Hernia Mesh Litigation: FAQs

Doctor holding Synthetic Mesh for Hernia Repair

Hernias are a common condition where there is a tear in a person’s muscle or tissue which results in an abnormal opening inside the body. Complications arise when a part of your internal organs or other tissue makes its way through the opening causing swelling and/or pain.

Hernias are quite common. There are an estimated 1,000,000 hernia repair operations each year in the United States according to the Food and Drug Administration. Worse, hernias have a high rate of recurrence. In response, surgeons use surgical mesh to strengthen the repair. According to the FDA, the use of hernia mesh has reduced the recurrence rate as compared to traditional non-mesh repair methods.

Although hernia mesh has its benefits, many patients experience complications from its use. These might include pain, stress and increased medical bills to remedy the situation.  If you have complications from the use of hernia mesh, you could be eligible for compensation. Attorneys are currently pursuing claims against several hernia mesh manufacturers.

Below please find the most frequently asked questions regarding hernia mesh litigation.

Why Does Hernia Mesh Fail?

Hernia mesh can fail for a variety of reasons.  Most often, hernia mesh failure is caused by a combination of factors. These include product design, a patient’s preexisting health conditions and surgical technique. 

How Does Hernia Mesh Fail?

Hernia mesh complications can include:

  • Infection: this can be caused by the body rejecting the implant.  Mesh infection normally requires revision surgery.
  • Shrinkage: in some instances, the mesh can shrink in size, causing chronic pain in the areas surrounding the implant.
  • Migration: hernia mesh that moves away from the original surgery site can result in hernia recurrence and sometimes damage to nearby organs as the mesh material perforates the tissues.
  • Breakage: sometimes pieces of the mesh break off, migrate, and/or cause other problems.

Is there a Failure Rate with Hernia Mesh?

There are many different types of hernia mesh. There are also different types of mesh surgeries, mesh patients and surgeons.  All of these factors contribute to hernia mesh’s failure rate. Because of the multitude of factors, naming a fixed failure rate is difficult to ascertain. 

What Kind of Compensation Could I Be Eligible For?

If you suffer from hernia mesh complications, you can file a hernia mesh claim which could entitle you to economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages depend on your personal situation but normally include medical expenses, lost wages, and the loss of the ability to earn as much as before your complications.

Hernia mesh complication claimants/plaintiffs are also entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium from a spouse or partner, emotional distress and mental anguish.  These types of damages are not easy to quantify. Therefore, jury awards will likely vary from case to case. This helps claimants because there is no strict limit to the amount of damages you can receive. This ultimately aids in the settlement process because manufacturers must consider the risk of large losses and adjust their settlement offers accordingly.

Who is Liable for My Injuries?

Hernia mesh cases fall into two different legal categories. If your hernia mesh attorney can prove your type of mesh failed and the failure was caused by a design or other defect, they will sue the manufacturer under product liability laws. These are designed to protect the public from unsafe design or fabrication of products.

Secondly, if your mesh complications were caused by your medical provider's deviation from the standard of care, your attorney can pursue a medical malpractice case where those providers are liable. The difference between these two types of cases can be substantial since certain jurisdictions place limits on the amount of available damages.

Do I Need a Hernia Mesh Attorney to Receive Compensation?

Product liability lawsuits and medical malpractice are complex legal fields that require significant expertise. Adding to the complexity are limitations on actions laws, also known as a Statute of Limitations (SOL), which preclude claims after a certain amount of time.  This is important because complications can arise years after surgery. It’s best to consult an attorney as soon as possible.

A hernia mesh attorney will investigate your claim using your medical information and file your claim in the appropriate multi-district litigation (MDL) or state court. 

If you pursue a product liability case, you want to seek and retain hernia mesh lawyers which already represent plaintiffs against your specific mesh manufacturer. They will be in the best position to know where to add your claim and streamline the process for you. 

Either your case will reach a settled compromise (settlement), or you will go to trial. In either scenario, an experienced hernia mesh lawyer can be the difference between getting just compensation or accepting a lesser amount.

How Long will the Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Take?

Hernia mesh lawsuits can take time. Often many years elapse from the time you first notice the complications until you receive damages.  Both plaintiffs and defendants can compile evidence over many months. Then there are the consulting and questioning of manufacturing experts, medical experts, damages experts, etc. These steps make up the majority of what is known as the period of discovery.

After discovery, motion practice ensues where both parties resolve various issues before trial. These might include whether to accept certain types of evidence, expert witnesses, or specific testimony. These motions will also take time and slow down the process.

Afterward, you will receive a trial date which will likely be postponed several more times. These are likely caused by congestion in the court system. During this time, settlement conferences may occur during which your hernia mesh lawyers will advocate on your behalf. 

What Can I Do to Help My Case?

The most important thing you can do is take care of yourself physically. This means making appointments, consulting, and visiting your doctor. 

Then, call Cooney & Conway or fill out our free case evaluation. We are hernia mesh lawsuit experts and can guide you through the process quickly and easily.  We have extensive litigation experience and are experts in serious injury lawsuits.

After retaining an experienced hernia mesh expert attorney, you want to refrain from discussing your case with anyone other than your lawyers. You might also consider being aware of what you post on social media regarding your case or your physical condition.   

Finally, consider keeping a journal of how your condition affects your daily living. Life gets tricky as people’s attention flows from one thing to another. Preparing a journal is evidence of your situation and can help you recollect your suffering.