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February 13, 2019

NJ Considering Ethicon Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Consolidation

Ethicon hernia mesh lawsuit consolidation is under consideration by the New Jersey Supreme Court over the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary’s defective Proceed and Prolene surgical mesh products causing irreparable harm to determine if one judge will preside over the state’s cases for pretrial proceedings.

The Acting Administrative of the Courts, Glenn A. Grant, indicates that the court has received an application for the establishment of a Multicounty Litigation (MCL) for all Ethicon Proceed Surgical Mesh, Proceed Ventral and Prolene hernia mesh lawsuits currently pending in New Jersey state courts.

The New Jersey Supreme Court consolidated a similar litigation in Atlantic County, New Jersey in an Ethicon Physiomesh hernia mesh lawsuit MCL. Rather than issuing a proper recall to ensure that patients and the medical community knew about the danger, Ethicon quietly withdrew Physiomesh from the worldwide market in 2016 to protect its brand identity amidst skyrocketing catastrophic early failures and horrific complications. Now, a growing number of injured individuals are filing lawsuits over other dangerous hernia mesh products against Ethicon in New Jersey. Ethicon’s parent company, Johnson & Johnson, has its U.S. headquarters there.

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Ethicon Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Allegations

Currently, there are at least 200 product liability claims over Ethicon Proceed and Prolene mesh complications pending in Middlesex County, New Jersey. However, experts expect the hernia mesh lawsuit litigation will continue its rapid expansion as more individuals discover that Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson could have prevented permanently debilitating and disfiguring injuries.

“The Proceed and (Prolene Hernia System) are all manufactured and sold by Defendants Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson. All are polypropylene-based mesh prosthetics indicated for the repair of hernias. These products are defective and unsafe for their designed and intended use,” the original hernia mesh lawsuit MCL application states. “The claims that are the subject of this application have one important commonality: all actions allege injuries stemming from certain deleterious properties of polypropylene, the base components of the products discussed in this application.”

Plaintiffs assert that Ethicon and J&J defectively designed and manufactured the hernia mesh products in a way that made them patently dangerous. Ethicon Proceed mesh contains a layer of Oxidized Regenerated Cellulose (ORC) which attaches to a layer of polypropylene mesh with polydioxanone. This design is unique to the Proceed mesh and allows for bacterial contamination to thrive and egregiously harm patients, causing life-threatening injuries from the delamination of the two layers causing seroma formation.

Hernia Mesh Lawsuit MCL

The hernia mesh lawsuit MCL would centralize and consolidate all the claims before one New Jersey state court judge. This consolidation helps avoid duplicative discovery and conflicting pretrial to serve judicial efficiency. The plaintiffs are requesting the cases go to either Atlantic, Middlesex, or Bergen countries. However, they would prefer Middlesex.

The MCL process is similar to a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the federal court system where another Ethicon hernia mesh lawsuit consolidation is currently ongoing in the Northern District of Georgia. Currently, there are about 2,000 hernia mesh lawsuits pending before District Judge Richard Story in the MDL. The court is preparing a small group of bellwether cases to go to trial starting in February 2020. These early test trials will help parties gauge how juries are likely to respond to evidence and testimony that appears throughout the litigation.

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