Hernia Mesh Complications and Personal Injury Lawyers in Brainerd, MN

The number of hernia mesh lawsuits continues to mount, as the complication rate likely exceeds 30 percent in many areas.

Many patients were told that the serious complication rate was less than 5 percent. The misinformation from Bard, Johnson & Johnson, and other hernia mesh manufacturers prompted many people to undergo risky hernia mesh implantation surgery. This procedure is especially delicate because the Food and Durg Administration approved these devices under the controversial 501(k) expedited approval track.

An estimated 170,000 patients are at risk for serious hernia mesh side effects.

Hernia Mesh Uses

The hernia mesh is a classic example of a cure that is worse than the disease. Surgeons often implant meshes, which resemble very small window screens, after abdominal surgery on women. Some doctors also implant surgical meshes, which are also called hernia meshes, into women who have just given birth.

The mesh prevents Pelvic Organ Prolapse. POP prevents internal organs from sagging and constricting the bladder until the abdominal muscles recover. SUI (stress urinary incontinence) is one of the main symptoms. Anything which places additional pressure on the bladder may cause unintentional urination. Some of these things include:

  • Sneezing,
  • Coughing,
  • Laughing,
  • Lifting a heavy object,
  • Exiting a car, or
  • Having sexual intercourse.

These things are embarrassing and may cause isolation. However, they are obviously not life-threatening.

Since they are in a delicate area of the body, surgical meshes must be thin and unobtrusive. Unfortunately, they are often a bit too thin, and that’s where personal injury lawyers in Brainerd, MN come into the picture.

Some Hernia Mesh Complications

Many times, the serious complications associated with medical devices are extremely rare. But that’s not the case with the hernia mesh. Some of the most serious side-effects and complications are also some of the most common side-effects and complications.

Over time, the mesh material melts into body tissues, a process known as adhesion. Over-optimistic manufacturers predicted that doctors would remove the mesh before adhesion set it. But the process begins much more quickly than manufacturers anticipated. So, many times, the patient’s abdominal muscles are not strong enough to support internal organs before adhesion sets in.

Severe chronic pain, which could indicate almost anything, is the only symptom of adhesion. By the time the patient develops a bowel obstruction, which is the next step, adhesion could be fatal.

Sometimes, rather than obstructing the bowel, the mesh material perforates the bowel. Perforation could cause sepsis, which is a blood infection, or peritonitis, which is bacteria and fecal matter in the abdominal cavity. These infections may be dormant for many years after they develop.

Finally, many meshes either tear or migrate. These things are especially common if the patient is rather active. Migration or detachment could cause:

  • Abscesses,
  • Bowel obstruction,
  • Adhesions, and
  • Bowel perforation.

These side-effects are especially common when surgeons implant meshes after minimally-invasive hernia surgery, probably because these patients are more active during recovery.

In one study, roughly a third of the people who received a hernia mesh required subsequent abdominal surgery. Emergency surgery was not uncommon.

Personal Injury Lawyers in Brainerd, MN and Damage Claims

Design defects usually cause these complications. Manufacturers have a duty to design products that are safe and effective, especially with regard to medical devices. These products should perform as advertised and not cause serious side effects. If a product fails to meet this standard and causes injury, the manufacturer may be strictly liable for damages.

Causation is the most complex part of this process for personal injury lawyers in Brainerd, MN. But generally, hernia mesh product defect claims are easier for a jury to follow than some other claims, such as SSDI antidepressants. Typically, a jury can connect the dots from defective mesh to dangerous side-effects, with the help of a medical expert.

To ascertain expert credentials, Minnesota courts use the Frye-Mack standard. This standard is not as stringent as the one used in other states. So, personal injury lawyers in Brainerd, MN are better able to present such testimony to the jury.

Procedurally, Minnesota judges often assign hernia mesh and other defective medical device claims to Multi-District Litigation courts. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow limited consolidation for pretrial purposes. MDL matters include hernia mesh, talcum powder, and other such actions which do not qualify for class-action status, but have enough in common to consider together, at least for pretrial purposes.

MDL conserves judicial resources and allows different personal injury lawyers in Brainers, MN to work together and settle cases quickly. If the matter does not settle out of court, it returns to its home jurisdiction for trial.

Connect with Experienced Attorneys

The hernia mesh is one of the riskiest medical devices ever to hit the market. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Brainerd, MN, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. We handle defective medical device claims on a nationwide basis.

FDA Approves Hernia Mesh Fix

The team behind Amarim’s FasTouch absorbable fixation system hope that this product improvement will make hernia mesh victims a thing of the past. That’s good news for people who undergo this procedure in the future, but it doesn’t help the thousands who have already been injured.

Doctors can use the updated mesh in many procedures. Company CEO Ofek Levin says the new device eliminates the soft tissue fixation problem. “Our data clearly demonstrate that a lockable solution is more reliable in such a dynamic environment and minimizes the risk of tack migration or dislodgement that may lead to complications and hernia recurrences,” he added.

The Hernia Mesh Story

Dangerous hernia meshes have adversely affected tens of thousands of people. These victims must deal with the serious injuries outlined below. Perhaps the real tragedy in all this is that the hernia mesh addresses conditions which are painful, but not very serious and certainly not life-threatening.

When women undergo abdominal or stomach surgery, side effects often include pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. These issues are especially common in older women who have had children. If the patient has POP, the bladder, rectum, uterus and other pelvic organ sag and bulge outside of the vagina. SUI is a similar condition. The increased abdominal pressure causes urine to leak when women laugh, cough, exercise, or otherwise use their abdomens.

Surgical meshes are supposed to fix these problems by supporting pelvic organs. But they often create more problems than they solve. That’s when Brainerd personal injury lawyers step in.

Infection is a serious problem. Typically, antibiotics do not cure these deep infections. Doctors must surgically remove the mesh, which is a very complex process. The mesh material fuses with organic material. Some surgeons say hernia mesh revision surgery is like trying to pull hair out of chewed bubblegum.

Hernia mesh infection is not like other hospital or wound infections. Biofilms, which are some of the stoutest bacteria colonies known to medical science, form around the incision site. Antibiotics ease the symptoms but do not eradicate the infection. Signs of infection include:

  • Slow incision healing,
  • Inflammation,
  • Flu-like symptoms,
  • Warmth around the incision site, and
  • Chronic pain.

If you suffer from these symptoms, contact a Brainerd personal injury lawyer. The problem may be an infected hernia mesh, which means you need specialized treatment and care.

In other cases, your hernia mesh could be defective. If the mesh erodes into body tissues, as outlined above, the victim could develop side-effects like excessive scar tissue, another hernia, or even a dangerous abscess.

Your Claim for Compensation

Legally, manufacturers are strictly liable for the injuries which their defective products cause. Amount of care is irrelevant. So, victim-plaintiffs need only prove causation. There are basically two types of product defects:

  • Design Defect: Some hernia meshes were defectively designed. The mesh was dense enough to support organs if the patient basically laid in bed, but once the patient resumed limited activities, like walking to the bathroom or enjoying a dinner with family, the mesh was not strong enough.
  • Manufacturing Defect: In other cases, the surgical mesh may have looked fine on the drawing board. But the manufacturer replaced quality ingredients with cheap substitutes that could not do the job. Generally, the manufacturer is responsible for any defects that occur until the time the mesh is sold.

Brainerd personal injury lawyers can usually obtain significant compensation in these cases. That compensation includes money for economic damages, such as medical bills, and noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering. Additionally, many jurors award significant punitive damages in defective product cases. Typically, the company intentionally disregarded a known risk.

Procedurally, most hernia mesh and other defective medical device claims go through Multi-District Litigation. MDL is designed for mass tort cases, like defective hernia mesh claims, which would be hard to hear individually but do not have enough in common to qualify as class actions.

Typically, courts consolidate these claims for pretrial purposes. That consolidation gives Brainerd personal injury attorneys the chance to combine their resources with other victims from other parts of the country. Additionally, once one case settles, the dominoes usually keep falling, so a favorable out-of-court settlement is a real possibility. The case usually goes back to its home jurisdiction for trial, if necessary.

What the Product Update Means to Brainerd Personal Injury Lawyers

Product updates are a thorny issue in defective product claims. They often convince jurors that the underlying product was defective, but their admissibility is limited under Federal Rule 407. To get around this limitation, most Brainerd personal injury lawyers argue that the subsequent remedial measure just establishes a product improvement. A 2020 Toyota is an improvement over a 2010 Toyota, but the 2010 Toyota was not defective.

On a somewhat related note, the short two-year statute of limitations may be a problem as well. Sometimes, hernia mesh injuries are invisible for quite some time, and when things like pain appear, doctors explain it away as something else. If the statute of limitation has already expired, you could still file a claim for damages. An experienced Brainerd personal injury lawyer can fill you in on the details.

Reach Out to Tenacious Attorneys

Hernia mesh implants often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced Brainerd personal injury lawyer, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. You have a limited amount of time to act.

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Buffalo Lawyers

215 East Highway 55, Suite 201
Buffalo, MN 55313

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