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What is a Statute of Limitations?

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If you are considering filing a legal action, you’ve probably heard the term “Statute of Limitations.”

A “statute” is the common law that sets the time frame within which you have to file a lawsuit. A filing outside of that time frame may mean it is too late to prosecute the person or company responsible for your injury.  This applies to personal injury or civil law but there is also a statute on criminal acts.

One exception – a murder is a criminal action and does not have a statute of limitations.

A vaginal or hernia mesh injury is considered a product liability case, also known as a defective product lawsuit and is a civil action.

So when does the clock start?  When the plaintiff (the injured party) knew or should have reasonably known about his or her injury. Some states actually begin the clock when the injury occurred, which may not be the same time when your pain began.

That may partially explain why you see aggressive lawsuit advertisements on television, billboards and flyers. For many people, legal ads are the only way they find out about mesh complications.

A plaintiff should be aware of the time limitations within which to file an action  because some law firms delay in filing or a legal referral service may not be timely in passing it onto the appropriate law firm. It is up to the injured party then to be mindful that the clock is ticking and remain on top of their case rather than hand it off and hope for the best.

This is not intended to be legal advice, just an explanation by a non-lawyer. Check with your law firm to make sure you understate the Statute of Limitations and that they understand the time frame of your injury.

Learn More:

The Statute may change over time, Nolo Press provides a “rough guide” to look up your state. Here.

Findlaw has more on the statutes in your state:

Here is Cornell Law on the Statute of Limitations:



  1. rose lopez says:

    looking for a hernia mesh attorney to help me

  2. I have had 4 hernia surgeries since 2010. In 2010 I had a complete reconstruction. The mesh used was Permocal by Tissue Science Lab. I noticed a slight bulge in 8/11 and told it was normal. On 11/29/11 I fell coming out of work. With days my stomach extended like I was 6 months pregnant and another bulge on my right side the size of a grapefruit. Told workman’s comp that there is something seriously wrong. On 3/13/12 they repaired the mesh with Parietex Progrip by Covien. The bulge was still present and had another surgery to repair another hernia on 9/12/12. That surgery was done laparoscopy. The mesh use was Mesh Composite by Ethicon. Since these surgeries, I have been in constant pain, unable to have bowel movement & problems with urinating, vomiting, nausea, unknown fevers, back, hip and sciatic nerve pain in both legs. After searching for answers. I went to a Gastroenterologist. He suspected a bowel obstruction and sent me to my original surgeon. In 10/2013 a CT Scan showed a lower bowel obstruction from a piece of mesh that wrapped around the bowel. Set up surgery for 1/27/14 and he was going to remove the mesh, and adhesions and fix the bowel obstruction. On the morning of surgery, he refused to remove the mesh or cancel the surgery. I was half sedated and told my husband the same thing. He told him to fix the bowel obstruction and deal with the rest later. During surgery there was a piece of mesh sitting above by belly button that he removed. I had made arrangements with Pathology to have them preserve it for 3 yrs.The mesh used was Permocal by Tissue Science Lab. Again I was experiencing the same symptoms. This was the same mesh that split on me in 2011. I told him a pre-op appointment and he said you have to deal with it. The surgeon told me that my lower abdomen was filled with mesh entwined with scar tissue. He said their is nothing he would do for me or recommend. I went for a plastic surgeon 6/14 for a Blue Cross approved amminoplasty. He wanted to do his own CT Scan to see where the mesh begins and ends. A couple days later he said I have another hernia and a problem with my bowel. He tried to get a surgeon to help me to repair the hernia. No one would help me. I was in ER two weeks in a row unable to go to the bathroom. I finally got a surgeon thru a friend that would help me. When I went to the appointment on 7/19/14, he sent me straight to ER. I was dehydrated, and was unable to have a bowel movement or urinate. I was in overnight. Supposedly the feces is getting caught in the mesh and scar tissue which is close to the colon. I was given an enema and put on a soft diet. Still having problems with nausea and vomiting. I have another appointment with the surgeon 8/1/14. This new surgeon said that the surgeon didn’t put enough tissue to keep it in place and it broke through. Do I have a Product Liability Case? Please advise. This will be my 6th hernia surgery since 2008.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Diane— the best person to run that past is Bruce Rosenberg 954-701-5094. He is hernia mesh injured and very knowledgeable about the latest medically and legally. His purpose is education through the Meshoma Foundation…. thank you! ~ ja

  3. Steve T. says:

    had dbl. inguinal hernia surgery 9-24-14 i have testicular nerve damage very badly andd it causes nerve pain tomy back very very badly it causes nerve pain to my upper abs to diaphragm muscle and up the back side does anybody no why testicular nerve damage is causing other nerve pain…

    Steve Talagian

    • Jane Akre says:

      Please contact Bruce Rosenberg 954-701-5094… He has info on hernia mesh and doctors who may be able to address it.

  4. Eugene says:

    i had a repair surgery for 3 hernias in 2013 by the V.A. … I have been experiencing discomfort and cold sensations as i did prior to the ssurgery.. I’m scared to go back to the V.A… what are my rights and options please…

  5. Eugene says:

    the surgeon used paritex mesh…

  6. Rachel says:

    I had 3 umbilical hernia surgeries in 2006 and 2007 due to mesh complications. I was unaware and never told about mesh recalls, is the statue of limitations up for me?

    • Jane Akre says:

      Check your state and how it defines statute of limitations- is it from your implant time or when you first knew you had a problem?

  7. Claire says:

    I have been suffering from an autoimmune condition resembling mixed connective tissue disease, for about 9 years. I recently read that hernia mesh repairs might cause this condition. I had hernia surgery with mesh repair just before the autoimmune condition began. Is it too late for a law suit now?

  8. Lisa M says:

    I had hernia repair mesh used for an abdominal hernia in 2007. I had multiple small bowel obstructions and surgeries for adhesions but I didn’t realize that it was due to the mesh for many years because I had one bowel obstruction before I had the mesh put in. That is why I had the mesh put in because I got a hernia from the incision from a uterine surgery. I found that out that it was the mesh in 2010 when the blood flow stopped to my intestine because it was stuck to my hernia patch. I then had several more obstructions without blood flow lose since then and finally In 2011 I had all the tissue scraped off the mesh to help stop the obstructions. This had finally worked! Now I have the health to look into it. Is it too late? I suffered for many years while raising a family and working full time in between surgeries and obstructions. I have lost much money due to having no more sick time left to cover the time so it was all unpaid. I am now digging out of debt from this nightmare! Any advice ?

  9. casey s says:

    I’m a bit behind the curve on this. I lost my father in 1997 due to growing complications from a hernia surgery where the used mesh. I was just recently was made aware that there was a specific hernia mesh litigation. I’m in the process of getting all of my father’s medical records now. I talked with 1 law firm involved but their cases are all post 2002 but he said I do have something to go on but need to find someone to look into the case due to its age. Any suggestions on whom to contact?

  10. Trish Christiansen says:

    I was wondering if you have any experience with marlex mesh used in vertical banded gastroplasty. I had a VBG in 2004 and started having problems with neither food nor liquids not going down and vomiting in 2010. It was an intermittent problem at first so I just dealt with. Then in 2012 I believe I found out the banded area was too tight but again it was intermittent. July 2015 it had gotten so bad I went to see a surgeon about getting it fixed. At that point I only knew the banded area was narrowed. The surgeon referred me to a gastroenterologist who put a stent in the banded area and one in the side of the pouch. All total I had seven endoscopies in about a year and a half. The last stent was removed on April 14, 2017 and at that time the gastroenterologist noted on the report that he saw evidence of an eroded band but never actually said anything to me. I saw a picture of it in the report but just thought it was equipment the gastroenterologist had used. I immediately started having problems eating again and went back to the surgeon. I showed the report to the surgeon and he said it was the mesh in the photo and that it has to be removed. I was shocked. Since the stent was removed on April 14 I have been on only liquids or extremely mushy food for fear it will get clogged. Surgeon told me this is a very difficult and dangerous surgery to cut out the band if it won’t come out laparoscopically. I have done some research about band erosion in these surgeries and can’t believe it’s still used. Surgery scheduled for June 12 cannot be soon enough for me. When I had the original surgery the options that insurance would cover was the VBG or gastric bypass. The lap band was an option but BCBS would not cover that one for some unknown reason.

  11. Brian Dellerman says:

    I have had a inguinal hernia surgery which mesh was used. Now that led to a flesh eating disease/ infection which they went back in and did something to try and fix it. I have had seizures ever since this operation. Could my seizures be due to the hernia operation?

    • Jane Akre says:

      Hard to say Brian but anesthesia can have an effect on people, so can the body’s autoimmune reaction to a foreign invader. Then again you could have developed a seizure disorder for no related reason. Adults sometimes have that onset later in life. I’m sorry….

  12. Glennon Walker says:

    A law firm in Lousville, KY accepted my case about 6 months ago and after their lengthy investigation advised as follows: “Your surgery records indicate that you had a Ventralight ST, Lot HUXL 1002 mesh implanted on 11/12/14. We have determined that we are not pursuing cases involving this brand or type of mesh at this time. This letter is not intended to opine on the merits of your case. You may have a viable case even though we have decided to decline representation….Consequently, we recommend that if you wish to pursue a claim you should contact another attorney immediately.”
    Do you know of a law firm that is handling this type of mesh implant case where the mesh got infected?
    Thank you very much

    • Jane Akre says:

      You might try Hollis law which advertises on this site. They re taking cases, which ones I’m not sure. I’m sorry….

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