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J&J’s Ethicon Faces Physiomesh Lawsuit For Hernia Surgery Complications

Surgical mesh devices have caused significant problems for patients across the country. Transvaginal mesh and bladder slings have been the primary target of litigation, as patients suffered serious complications and many times were forced to undergo revision surgery. In some cases, people underwent multiple surgeries. Some did not survive. sad

Now, Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, is facing a new round of products liability claims for its Physiomesh Open medical device, used for those who have suffered a hernia. The manufacturer marketed the product as a way to help bond the abdominal tissue, without exposure to the polypropylene material of which the product is made. Ethicon used a thick coating on both sides of the Physiomesh in order to protect human tissue, which can be severely damaged by direct contact with polypropylene. The problem, however, is that the mesh fails to properly incorporate into the abdominal wall, meaning it is floating around in the patient’s abdominal cavity. In other cases, the material breaks down and polypropylene does come in direct contact with human tissue, causing serious injuries.

The most recent Physiomesh lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. In Quinn v. Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson, patient seeks damages in excess of $75,000 from the New Jersey-based company. Although defendants are both based in New Jersey, plaintiff asserts jurisdiction in Florida because the defective product was placed in the stream of commerce in Florida and caused injuries to patient while she resided in Florida. 

Plaintiff was reportedly treated at a hospital in Melbourne, Florida for incisional hernias. However, rather than getting better after the surgery, plaintiff’s condition steadily worsened, according to her complaint. She began to suffer not only incessant pain in her abdomen, she also suffered bowel obstruction and diminished bowel motility.

A year after her original surgery, plaintiff had to undergo revision surgery with another doctor in Orlando. The surgeon discovered severe adhesions to the bowels and abdominal wall, caused by the allegedly defective Physiomesh product. The doctor spent two hours in surgery removing the material, but was unable to remove it all.

Plaintiff alleges she would never have agreed to have the Physiomesh product implanted if she had been made aware of this as a potential complication. She alleges the Physiomesh was defectively designed, manufactured and marketed and that defendants were negligent in causing plaintiff’s severe bodily injuries, as well as substantial physical and mental pain and suffering and economic losses. The product, she asserts, creates a high risk of unreasonable and dangerous injuries and side effects that for her – and possibly other patients – has severe and permanent negative health consequences.

She asserted the mesh harbors infections, migrate from the location of their implantation and abrades the nearby tissue. The mesh components have been proven to fail in performance.

In fact, Ethicon issued a “voluntary withdrawal from the market” of its Physiomesh products in May 2016 (though they refuse to label this a “recall”). This decision was prompted by research revealing that Ethicon’s Physiomesh had a much higher-than-average rate of required revision surgery than other mesh products.

If you have suffered injury due to complications with Physiomesh, contact our Boston product liability attorneys.

Victims of Massachusetts product liability may call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon sued over physiomesh product, Nov. 17, 2016, By Chandra Lye, FloridaRecord

More Blog Entries:

A Dozen Hospitals Allegedly Failed to Disclose Medical Device Related Injuries and Deaths, Nov. 28, 2016, Boston Physiomesh Injury Lawyer Blog