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Hernia Mesh Preservation is Essential To Identify Its Manufacturer

A recent court case against Ethicon Inc. was dismissed when the plaintiff's attorneys could not identify the company as the failed device's maker

Friday, March 13, 2020 - On May 29, 2018, a in a Georgia judge decided that the handling of hernia mesh by doctors and hospitals after its removal was of critical importance so that not only would the physical condition of the device be recorded but also to remove all doubt as to the identity of the failed device's manufacturer. Thousands of lawsuits against Ethicon Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company that manufactures and markets a variety of Physiomesh Hernia Repair Mesh products have been filed and consolidated into a multi-district litigation, and now rely on being able to identify the device's manufacturer. A US. District Judge ordered a "practice and procedure decree" that explains the ins and outs of what must be done to preserve and test the extracted hernia repair mesh to be identified in a potential lawsuit. Without being able to identify the devices manufacturer it may be impossible to establish liability and hold a specific manufacturer responsible for monetary damages. It is also recommended that photographs of the removed device be taken within an hour of its removal. According to Drug, the removed device is to be sent to a Florida medical device storage facility. "The order requires people to tell their surgeons to preserve both hernia mesh and tissue. Hernia mesh lawyers will arrange to send all samples to a company called Steelgate Inc. It is a biomedical storage and management company in Florida," according to

A recent lawsuit against Ethicon Inc., claiming that the company "defectively designed, manufactured, and labeled the (hernia repair) mesh" was thrown out of court the other day when the plaintiff could not produce the removed hernia repair mesh and thus could not identify the manufacturer of the device for certain. Mass reports that: "Plaintiffs Deborah Kline and her husband, Jeffrey Derstine, sued the companies (JNJ and Ethicon) in 2014, alleging that the polypropylene mesh implanted in Kline's body in 2007 caused "significant medical complications and damages." The plaintiff had told the court that they had an expert witness that would testify that the device was made by Ethicon, but the argument was rejected by the judge. Also, there is no evidence that the hospital in question ever used that brand of hernia repair mesh, "The companies' sales records showed they sold no Prolene mesh to the hospital at the time."

In 2016, Johnson & Johnson's voluntarily recalled their Ethicon Physiomesh Composite hernia mesh due to an unexpectedly high number of patients that reported needing second or third revision surgery to locate and remove the failed device and repair the hernia once more. The scientific group responsible for the study was the German hernia registry, Herniamed. Herniamed recorded an unacceptably high number of Ethicon Physiomesh patients that were left in extreme pain that required revision surgery after the mesh device failed. "The recurrence rate of chronic inguinal hernia pain requiring surgery to be greater than 10% of Physiomesh patients," according to The National Institute of Health. Patients reported chronic pain, infections, inflammation, and hernia recurrence.

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OnderLaw, LLC is a St. Louis personal injury law firm handling serious injury and death claims across the country. Its mission is the pursuit of justice, no matter how complex the case or strenuous the effort. OnderLaw has represented clients throughout the United States in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation such as Pradaxa, Lexapro and Yasmin/Yaz, where the firm's attorneys held significant leadership roles in the litigation, as well as Actos, DePuy, Risperdal and others. OnderLaw has won more than $300 million in four talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits in St. Louis. Law firms throughout the nation often seek its experience and expertise on complex litigation.