Johnson & Johnson has been named a defendant in a new hernia mesh lawsuit involving its Ethicon Inc. subsidiary’s Proceed Ventral Patch.
According to a complaint filed in New Jersey’s Bergen County Superior Court, Plaintiff James Williams received a Proceed Ventral Patch during hernia repair surgery in July 2014. However, the device failed within just a couple years of the procedure, forcing Smith to undergo hernia revision surgery in 2016. (Case ID. BER-L-002337-18)
As a result of his hernia mesh failure, Smith has endured pain, nausea, diarrhea, chills, inflammation and other health problems. Though he is at high risk for additional complications, additional corrective surgeries may not be feasible.
Among other things, the complaint claims that Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon were aware that the Proceed Ventral Patch could fail early and was associated with high rates of bowel adhesions, seromas, infections, fistulas, pain, and other complications.
“Such risk and adverse effects could easily have been avoided had Defendants not concealed knowledge of the serious and permanent side effects and risks associated with the use of the Ethicon Proceed or provided proper training and instruction to physicians regarding use of the Ethicon Proceed,” the complaint states. “Defendants’ misrepresentations included knowingly withholding material information from the FDA, the medical community and the public, including Plaintiff James Williams, concerning the safety of the Ethicon Proceed.”
Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon are facing a growing number of lawsuits involving allegedly defective hernia mesh products.
In February, a group of New Jersey plaintiffs pursuing hernia mesh lawsuits over injuries and complications that were allegedly caused by Ethicon’ multi-layer, polypropylene devices, including the Proceed Ventral Patch, filed a petition seeking the centralization of their claims before a single judge in Bergen County Superior Court.
Their petition noted that there were 62 such claims pending in the state at the time and asserted that the litigation could eventually grow to include hundreds of similar hernia mesh lawsuits. The plaintiffs argued that centralization of the state’s docket will conserve resources, reduce cost, eliminate delay, and reduce the likelihood of inconsistent results.
Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon have also been named defendants in more than 700 hernia mesh lawsuits involving Physiomesh Composite Flexible mesh, which was withdrawn from the global market in May 2016 because of unusually high rates of hernia recurrence and revision. The majority of federally-filed Physiomesh lawsuits have been centralized in a federal multidistrict litigation currently underway in the U.S. District Court, Norther District of Georgia.