The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) recently issued a Transfer Order centralizing all Physiomesh lawsuits filed in the federal courts across the country in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Northern District of Georgia for the purposes of coordinated discovery and other pretrial proceedings. United States District Court Judge Richard Story will preside over these cases.
MDLs benefit all parties involved by eliminating duplicative and costly discovery. Judges presiding over MDLs often set bellwether trials (or test cases) once discovery is completed in an effort to encourage settlement negotiations by setting high and low values, depending on how the juries find in those cases. This is accomplished by having both sides – the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee, and the counsel for the Defendant – select their choices for what they believe to be a representative “pool” of cases after each filed case is carefully reviewed.
Intended for hernia repair, Physiomesh is a flexible polypropylene mesh designed to reinforce the abdominal wall, preventing future hernias from occurring. The mesh was designed to incorporate a multilayer biologic coating over the polypropylene, but it is contended that, over time, the coating wears off and is absorbed by the human body, leaving bare polypropylene in contact with tissues and organs.
On May 25, 2016, Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson and manufacturer of Physiomesh, issued a voluntary recall of the product due to high rates of reoccurrence. In a safety notice, the company said unpublished data using two large independent hernia registries found the need for additional operations increased when Physiomesh was used in comparison to when other similar meshes were used in abdominal, or ventral, hernias.
Many reported complications in hernia surgeries, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are associated with now-recalled surgical mesh, which it credits as the main cause of bowel perforation and obstruction complications. Defects in Physiomesh was found only after it was put on the market.
Our lawyers are currently investigating cases involving serious injury or death as a result of Ethicon’s Physiomesh. If you or a loved one has received hernia treatment that included Physiomesh and have experienced complications, reoccurring hernias or the need for additional surgeries, you may have a claim. You can contact Melissa Prickett or Megan Robinson, lawyers in our firm’s Mass Torts Section, at 800-898-2034 or by completing our free consultation form.