 Ethicon Physiomesh lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson in the federal court system. These lawsuits all share similar allegations that the manufacturer marketed a dangerously defective product, causing plaintiffs to suffer severe abdominal pain, infection, hernia recurrence, adhesions, perforations, erosion, and other injuries related to hernia mesh failure. The majority of these claims have reportedly been resolved through a global settlement agreement, but the distribution of funds has been delayed.

Due to the shared nature of facts and laws, the federal cases were centralized for pretrial proceedings before U.S. District Judge Richard Story in the Northern District of Georgia as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL).

On May 24, a joint motion was submitted to have 161 cases dismissed with prejudice, indicating that hernia mesh settlements have been finalized to resolve these claims. However, no details on individual settlement amounts were disclosed.

In addition to lawsuits over the recalled Ethicon Physiomesh, tens of thousands of other product liability lawsuits have been filed against C.R. Bard, Covidien, Atrium Medical, and other manufacturers of similar polypropylene mesh products used in recent years, which have also been associated with high failure rates.

Around 18,000 Bard hernia mesh lawsuits are currently pending in a separate MDL, centralized before U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr. in the Southern District of Ohio. A series of early “bellwether” trials have been held to help assess how juries may respond to repeated evidence and testimony throughout the claims. However, after mixed results, Bard has not yet reached a global hernia mesh settlement to resolve the litigation.

At least two more Bard lawsuits are scheduled for trial in the MDL, and a Bard hernia mesh settlement master was appointed in August 2022, to collaborate with the parties to determine if an agreement can be reached to resolve a large number of claims. If no agreements are reached, thousands of individual lawsuits may be sent back to U.S. District Courts nationwide for separate trial dates in the coming years.”

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