What is the Average Settlement for a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit?
It is challenging to get a reliable figure for this average because there is little data on settlement amounts. Settlements seldom get reported because most of these transactions require the plaintiff and defendant to sign confidentiality agreements.
Also, the “average” amount of settlements for hernia mesh lawsuits has little value for the individual case. A particular lawsuit might have a settlement value of $20,000 or $1 million or more, depending on how much harm the plaintiff suffered because of the hernia mesh.
An Overview of Hernia Repair and Surgical Mesh
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) explains that hernia surgical mesh implants are one of several treatment options used to repair hernias. A hernia happens when there is a hole or weak spot in a muscle or connective tissue that allows an organ, intestine, or fatty tissue to squeeze through that opening.
The most frequent location for hernias is in the abdominal wall. The most common types of hernias are:
- Inguinal, which develop in the inner groin
- Femoral, which develop in the outer groin or upper thigh
- Incisional, which occur in the abdomen, through a scar or incision
- Ventral, which develop in the ventral wall or general abdominal wall
- Umbilical, which happen at the belly button, and
- Hiatal, which develop inside the abdomen, along the diaphragm or upper stomach
Many different things could cause a hernia to develop. A hernia can occur at any time during a person’s life, including as early as birth. Even persistent coughing or sneezing could increase abdominal pressure to the point of causing a hernia. Because it is so easy for a hernia to develop, there are more than one million hernia repairs performed annually in the United States.
Treatment Options for Hernias
Hernias do not resolve on their own, but for an adult with no symptoms or complications, conservative treatment involves waiting as long as possible before performing surgery. Surgical options can be laparoscopic, involving several small incisions, or open repair using one larger incision.
Either type of surgery could involve the use of hernia mesh. Surgeons often use surgical mesh to strengthen the weakened area where the hernia developed and decrease the likelihood of another hernia developing in that location. According to the FDA, since the year 2000, 90 percent of all groin hernia repairs use hernia mesh.
How Many Hernia Mesh Lawsuits Have Been Filed
There have been thousands of lawsuits filed over harm caused by hernia mesh. For example, there are more than 13,000 plaintiffs in the Multi-District Litigation (MDL) group of cases filed against several manufacturers of hernia mesh.
The Harm That Hernia Mesh Can Cause
The FDA reports that the most common adverse events after surgical repair of hernias using mesh include:
- Hernia recurrence
- Adhesions (scar tissue that “cements” tissue and organs together)
- Bowel obstructions
- Bowel perforations
In addition, the FDA received reports of mesh migration and mesh shrinkage (contraction).
FDA Hernia Mesh Recalls
The FDA lists 15 types of surgical mesh products that are the subject of recalls. The most recent surgical mesh recall on the FDA website posted on December 3, 2020.
The first surgical mesh recall posted on the FDA’s medical device recalls database concerned three types of surgical mesh products recalled on December 18, 2003. With 15 surgical mesh products recalled over a 17-year span, it is not surprising that there are thousands of lawsuits about these products. Starting with the earliest recalls and proceeding to the most recent, the companies whose surgical mesh got recalled include:
- Q-Med Corporation
- Cardinal Health
- Owens & Minor Distribution, Inc.
- McKesson General Medical Corporation
- Synovis Surgical Innovation
- Ethicon, Inc.
- Covidien LP
- Allergen Medical
- Novus Scientific Ab
- AZIYO Biologics
If you do not know the brand name of the surgical mesh that was used on your hernia repair, the FDA recommends that you contact your surgeon, the hospital, or the surgery center where you had the operation performed.
Types of Damages in Hernia Mesh Injury Lawsuits
The amount of compensation you could pursue for complications from hernia mesh will vary from one person to another. The facts of your situation will be an essential component of your damages.
Some of the categories of damages in hernia mesh lawsuits could include:
If you needed additional medical intervention, like follow-up surgery to remove the mesh, repair a bowel perforation, or reduce adhesions, the medical bills for those procedures could be a part of your injury claim.
Your medical bills for the initial hernia operation do not fall under this category because you would have had to pay those expenses in any event.
Experiencing complications from surgical mesh often sidelines people from work for a while. If you missed paychecks because of an adverse event from hernia mesh, your lawsuit could include that financial loss.
“Pain and Suffering” and Inconvenience
Complications from hernia mesh can be quite painful and debilitating. Having to undergo additional surgical procedures is also painful and inconvenient. A person who experiences an adverse outcome from surgical mesh might suffer permanent organ damage that could diminish one’s enjoyment of life.
“Pain and suffering” refers to the physical discomfort and the emotional distress of enduring complications from the medical device. Inconvenience can include the disruption in one’s life because of additional medical treatments and ongoing health impairments.
There Is a Deadline to File a Lawsuit for Your Damages
Virginia has a statute of limitations of only two years to file a personal injury lawsuit, Va. Code § 8.01-243, but there can be exceptions to this rule for injuries that involve surgery. You should talk with your personal injury attorney about the deadline that will apply to your lawsuit.
Getting Legal Help If You Have a Hernia Mesh Injury
You may not want to handle a hernia mesh injury lawsuit on your own because these cases involve medical and scientific evidence. Also, because of the vast number of lawsuits, the courts are following different procedural rules than usual.
Jim Parrish and his team are standing by to help you get compensated fairly. You can get a free initial consultation with the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC at no obligation. Call (571) 229-1800 to get started.