January 15, 2013 — According to a recent case list, a total of 304 lawsuits have been filed by people who were injured by the Alloderm hernia mesh, a medical device used in skin grafting surgeries. The litigation has been growing since May 2011, and dozens of lawsuits have been filed in the last few weeks. Many of the plaintiffs have required additional surgeries to treat complications associated with failure of the device.
The lawsuits have been centralized in a Multi-County Litigation (MCL) in Middlesex County, New Jersey, before Judge Jessica R. Mayer. All of the lawsuits involve similar injuries and allegations against the manufacturer, including failing to inform physicians about the proper way to use the mesh in surgery. The plaintiffs allege that the device is defective, and the manufacturer promoted it for abdominal hernia surgeries without adequately investigating the risks of complications.
One of the most serious problems with the Alloderm hernia mesh is that it can stretch out or get thinner once it is in place. This can cause debilitating injuries, including severe pain, infection, inflammation, organ damage, opening of the hernia, and other side effects.
To reduce the risk of these complications, physicians are supposed to “pre-stretch” the device. Unfortunately, according to lawsuits, LifeCell Corporation sold the Alloderm mesh without providing proper warnings about the need to “pre-stretch” the device to prevent adhesion failure over time.
Alloderm is a biological skin grafting device that was created in the early 1990s for use in surgeries on burn victims, dental surgery, and in plastic surgery. About a decade ago, LifeCell began promoting Alloderm for use in abdominal hernia repair surgeries, despite the fact that it was not adequately studied for that purpose. After hundreds of people suffered severe complications, LifeCell stopped promoting Alloderm for use in abdominal hernia repair surgeries. However, no recall has been issued.