Decades ago, doctors started using hernia mesh devices to fix hernias. Many of them believed it would significantly reduce rates of hernia recurrence and subsequent complications from the surgery.
However, to date, we still can’t call recurrent hernias a thing of the past. That, even with the fact that more than one million hernia repairs are performed each year in the United States. In fact, contrary to what is expected of them, surgical mesh devices have been causing problems in patients.
This led to several people suffering from complications that even required revision surgery to fix. Because of the drastic harm done to them, many victims have decided to pursue legal action by filing a hernia mesh lawsuit.
And one of the most important things in these types of cases is knowing the right time to file your lawsuit.
Continue reading the article to learn more about how you can be sure of the timing of your hernia mesh lawsuit.
What is a statute of limitations?
A statute of limitations is a law that sets the time limit in which individuals can bring a lawsuit. Most lawsuits must be filed within this certain period of time. In general, once the statute of limitations on a certain case has passed, the legal claim is usually no longer valid.
Therefore, the potential plaintiff can’t sue anymore. In particular, the statute of limitations for bringing a hernia mesh injury lawsuit will depend on the state in which you live.
However, it’s not always easy to figure out when the statute of limitations may run out on your hernia mesh claim. Therefore, victims of defective mesh devices should always consult with a reliable attorney to calculate the time they have to pursue legal action.
Deadlines Differ By State
Every state gets to choose its own rules regarding deadlines for filing a lawsuit. Lawsuit deadlines vary greatly in different states. You may be given five years to sue someone in a certain state and you may only have two years in another.
For instance, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in some states is two years from the date of the hernia surgery. However, if the injury wasn’t discovered right away, the time limit might begin one year from when the victim discovered the injury.
This is known as the “discovery rule.” This rule is critical if you believe you have a hernia mesh case. If you live in a state that follows the discovery rule, you may not be aware of any existing problems related to your hernia mesh implant until after the statute of limitations on your claim has run out.
States that follow this rule usually set a limit on the amount of time you have to learn about your injury and not when your injury actually occurred.
In certain situations, however, the statute of limitations may also be temporarily stopped or “tolled.” This is applicable in situations where the victim is a child, in a coma, or in prison. For instance, when the injury occurred while a child is still a minor but there’s only a two-year statute of limitations on a claim on a state that he or she lives in, when the child turns 18, that’s the only time that the two-year period begins to run.
Therefore, the plaintiff has until the age of 20 to file a lawsuit.
The Discovery Rule
In situations where doctors committed malpractice and as a result have harmed patients, the discovery rule has been adopted by some states to protect patients.
This is to prevent doctors from escaping liability in such situations. In general, the discovery rule means that the statute of limitations starts running only when the patient discovers his/her injury. This can be a lot later than when the injury actually occurred.
For example, in California, where the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is two years, if a hernia mesh injury wasn’t discovered by a victim until a year after it happened, the two-year period starts to run on the day of discovery.
What can I do after the statute of limitations has run out?
If you’ve been on the fence for too long about whether or not you should sue for your injury resulting from a defective hernia mesh product, you might be nearly approaching the statute of limitations for your claim.
The statute of limitations exists to streamline the legal process. One of its purposes is to prevent lawsuits from being brought to the courts many years after the incident has occurred and much of the evidence has been lost.
In many cases, there’s no way around the statute of limitations. This is where the importance of consulting a hernia mesh attorney comes in. If you think you have a case, it’s best to discuss it with a trusted and experienced lawyer before the statute of limitations runs out on your claim.
How does a hernia mesh product liability case work?
A hernia mesh injury lawsuit is a product liability case. Product liability refers to a manufacturer or company being held liable for making a defective product available to the public and injuring consumers in the process.
Product liability claims are usually based on state laws. They can be brought under the theories of negligence, tortious misrepresentation, strict liability, and breach of warranty.
For instance, a fraction of hernia mesh devices have been recalled in the past for several medical reasons. These recalls have been mainly due to reasons ranging from poor performance to packaging errors and adverse events.
A defective hernia mesh device can cause a wide array of injuries, including:
- Bowel obstruction
- Bowel perforation
- Mesh degradation
- Chronic pain
- Autoimmune diseases
- Mesh failure
- Neurological problems
- Hernia recurrence
- Revision surgery
With a dangerous or defective product case, you may file a lawsuit against a hernia mesh manufacturer that produced the defective surgical mesh that caused you injuries. You will need to show the court that the device had a defect that resulted in you suffering from complications or injuries.
Manufacturers Named In Hernia Mesh Lawsuits
The hernia mesh manufacturers commonly named in lawsuits include:
- Bard Davol (C.R. Bard and its subsidiary, Davol Inc.)
- Atrium Medical
- Ethicon Inc.
Bard Davol manufactures the Kugel hernia mesh implants. These products may have been responsible for thousands of serious medical injuries in patients. The company is facing thousands of lawsuits from complications caused by their products.
Some of the injuries reported with the use of defective Kugel hernia mesh patches include serious infection, mesh migration, severe or chronic pain, and organ perforation, among others.
On the other hand, medical device manufacturer Atrium Medical makes the C-QUR hernia mesh. C-QUR mesh is made of a unique fish-oil-derived coating. However, several studies have linked these products to high infection rates.
Lastly, Ethicon Inc.’s surgical mesh is made from polypropylene. Some of the Ethicon Physiomesh complications reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) include adhesions, hernia recurrence, inflammatory reactions, and pain, just to name a few.
In several hernia mesh lawsuits filed by plaintiffs, they claim that these medical devices have design defects, and that the companies that make these products are liable under product liability laws.
Is it too late to file a lawsuit?
For some, it may seem like a statute of limitations is there to protect abusive manufacturers. However, this law can also have its benefit on a hernia mesh victim.
In filing a hernia mesh lawsuit, the most important thing is what you can prove to the jury. Therefore, a statute of limitations pushes you to file your complaint while the evidence is still “fresh.”
However, in some cases, other victims may have been feeling side effects for a certain amount of time and may be wondering if they are still eligible to sue.
This is an important question to ask when planning to initiate legal proceedings. However, an attorney needs more details to give you legal advice. It’s best to consult a hernia mesh attorney to know more about your legal options.
What You Can Do
We understand how frustrating it can be to think of bringing a lawsuit while suffering from hernia mesh complications. However, if you or your loved one are a victim of a defective hernia mesh implant, you don’t have to walk this path alone and figure out what your deadline for filing a lawsuit is on your own.
In fact, that’s what we’re here for. We can put you in contact with a reliable hernia mesh attorney who can help you with your case. You can leave the legal stuff to us, such as the statute of limitations for your hernia mesh claim while you focus on your health and safety.
Don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation.