Another hernia patient is taking Ethicon, Inc. to court, after he allegedly experience serious complications due to the company’s “dangerous and defective” Physiomesh patch. In a lawsuit filed on May 22nd in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois, Gary Goodson charged that the risks associated with the device outweighed any benefits offered by its unique, multi-layer design.
Mr. Goodson was implanted with the Ethicon device to repair a recurrent ventral incisional hernia. Physiomesh features a unique, multi-layer coating, which the company promised would “prevent or minimize adhesion and inflammation” and “facilitate incorporation of the mesh into the body.”
“Instead the multi-layer coating prevented adequate incorporation of the mesh into the body and caused or contributed to an intense inflammatory and chronic foreign body response resulting in an adverse tissue reaction including migration and damage to surrounding tissue in the form of sclerotic, granulomatous and/or fibrotic tissue and improper healing,” the complaint charges.
Due to his injuries, Mr. Goodson will need to undergo revision surgery to remove Physiomesh from his body.
“Neither Plaintiff Gary Goodson nor his implanting physician were adequately warned or informed by Defendants of the defective and dangerous nature of Physiomesh,” the lawsuit claims.
Ethicon withdrew its Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh product from the market in May 2016, after unpublished data from two European hernia registries suggested that the patch was associated with higher average recurrence and revision rates compared to other meshes used in laparoscopic ventral hernia repair. The company has been unable to determine the cause of the problems, and has indicated that will not be returning the affected Physiomesh patches to the market.
Dozens of Physiomesh lawsuits similar to Mr. Goodson’s are now pending in U.S. courts. Last month, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) centralized all federally-filed product liability claims involving Physiomesh in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. Initially, just 18 cases were transferred to the new multidistrict litigation. However, any other lawsuits currently pending in federal courts are eligible for transfer, as are any that might be filed in the future.
Multidistrict litigations are intended to promote judicial efficiency and preserve the resources of the courts, parties and witness involved in the litigation. Physiomesh lawsuits centralized in the Southern District of New York will undergo coordinated discovery and other pretrial proceedings. However, each case will retain its own identity and any not resolved via the multidistrict litigation process will be returned to their original court of filing for trial.