Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Filed Against Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon, Inc.

May 3rd, 2018

Attorney Bradley L. Leger, partner at the law firm of Leger Ketchum & Cohoon, PLLC, has filed a product liability lawsuit on behalf of his client, the Plaintiff, alleging that a number of severe and debilitating complications were caused by a defective hernia mesh, the Ethicon Prolene Mesh.


The lawsuit, which is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, names Johnson & Johnson and its Ethicon subsidiary as Defendants.

The lawsuit alleges that after having the Ethicon Prolene Mesh implanted into her, the Plaintiff begin to experience symptoms including nausea, vomiting, sexual dysfunction and chronic debilitating pain, among others. Tests results showed that the Ethicon Prolene Mesh degraded and balled up causing damage to Plaintiff’s internal organs and nerves. Plaintiff’s surgeon attempted to remove the Ethicon Prolene Mesh and noted that he was “able to find a small lotted up piece of mesh” that he “excised and removed.” Despite the surgeon’s best efforts, Plaintiff still has mesh inside of her and has continued to suffer from severe and chronic debilitating complications that has made it impossible for her to live a normal life.

The hernia mesh manufactured by the Defendants is made of woven polypropylene, which is a cheap plastic that degrades and erodes through tissue once implanted. The woven design of the mesh creates small pores or holes throughout the mesh. Nerves grow into these pores and attach to the mesh soon after the implant. As the mesh erodes and moves, it pulls the nerves attached to it. The nerves stretching is a cause of debilitating pain that patients, including Plaintiff, suffer. This pain is also essentially untreatable.

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 such products, including Plaintiff. One of the effects of this foreign body response is to cause excessive inflammation in the body which causes scarring and complications that can lead to permanent nerve damage and debilitating, untreatable chronic pain and even loss of mobility. Even opioids are not effective in treating nerve pain.

In fact, the Polypropylene Material Data Safety Sheet (MSDS) notes: “Prohibited Uses: Applications involving permanent implantation into the body.” However, despite this prohibition, Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon, Inc. continue to put profits over safety by continuing to market and sell the mesh for permanent implantation into the body.

The mesh can also become infected via bacterial contamination and cause chronic inflammation. Biomechanical issues that result include shrinkage, contracting, creeping, and deforming of the mesh within the patient’s body. Most men have reported severe, chronic groin and leg pain after being implanted and many have lost one or more of their testicles. The negative health effects from these mesh products can be severe, debilitating, and permanent.

The lawsuit maintains that the manufacturers of the Ethicon Prolene mesh knew or should have known about the risk of problems, especially in relation to use of the hernia mesh in the groin area, which the FDA has warned can cause infections, chronic inflammation and other health problems. Defendants have known of these health and safety problems but have continued to promote them as safe and effective. However, no long-term trials have been conducted to ensure safety and efficacy.

The Plaintiff has alleged claims against the Defendants based on failure to warn, design defect, negligence, breach of warranty, fraud and deceit, and gross negligence. The case is one of a growing number of hernia mesh lawsuits filed against various manufacturers in recent months, each involving similar allegations that many commonly used products have major design and manufacturing defects, which make them unreasonably dangerous for use during hernia repair.

If you have suffered complications after a procedure involving mesh – whether transvaginal, pelvic, or hernia mesh – please contact attorney Bradley L. Leger at info@lkclawfirm.com for a free, confidential case evaluation.