When you have been injured by hernia mesh, who you are able to sue depends on why your injury occurred. In most cases, the hernia mesh lawsuit stems from the fact that the product itself is defective and has frayed or migrated out of place and damaged nearby organs. However, putting the problems with hernia mesh aside, the injury can sometimes occur when the doctor makes a mistake during hernia mesh surgery. This is what happened to a patient in Maine who ended up filing a medical malpractice suit against the doctor who made a clear and obvious error. The patient received an award from the jury of just under $1 million.
The physician performing the surgery was negligent
Taking out any issues with hernia mesh, the physician performing the surgery was negligent when inserting the hernia mesh in the patient’s body. One of the reasons why doctors prefer hernia mesh is because the surgery is easy for them and they can perform many procedures. Here, the surgeon did not even pay attention to what he had thought was a routine procedure.
The Surgeon Put the Hernia Mesh in Backwards!
When the surgeon put in the hernia mesh, he made the inexcusable mistake of placing the mesh in backward. A hernia mesh will have an adhesive side that has a different texture than the other side of the mesh. The adhesive side is supposed to be placed against the abdominal wall.
Here, the surgeon inserted the mesh so that the adhesive side was set against the bowel wall. Not only does this make the hernia mesh ineffective, but it puts the patient’s health at risk too. This was a careless error that should never happen when a doctor is operating on a patient which is almost as bad as the surgeon leaving medical tools inside the patient.
The Patient Experienced Immediate Complications
The patient began to experience symptoms almost immediately after the surgery. Five days after the operation, he was rushed to the hospital because he was experiencing a blockage of his bowels. Left untreated, this can kill a patient. The immediate medical effect was that the patient needed emergency surgery to correct the error.
not an issue that could be fixed with just one procedure
Unfortunately, this was not an issue that could be fixed with just one procedure. Instead, the patient required several operations over the span of years. In the meantime, he was unable to work as a lobsterman. Given the fact that he has a physical job, he was not able to perform his job duties that require him to stand at times and use his strength. It was over two years until he could return to his job due to the surgeries, pain and discomfort. Beyond the physical injuries, the patient also had to deal with the depression that took over his life after his botched surgery. He required hospitalization in a psychiatric institution due to his condition.
he was forced from his job due to the pain
Prior to the surgery, the plaintiff was one in a long line of lobstermen in his family. He was the fifth generation of his family to engage in his profession. While he was forced from his job due to the pain, he had to work as a taxi driver in order to support himself. The medical error that was made by the hospital was one that is practically indisputable. One simply cannot argue that they did nothing wrong when they made a basic and elementary mistake that should never happen. In fact, the hospital conceded right off the bat that the surgeon made a mistake.
The Hospital Could not Settle the Case
One may wonder then why the hospital and doctor took the case to trial as opposed to settling with the plaintiff. Here, the hospital claimed that they made a reasonable settlement offer but the plaintiff was being unreasonable in negotiations so they were forced to go to trial. The plaintiff had been seeking roughly $3 million in damages.
With liability not an issue, much of the trial issues related to the damages and how much money the plaintiff was going to receive. The jury ultimately awarded $850,000 to the plaintiff. The patient did not get everything that he was asking for but still received a large award. In this case, nearly half of the jury award was for pain and suffering. The plaintiff was also awarded $250,000 for future pain and suffering. There is no indication that the hospital intends to appeal the verdict.
Understanding Your Legal Rights in a Hernia Mesh Case
Before filing a lawsuit, it is vital to have an understanding of your exact injury so you can figure out the appropriate defendant to bring to court in a lawsuit. There is a distinction between a medical error and a defective product. The two cases involve a completely different standard of proof. For a hernia mesh case, you will have to prove that the product was unreasonably dangerous. In a medical malpractice case, you will have to show that the doctor breached their duty of care by acting in a manner that a reasonable surgeon would not and it caused the patient’s injury.
Your hernia mesh lawsuit attorney can help you get to the bottom of the situation in very short order. In fact, immediately after you realize that you are starting to experience complications from the surgery, you should contact an attorney. They will advise you of the next steps and help you document your case so you are in a better position to file a lawsuit. Hernia mesh manufacturers continue to refuse to acknowledge that their product is defective and will not simply hand people checks for their injuries. An attorney may use the legal process to take the fight to them.