Despite a voluntary recall performed by Ethicon on their physiomesh, lawsuits remain alleging that the defective surgical mesh caused serious personal injuries to patients. Two lawsuits, one filed in 2016 and one filed in 2017, allege that the two plaintiffs received Ethicon physiomesh to repair abdominal hernias. In late December of 2016, plaintiff Sarah Gilman sued Johnson & Johnson in the U.S. district court for the Middle District of Florida. Ms. Gilman developed adhesions on vital organs as well as other health issues. Ultimately, Ms. Gilman needed the physiomesh removed from her body.
In January 2017, the second lawsuit regarding Ethicon physiomesh was filed in the Middle District of Georgia by Connie Franklin. Ms. Franklin experienced nausea and severe pain after Ethicon physiomesh was used to repair an abdominal hernia. During the surgery to remove the mesh, the surgeon discovered that the mesh had torn. Ms. Franklin’s intestines protruded through the tear.
The above lawsuits are only two of the lawsuits filed. There are more than 20 lawsuits pending against Ethicon’s parent company, Johnson & Johnson, regarding physiomesh. The lawsuits are filed at the federal district level.
Both Lawsuits Allege Failure of Ethicon Physiomesh
As mentioned, the purpose of Ethicon physiomesh is hernia correction. Although it is still a surgical procedure, it is considered less traumatic to the body since the physiomesh can be inserted during a laparoscopy. When a patient undergoes a laparoscopy, their recovery time is generally less than patients who undergo traditional surgery.
The lawsuits do not address the process involved in undergoing a laparoscopy. What is addressed is the failure of Ethicon physiomesh. Ethicon voluntarily recalled their product after it was reviewed by two independent hernia registries. Their studies showed that patients who receive physiomesh have a higher than average chance that they will need another surgery.
Ethicon physiomesh is made from the same material that transvaginal mesh is made from: polypropylene. It’s important to note that while Ethicon made the decision to voluntarily remove physiomesh from the market, their transvaginal mesh remains.
In addition to personal injuries, plaintiffs allege that Ethicon physiomesh has a defective design. Physiomesh is coated with a material to keep it from sticking to the intestines of the patient. Sadly, Ms. Franklin, along with other patients, learned that the product still sticks to the intestines. It can also stick to other internal organs in the body.
Remember that Ms. Franklin’s physiomesh tore and that her intestines protruded from that rip. When Ethicon developed and manufactured physiomesh, it used a lighter weight polypropylene than in its transvaginal mesh. This was done in the hopes of reducing the number of complications that the manufacturer saw with the transvaginal mesh. Sadly, the decision to manufacture physiomesh with lighter weight polypropylene appears to have made the material weak enough to rip inside of the patient.
Reported Complications from Physiomesh
Although, Ethicon voluntarily withdrew their product from the market, there was no recall. Patients were not urged to do anything other than keep regular appointments with their healthcare professionals. Reported complications from the use of physiomesh include:
- Bowel obstruction
- Tearing of the physiomesh
Hurt Because of Physiomesh?
If you were hurt because of physiomesh, you may benefit from filing a lawsuit. However, a lawsuit that involves a personal injury caused by a medical device has a time limit. It’s important that you have your case evaluated right away to protect your legal rights. To learn more, contact Goldwater Law Firm right away.