New Jersey Supreme Court Consolidates Prolene Hernia Mesh Lawsuits in Atlantic County

Published on February 21, 2020 by Sandy Liebhard

The New Jersey Supreme Court has agreed to create a new Multicounty Litigation for lawsuits involving Ethicon Inc.’s Prolene hernia mesh implants.

According to a Notice to the Bar posted on January 15th, all Prolene hernia mesh lawsuits filed in the state’s courts will be transferred to Superior Court Judge John C. Porto in Atlantic County for centralized case management.

Prolene Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Allegations

New Jersey plaintiffs requested centralization last September, following two previous attempts that had been met with rejection. By that time, 107 Prolene hernia mesh lawsuits were pending in the state and attorneys were reviewing hundreds of additional cases that would likely be filed in the future.

All of the lawsuits transferred to the new proceeding claim that the polypropylene – a type of plastic derived from petroleum manufacturing – used in Proceed mesh is biologically incompatible with human tissue. As a result, some recipients have experienced an intense foreign body inflammatory response that can produce a “cascade of injurious complications,” including:

  • Mesh contraction and shrinkage
  • Increased foreign body sensation
  • Excessive scar tissue formation,
  • Mesh erosion, migration, and/or deformation
  • Chronic debilitating pain
  • Need for repeated surgical intervention

Hernia Mesh Lawsuits Moving Forward Across U.S.

Two other multicounty litigations were previously established Atlantic County for claims involving Ethicon’s Physiomesh and Proceed hernia mesh implants. Those devices are also manufactured with polypropylene.

An additional 2,000 hernia mesh lawsuits pending in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia, involve Ethicon’s Physiomesh Flexible Composite mesh products, which were recalled in March 2016 because of a higher-than-usual rate of hernia recurrence and revision.

C.R. Bard and its Davol subsidiary are defending more than 3,500 lawsuits filed over their polypropylene hernia mesh implants, most of which are pending in a multidistrict litigation now underway in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio. Meanwhile, a third centralized proceeding that houses just over 1,900 cases involving Atrium Medical’s C-Qur hernia mesh products is moving forward in New Hampshire federal court.

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