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Ethicon Physiomesh Lawsuit Alleges Defective Product

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White Plains, NYIn spite of a product recall of the troubled Ethicon Physiomesh last year, lawsuits brought by hernia patients negatively impacted by the failed medical device continue to be filed. To that end, a surgical mesh lawsuit was filed this past September by a plaintiff in US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

According to the hernia mesh lawsuit, plaintiff Joseph Wass required a ventral hernia repair. In February 2013 he underwent a procedure where he was implanted with a patch of Ethicon Physiomesh measuring 15 centimeters by 20 centimeters. Akin to other composite mesh products issued by other manufacturers, Ethicon Physiomesh was designed to be placed laparoscopically: rolled into a tube and inserted through a small incision, then deployed at the hernia site by the surgeon aided by remote cameras.

However, Wass eventually noted the emergence of a bulge in his lower abdomen and alleges he began experiencing chronic lower abdominal pain. Four years after receiving the problematic mesh, in March of this year Wass underwent revision surgery in an effort to correct the problem. The plaintiff’s surgical mesh complications lawsuit notes that Wass’ surgeon, during the procedure, observed dense adhesions of the Ethicon Physiomesh to the patient’s abdominal wall, requiring dissection.

“Defendants advertised, promoted, marketed, sold, and distributed the Physiomesh as a safe medical device when Defendants knew or should have known the Physiomesh was not safe for its intended purposes and that the mesh product could cause serious medical problems,” Wass’ hernia patch lawsuit notes. “Defendants had sole access to material facts concerning the defective nature of the products and their propensity to cause serious and dangerous side effects.”

Ethicon Physiomesh designed and manufactured by the subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant and co-defendant Johnson & Johnson (J&J), was part of a group of mesh products originally envisioned to revolutionize the hernia repair industry. However, it hasn’t worked out that way for many, as revision rates have been high – and usually higher than more traditional forms of hernia repair where mesh products are not used.

In June of last year, facing a growing list of failures – and higher rates of failures than those of competing meshes – Ethicon voluntarily withdrew Physiomesh from the market.

The surgical mesh side effects lawsuit is Joseph Wass v. Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon, Inc., Case No. 1:17-cv-06667 filed September 1, 2017, in US District Court for the Southern District of New York, but will likely not remain in New York. It is expected the lawsuit will be transferred to multidistrict litigation along with similar cases centralized in the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia before US District Judge Richard Story.


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