J&J Named in Another Hernia Mesh Lawsuit

Jane Akre
April 15, 2014
Prolene mesh

Prolene mesh

Plaintiff Richard McLaughlin filed his lawsuit in California's Central District last February. Although his mesh, made by Johnson & Johnson, was used for hernia repair, the allegations are the same as mesh used for pelvic organ prolapse - that the mesh is defective, that the instructions were missing or misleading, that the company is liable for his injuries and inability to work.

Hernia mesh is made from polypropylene (PP), a petroleum-based plastic. It has been used for decades and was generally regarded as safe, but some individuals have had ongoing complications since their implant.

Since prolapse in a woman's pelvic floor was also considered a form of hernia, the same PP mesh was later adapted for use as transvaginal mesh (TVM).

In this case, Richard McLaughlin was implanted with PP hernia mesh December 30, 2011 at the Los Alamitos Medical Center in Los Alamitos, California by Denise Joseph-Brown, M.D., who is also named in the lawsuit. Here is the lawsuit.

Hernia mesh amended complaint filed 3-13-14, Doc#8, McLaughlin v J&J.

His lawsuit says he has suffered severe bodily and mental injury, is in pain and has lost his income. His wife, Eve, has lost her husband and is also a named Plaintiff in the action. Toby Ellis of Agnew Brusavich (here) is the attorney for the Mclaughlin's.

"The scientific evidence shows that the polypropylene material from which the Product is made is biologically incompatible with human tissue and promotes a negative immune response in a large subset of the population implanted with the Products, including Plaintiff."

The product can become infected via bacterial contamination and cause chronic inflammation. Biomechanical issues that result include shrinkage, contracting, creeping, and deforming of the mesh.

The defendant should have known that yet continued to promote the product as safe and effective, even as no long-term trials had been conducted to assure safety and efficacy.

This is a defective product action and alleges negligence in its design, manufacturing, packaging and selling of the hernia mesh, defective warranty, a breach of warranty, as well as loss of consortium for the wife. The actions seeks punitive damages and also include a medical negligence claim against the doctor.

The case was remanded back to state court on Friday, April 11.

This is the latest in a number of hernia mesh claims now being filed. See Mesh News Desk on the last lawsuit filed against Atrium Medical for its ProLoop hernia mesh here.

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