Whether biological or synthetic, temporary or permanent, dissolvable or non-reabsorbable, surgical mesh has changed the way that many medical treatments are carried out. Often used to treat issues associated with hernias and a number of related medical conditions, surgical mesh has allowed for a less invasive means of solving certain medical issues. Unfortunately, it has also been used in ways that it was neither tested nor approved for, namely to make slings for bladders and other prolapses. And the results have been shocking, to say the least, leading to problems worse than what patients were dealing with before their surgeries. In some cases the mesh slings have hardened or molded to body parts, causing internal abrasions or cuts, scarring, and of course, discomfort, pain, infection, incontinence, and all manner of hardships. So it’s really not very surprising that patients and their doctors are up in arms and ready to sue. And if you or a loved one has been affected by a surgical mesh malfunction, there are a few things you should consider when filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
- Find a qualified lawyer. It is imperative that you find a lawyer prepared to help you through the intricacies of this complex personal injury lawsuit. In most cases, doctors are not the culprit, since it seems that most were led to believe that surgical mesh was an appropriately tested product. However, this is a fact that a judge or jury may have to determine. In most cases, however, claimants are filing suits against manufacturers. In fact, just last year a jury awarded $11 million to a claimant filing suit against Ethicon and parent company Johnson & Johnson over a transvaginal mesh procedure gone wrong. And several more cases are pending, with more being launched every day. Although this particular type of lawsuit is relatively new, already there are lawyers that are well-informed of the situation and qualified to assist you in filing your claim.
- Find out if you have a chance. Your chances of recuperating medical expenses may depend on the company that manufactured the surgical mesh, the procedure you had done, and the harm that has been caused as a result. In some cases, the surgeon may be to blame, or it may happen that you were informed of the potential risks before the procedure. Once an attorney hears the particulars of your case, he/she will let you know if it’s worth it to proceed with filing.
- Ask about class action suits in progress. There are several class action suits currently pending and you may be able to join them depending on the particulars (the manufacturer of the surgical mesh, the doctor who performed the procedure, the type of procedure, the time frame, your injuries or ongoing medical costs, etc.). You might also decide to sue separately, but you should at least know what your options are.
- Consider the prospect of settling. Whether you’re going it alone or you’re part of a class action group, settling may be an option that allows you to get some money now and avoid a lengthy and costly court battle. So it’s something you should definitely discuss with your lawyer so that you can come up with a suitable number that you’re willing to accept.
- Don’t be afraid to walk away. Just because an attorney tells you he can’t or won’t take your case doesn’t mean you have to give up. If you’ve suffered a mishap, you’re going to need surgical mesh help to correct it, and that’s going to cost you. But if your situation is the fault of the manufacturer or your doctor, you shouldn’t have to pay to correct it. So shop around; if you have a case, you’ll find a lawyer to take it. That said, if you can’t find a willing attorney, you might have to concede that you don’t have much of a case after all.