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Many patients who had experienced abdominal pain, constipation, bowel obstructions and bowel adhesions after hernia repair surgery contacted a lawyer to determine their legal rights only to be told that they did not have a case because the specific mesh patch used in their surgery was not subject to a recall. We at Shipman & Wright, LLP knew that the defect in the patches had to go beyond any potential defect in the recoil ring and beyond the limited number of patches subject to the recall because too many patients were complaining of the same problems. Now a judge has agreed that the issue should be explored.

What does this mean for you? If you suffered from abdominal pain, bowel adhesions, bowel obstructions or bowel perforations after hernia surgery using a mesh patch for the repair, you may indeed have a legal claim, even if you were previously told that you did not.

On December 22, 2005, the FDA announced a recall of several lots of the Kugel Mesh hernia repair patch. The recall notice advised of failure and breakage of an internal coil ring that could lead to bowel perforations, bowel adhesions, abdominal pain, fever, and tenderness at the implant site or other unusual symptoms. The recall has been expanded twice to include additional shapes, sizes and production lots of the Kugel Mesh Patch, but not all Kugel patches were recalled.

The judge hearing the cases in the Kugel Mesh Patch Litigation MDL has recently expanded the scope of the MDL to include more patches than what were recalled. The judge has also opened up the MDL to include additional Davol and Bard mesh patches, including some that did not contain an internal ring, but were made of a special bi-layered material similar to the Kugel Mesh patches.

Even though some folks suffered the same problems – abdominal pain, constipation, bowel obstructions and bowel adhesions – many lawyers would not take their claim because the patch used had not been recalled. In contrast, Shipman & Wright, LLP filed the claims on the basis that the problems extended beyond that stated in the recall notice. We are happy that a judge has agreed to consider the issue and stand poised to file other cases on behalf of clients who were turned away by other attorneys.

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