What You Need To Know Before Filing a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit March 15, 2024.

What You Need To Know Before Filing a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit

A hernia is a lump, usually located in the abdomen or groin area. It is caused by an organ or intestine squeezing through a weak muscle or tissue. Hernias are relatively common, with around 5 million Americans developing them each year. They are not life-threatening, but doctors may recommend surgery for the hernia at some point. A common procedure to fix a hernia is hernia mesh surgery.

In this article, we will go in-depth about everything you need to know before filing a hernia mesh lawsuit.

We will explain:

  1. What is Hernia Mesh?
  2. Severe Hernia Mesh Complications
  3. Who is Liable in a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit?
  4. Statute of Limitations
  5. Damages that can be Recovered
  6. How Much Compensation Will I Receive?

What is Hernia Mesh?

There are around 1 million hernia procedures each year in the United States. Out of those 1 million, about 90% use hernia mesh. Most hernia mesh is made from strong plastic materials. The mesh supports the tissue around the hernia during and after the healing process.

The Northeast Georgia Health System describes that during the surgery, the mesh is placed on the damaged area and attached with stitches. As the area heals, scar tissue forms on the mesh. Then, the mesh will support the new tissue which will strengthen the affected area.

Severe Hernia Mesh Complications

Just like any surgery, there is a risk for complications. Hernia mesh complications can lead to severe injuries or even death. These complications can show up months or years after the initial hernia surgery.

Severe hernia mesh complications include:

  1. Organ perforation
  2. Migration
  3. Infections
  4. Bowel obstruction

Organ Perforation

Organ perforation is a common complication of hernia mesh surgeries. A perforation is a hole created in the surrounding organs or tissue. This can occur if the mesh is placed incorrectly or if the surgeon makes an error during the procedure. Organs that are commonly perforated from the mesh are the bladder and bowel.

Symptoms of organ perforation include:

  1. Abdominal pain
  2. Vomiting
  3. Blood in urine
  4. Swelling,
  5. High fever

Organ perforation is a life-threatening emergency and needs to be treated immediately.

Migration

Migration is when the mesh detaches and moves to another location. Mesh that has migrated can cause nerve damage, tissue damage, and severe pain. In some cases, mesh can even migrate into organs like the bladder or bowel which can cause severe complications. Migration can occur if the mesh was inserted incorrectly, not properly secured, or the mesh was defective.

Infections

Infections are caused by bacteria growing on the mesh. Infections can turn severe or even deadly if they are left untreated.
Hernia mesh related infections can cause:

  1. Sepsis
  2. Death
  3. Peritonitis
  4. Organ Damage
  5. Migration

It is important to contact a doctor if you have a fever, inflammation, pain, or flu-like symptoms because it could indicate an infection.

Bowel Obstruction

According to the Cleveland Clinic, bowel obstruction is the blockage of the small or large intestine. Untreated obstructions can cut off blood flow to the bowel. This can lead to permanent damage to the intestines. Bowel obstruction requires emergency medical treatment because it can be fatal if left untreated.

Who is Liable in a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit?

Two parties could potentially be liable for hernia mesh complications. Those parties are the manufacturer or the surgeon who performed your surgery.

Product Liability

If a manufacturer sold defective mesh to the healthcare provider, it is considered a personal injury claim. More specifically it would be a product liability claim. The manufacturer could be at fault if:

  1. They knowing sold a defective product and it caused an injury
  2. They failed to mention the risks to doctors and patients

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is when a medical professional injures a patient. The surgeon or other medical professionals could be liable if:

  1. They implanted the hernia mesh incorrectly
  2. They knowingly implanted faulty mesh
  3. They did not diagnose and correct the hernia mesh complications
  4. They did not inform you of the risks of the procedure
  5. The patient died as a result of hernia mesh complications

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations (SOL) is how long you have to file a case after an incident. Depending on who was liable for your injuries, the SOL will be different.

In Ohio, the SOL for product liability cases is 2 years. So, this means that you have 2 years after the mesh caused an injury. However, the SOL for a medical malpractice claim is shorter. So, if a surgeon made errors during the surgery then you only have 1 year after the injury to file a claim. It is important to contact an attorney right as soon as possible to see if you have a case.

Damages That Can Be Recovered

Damages that can be recovered will be based on what injuries you have from the hernia mesh.

Damages are broken up into 2 categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages awarded could include medical bills, lost wages, and future treatment costs. Non-economic damages include compensation for pain, suffering, and the loss of enjoyment of life.

How Much Compensation Will I Receive?

“How much compensation will I receive for my hernia mesh case?” This is a common question that we get asked. But, the truth is that each case is different, so there's no way to guess the amount you’ll receive. Compensation is awarded based on the mental, physical, and financial hardships you endured. For instance, someone who had minor complications won't receive the same amount as someone who suffered debilitating injuries.

Why Choose The Mellino Law Firm?

The Mellino Law Firm understands how life-changing these injuries can be for the patient and their loved ones. That’s why attorney Chris Mellino has dedicated his career to fight for victims who were injured due to someone else's negligence.

Our firm focuses on medical malpractice, personal injury, and wrongful death cases. By only covering these practice areas we are highly skilled in these cases. We also limit how many cases we accept each year. This is so we can give each case the attention it deserves.

To see if you have a case, call our Cleveland office at (440) 333-3800 or fill out our quick online contact form.