A group of people who claim to have been injured by hernia repair kits made by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon USA LLC have asked the New Jersey Supreme Court to consolidate the 62 lawsuits pending against the company into a multicounty litigation, and assign them to Superior Court Judge Rachelle Lea Harrz in Bergen County. Several hundred similar cases are expected to be filed.
Those suing Ethicon allege the company designed, manufactured, marketed and sold defective hernia mesh, including Proceed Surgical Mesh, Proceed Ventrical Patch, Ethicon Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh, Prolene 3D Patch Polypropylene Mesh, and Prolene Hernia System. All the products “feature one or more deviations from an uncoated, two-dimensional polypropylene mesh design.”
Plaintiffs claim that the products increase the type and rate of serious complications, including adhesions to the intestines, autoimmune reactions, fistulas, hernia recurrence, infections, and bowel or intestinal blockage. The lawsuits raise questions about the sterility of the devices, the nature of the defects, and the company’s failure or delay in recalling them.
Ethicon also faces about 92 lawsuits involving its Physiomesh hernia repair mesh, consolidated into a multidistrict litigation in the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta. Plaintiffs in that MDL claim that Ethicon did not adequately warn of risks associated with Physiomesh.
Manufacturers of other hernia mesh products are facing similar lawsuits over serious risks, including Atrium Medical Corp., which faces about 335 lawsuits in U.S. District Court in Concord.