Johnson & Johnson/ Ethicon hernia mesh lawsuits

In the past decade, hernia mesh products have faced increased scrutiny about the harm that they may cause to patients who are fitted with them. Hernia mesh products are intended to support weakened muscle to help a hernia heal, and prevent it from re-erupting. Studies have shown that hernia mesh products do indeed lessen the likelihood of reoccurrence of hernias.

However, studies have also started to reveal that hernia mesh products can cause serious, and in some cases life-threatening, complications to patients that are fitted with them. The most serious of which include nerve damage, fistulas (an abnormal connecting together of organs that are meant to remain separated), bowel blockages and negative autoimmune reactions when the body rejects the mesh.

Ethicon is a subsidiary company underneath the umbrella of pharmaceutical conglomerate Johnson & Johnson. The company has manufactured surgical sutures and wound closure devices since 1887. They are responsible for about 80 percent of the total United States market share of surgical sutures and are present in 52 countries worldwide.

Ethicon also produces surgical mesh products that are used after surgical procedures to fix hernias – which are an eruption of muscle tissue or organs through an area of weakened muscle or connective tissue, most often caused by excessive pressure built up in the area. The mesh is designed, in theory, to help support the weakened muscle and prevent the hernia from reoccurring.

Familiar problems

In 2016, Ethicon “voluntarily” pulled one of their hernia mesh products, Physiomesh, from the market after just a short time of production. The mesh was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the FDA 510(k) approval program, which enabled Ethicon to skip pre-market research and safety studies. Ethicon argued that Physiomesh was similar enough to its predecessor product, Proceed, to not require the same scrutiny.

Unfortunately, serious reports started to pour in that Physiomesh was resulting in similar problems that plagued Ethicon’s other mesh-based surgical products – such as their transvaginal mesh products, which are currently facing thousands of lawsuits nationwide.

The Physiomesh product was constructed with polypropylene, a chemical that has components which can be incredibly dangerous is exposed to human tissue. It will essentially “stick” to the inside of a patient’s body, which can cause serious damage if it sticks to an area such as the intestines.

To try and prevent contact, the device is covered in a coating of multiple materials. But judging from their decision to pull the product from the market, it seemingly does not work with enough consistency. Even worse, the Physiomesh product uses less of the structural polypropylene, making them more fragile, and resulting in patients experiencing the mesh breaking apart while still inside of them.

Call us to look over your case today

If you or somebody you love has been negatively affected or harmed by a faulty surgical mesh product, then call our office today. A legal professional will look over your case personally and offer the best course of action moving forward to secure the financial compensation that you deserve and need to continue living your life.

Companies like Ethicon believe that if 90 percent of people benefit from a faulty, dangerous device, that the other 10 percent of people they cause to suffer don’t deserve justice. At Altman & Altman LLP, we believe in fighting this dangerous mentality and have held negligent companies selling faulty medical products accountable for over 40 years.

The end goal of medical science and pharmaceutical companies should be to create life-saving medical advances that help people without subjecting them to unnecessary risks. By continuing to manufacture products that they knew could cause life-threatening side effects to patients, even after going down that same road and being taken to court thousands of times, it is a sign that the company needs a serious wakeup call.

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