Pelvic & Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Settlements
Over the years, manufacturers like Atrium and Ethicon have continued to face lawsuits because of the serious harmful effects brought about by hernia and pelvic meshes. Although hernia mesh is originally designed to support weakened abdominal tissues of a patient, some of the surgical operations have resulted in undesirable outcomes that have consequently led to multi-billion dollar settlements for plaintiffs. Pelvic mesh is a bit different, but many of the injuries are the same.
Judges are ruling in favor of injured patients and hammering medical manufacturers hard. So far there has been little sympathy for these multi-billion dollar companies. Many of which fast track their products to market for greater profits. (more info on 501k approval)
Some of the patients allege that the mesh caused injuries to their abdomen, bowel, and intestines therefore necessitating the need for additional or corrective surgery. Some of the most known documented complications arising from pelvic and hernia mesh include the following: abdominal pain, leg pain, rashes, groin pain, nausea, headache, fever, nerve pain, joint pain, problems with leaver or kidneys, and autoimmune disorders.
And to better illustrate the gravity of the situation, below is a reviewed lists of pelvic and hernia mesh settlement amounts that have been as a result of hernia mesh surgeries gone wrong.
1. Johnson & Johnson – $20 Million
A woman claiming to be in constant pain because of using Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon’s TVT-Secur pelvic mesh was awarded $20 million in April, 2017. Although a spokesperson for the company said its lawyers were still contemplating whether or not to appeal the judgment, the case was the fifth that the Ethicon had suffered in a row over their mesh products that had been in the market since 2014.
Carl Tobias, a product liability law professor, told Bloomberg that continuing to take the cases to trial would be silly as they would continue to lose out. He further added that there would be no sense to continue damaging the reputation of the company all while shelling out huge defense costs that comes with each lost case.
2. Johnson & Johnson – $13.7 Million
Again in 2016, Ethicon – a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary was slapped with a verdict amounting to $13.7 million, including punitive damages summing up to 10 million, for its pelvic mesh tape better known as TVT. In the judgement, the jury declared that the plaintiff’s physician was wrong in using the TVT due to the risks associated with it.
The lawsuit was filed three years after Sharon Carlino, the plaintiff in the case, had undergone two pelvic mesh repair surgeries. The first surgery left some of the portions exposed, thereby necessitating the need of corrective surgery to get rid of it. Furthermore, she also suffered from chronic pain and scarring allegedly caused by the multiple surgeries and a defective mesh product.
3. Johnson & Johnson – $120 Million
In 2016, Ethicon was again forced by a court to settle cases amounting to 42,400 lawsuits because of their pelvic mesh products. The Hernia mesh settlement amounts here summed up to $120 million.
According to the settlement papers, the lawsuits were filled by about 3,000 women who had suffered injuries and pain after the mesh eroded in their bodies. Moreover, the risks were further compounded because the erosion of the mesh products had also caused severe injuries to surrounding organs as well. Ethicon was accused of covering up the risks of the surgeries.
4. C.R. BARD - $119 Million
In 2015, women who had Pinnacle Pelvic Floor Repair implantations sued C.R Bard. The lawsuits by these amounted to 2,970 who claimed the repair device meant to treat pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence was a fake.
Moreover, the surgery done resulted in adverse effects, such as infection, bleeding, and pain therefore necessitating the need for corrective surgeries to get rid of the mesh. In this case, C.R Bard was compelled to pay $119 million to these women.
5. C.R BARD – $200 Million
Not long after settling the first case, C.R. Bard was again required to pay an additional sum of $200 million for 3,000 cases. This was in August of 2015 and each plaintiff left with around $67,000.
The settlement was as a result of the adverse effects left by the Pinnacle Pelvic Floor Repair device.
6. BOSTON SCIENTIFIC - $34.5 Million
In 2015, a jury found that the company had acted in absolute negligence by using a defective product that had adverse implications. The product in question was Obytrx mesh, which the couple that sued for damages claimed was found to be biologically incompatible with human tissue. They further claimed that the benefits and safety were later confirmed to be misleading to the public.
7. Endo International - $1.3 Million
In April 2014, $830 Million was the amount the owner of American Medical Systems was required to settle 20,000 lawsuits that had been filed for AMS’s Elevate, Apogee, and Perigee mesh implants. According to the lawsuit, the mesh devices were found to be defective, resulting in injuries and pain.
Half a year later, the company further settled 10,000 cases that resulted in each plaintiff walking away with an average of $48,000. In that year alone, Endo International’s cost of settlements amounted to more than $1 billion.
8. Boston Scientific - $45.2 Million
A judgement in favor of women found that the mesh used, Obtryx, caused pain, dyspareunia, and organ damage. Each of the women received roughly $6.5 Million. In this case, the Jury found that the company acted in negligence by failing to notify the doctors and patients of the potential dangers associated with the mesh.
Soon after, an additional $26.7 Million was awarded to four plaintiffs. The verdict included $4 million in punitive damages and $14.5 million in compensatory damages.
9. Endo International - $54.4 Million
In June of 2013, Endo International faced lawsuits amounting to a whopping 7,700 arising from its pelvic mesh product. $54.4 million was awarded in order to settle the lawsuits.
10. C.R BARD - $184 Million
In 2011, C.R BARD was compelled to settle more than 2,600 lawsuits that resulted from their defective hernia mesh. In this particular case, recoil rings that were supposedly expected to spring the mesh open failed resulting to injuries such as fistulas and abscesses in patients.
In the years to follow, C.R. BARD admitted that it had cumulatively settled more than 3,000 lawsuits in total as a result of the Kugel Hernia Mesh product.
Each year, about one million of these surgeries are conducted in the United States alone. And while most of these work as intended, some of these as aforementioned have led to serious legal implications to the companies involved. As of this time nonetheless, there have been no publicly reported large settlements for mesh products such as Ventralex ™, C-QUR ™, and Physiomesh ™.