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EEOICPA & RECA Attorneys

Stephens & Stephens has obtained over $60 million through the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act and the Energy Employees Occupation Illness Compensation Act for our clients

Gloria ReynoldsGloria Reynolds
04:16 30 Mar 24
Stephens & Stephens was very helpful in getting my claim processed and helping me in getting my settlement, staff was knowledgeable and professional and very kind if I call and needed to ask a question they would call me back within a timely manner. Thank you so much for your help .Continue to be blessed Gloria
Dee GodfreyDee Godfrey
18:49 12 Mar 24
I was astounded with the service I received from Mr. Hugh Stephens in regard to my husband's compensation claim. He was not only efficient, but also compassionate, and communicated clearly and frequently. Because of his outstanding efforts and expertise, I, who am now a grieving widow, am unexpectedly stabile and secure. I had little to do. He did all the heavy lifting. I'm so very grateful for his help. I'll always remember not only his professionalism, but also his kindness.
Audrey OgletreeAudrey Ogletree
22:19 09 Mar 24
From: Laurence OgletreeI received good assistance from Stephens & Stephens in submitting the recent claim for increased impairment benefits from the Energy Workers program.
Randy MooreRandy Moore
14:48 07 Mar 24
I was a machinist at Honeywell F.M.&T.and developed bilateral tinnitus and bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. They helped me file a claim with EEOICPA in 2017. Stephen’s & Stephen’s was very good to work with, they take care of all the paperwork and help with any paperwork I receive from the Department of Labor. They stay on top of things helping with scheduling impairment reviews etc.I feel that without their help this would have been a very overwhelming process.I plan on still using them if any other illnesses occur due to my employment with Honeywell.
Mike DauzatMike Dauzat
15:54 02 Mar 24
I highly recommend Stevens and Stevens. Hugh Stevens and his staff are very professional and very friendly. They're extremely good at making sure you get the full amount of money you deserve. If you need a DOL lawyer, I highly recommend this team. I can't be more happy that I picked Stevens and Stevens.
Mary YbarraMary Ybarra
01:33 27 Feb 24
Stephen’s and Stephen’s has kept fight for my dad. Now they are fight for my mom. They are on top of things and I would recommend them to anyone who needs help and guidance with the Uranium mines.
Dianne HarperDianne Harper
01:02 17 Feb 24
Robert and I are very pleased with Mr. Hugh Stephens and all that he has done for us. From the first moment we spoke, we sensed that though Mr. Stephens exhibits sharp business acumen, he cares deeply about his clients and he has a huge heart.
Diane pontonDiane ponton
17:38 07 Feb 24
I tried to get others to help me with this claim, and it wasn"t until I hired Mr. Stephens that things started happening. I would recommend any one to get in touch with him . I would go to him again, if i ever needed to.
Judy LeonardJudy Leonard
22:26 06 Feb 24
I very much appreciate the successful litigation concerning my husband's Hanford work related illness. Stephens & Stephens LLP were thorough, caring, considerate, and fair during this difficult time.
Kenneth GKenneth G
18:23 03 Feb 24
Mr. Stephens was able to simplify an otherwise complicated lengthy process (DEEOIC) to file an initial claim as well as a claim for impairment benefits.
18:08 03 Feb 24
Frankie KnucFrankie Knuc
19:24 08 Jan 24
I had other attorneys hired in Cortez, Colorado and Grand Jct., Colorado to assist me with receiving my uranium claim, but they were not successful. I was advised by an employee of CNS of Stephens & Stephens, LLP good work. I contacted them & they took my case It was settled very quickly. I have been very pleased with this group & would advise others of their prompt service. I would recommend them to others. Respectfully, Frankie Knuckles
Rebecca ConsolRebecca Consol
19:57 22 Dec 23
My family used Stephen’s and Stephen’s for a settlement case. We were extremely pleased with all they did. They were very professional, easy to get a hold of, and invaluable when it came to answering questions and handling complicated Department of Labor issues and forms. They also did everything in a very timely manner. I have already recommended them to other people.
Thomas CliffordThomas Clifford
15:29 21 Dec 23
I have been represented by Hugh Stevens for several years now, He and his staff has made everything so easy for me. I had lung cancer from working in the uranium processing industry, they have opened so many doors for me and made dealing with DOL so much easier. They always answer my questions in a very timely manner. I have referred several other people to him and he has been able to get them through this process also. There are benefits that I was not aware of that he has brought to my attention and been able to lead me through the process of obtaining them. I would most highly recommend him to lead anyone through this process.
Lonnie killingHawkLonnie killingHawk
02:35 14 Dec 23
When I first contacted Stephens & Stephens I was at the end of my rope with DOL. Hough and his staff got me on track and handled everything with DOL and just made this process so easy. Do not know where I'd be with out them. They are able to communicate at a layman's level and understand the client. Would strongly recommend this firm.
Ruthy LyonRuthy Lyon
21:00 28 Sep 23
Our initial conversation with Mr. Stephens was productive & reassuring. His previous experience with similar cases was obvious and very helpful, in both asking us specific questions for clarification & also addressing our own questions. Breanna is also a great asset to their team.
James O'DayJames O'Day
15:07 13 Sep 23
I have referred several friends to Hugh Stephens and they were more satisfied than they ever expected. I would refer him with confidence to anyone in need. I trust when he speaks for me, for example, in court. He is a good communicator and a deep thinker. He is well respected in his profession. He handles environmental law, injury law, and medical malpractice. He is tactful and direct and knows what he is doing. He knows the legal briar patches well.

Hernia Mesh Lawsuit

People who developed complications from hernia mesh implants are filing lawsuits against the liable parties, which is often the product manufacturer. The plaintiffs in these lawsuits allege that the product design defects cause injuries such as infection, pain, adhesion, hernia recurrence, and bowel obstruction. In other cases, mesh hernia repair is alleged to migrate and shrink or contract, resulting in complications that require unnecessary surgery. The defendants in the hernia mesh litigation are the leading product manufacturers in the US, including C.R. Bard, Ethicon, Covidien, and Atrium.

If you suffered injuries relating to a hernia mesh implant, you might be liable for compensation. Contact Stephens and Stephens’s product liability attorneys, and we will review your case and help you file a claim.

Updates on the hernia mesh lawsuit

There are four major companies mentioned as defendants in the hernia mesh litigation, and they include:

  • R. Bard, part of Becton Dickinson, has a 65% hernia mesh market share in the US
  • Covidien has an 18% market share.
  • Ethicon is a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary with a 12% market share of the product in the US.
  • Atrium Medical Corps, the smallest of the four defendants, with a market share of 2%

In 2021, Ethicon and Atrium made confidential settlements. However, there are still active cases in the MDLs in 2023. Ethicon has also dismissed some cases in the MDL; as of May 2023, the MDL had about 1,455 cases. C.R. Bard had 18,988 cases, Covidien had 362, and Atrium had 3,393. New cases are still being filed in respective MDLs.

The first C.R. Bard bellwether trial in August 2021 ended in a defense verdict, while the second test trial of Antonio Milanesi against C.R. Bard resulted in a $255,000 verdict in April 2022. After months of rescheduling, the third hernia mesh bellwether trial of Stinson v. C.R. Bard is scheduled for October 2023. Settlement talks on the Stinson lawsuit are still underway, and an agreement could be arrived at before the set trial dates.

In August 2022, a state case in Rhode Island against a C.R. Bard subsidiary (Becton Dickinson) ended in a $4.8 million verdict.

With the third C.R. Bard test trial approaching, the court is currently trying to determine whether medical device manufacturers have a responsibility, under the Maine law, to inform patients through their doctors of any risks related to already implanted devices if such risks are discovered once the device is implanted.

January 2024 updates

In December 2023, Ethicon and J&J secretly settled 224 cases in the hernia mesh multidistrict litigation. In October 2023, an Ohio federal court awarded plaintiff Aaron Stinson of Maine a $500,000 verdict in the latest bellwether hernia mesh trial against Bard. Other trials include Trevino’s trial, awarded $4.8M in August 2022, and Milanesi’s, awarded $250,000 in April 2022.

As of January 2024, 24,837 hernia mesh lawsuits were pending in four separate multidistrict litigations. C.R. Bard/Davol, Inc. is leading with over 20,000 lawsuits filed against them.

Causes of action

Plaintiffs filing hernia mesh lawsuits against their manufacturers allege the products were defective in manufacturing and design, and the manufacturer failed to warn doctors and patients about the risks involved in having the implantations.

What is a hernia?

Hernia occurs when an inner body part bulges from an opening or point of weakness on the tissue or muscle that contains it. It appears like an odd bulge in the abdomen or groin, depending on the affected part. The bulge may come and go during different activities or positions, causing pain and discomfort. About 10% of Americans are likely to develop a form of hernia in their lifetime, and over a million abdominal hernia-related and 770,000 inguinal surgeries are performed annually.

Where does hernia occur?

Most cases of hernia occur within the abdomen when organs push through abdominal cavity walls and can only be remedied through surgery. Hernia can result as a birth defect due to an injury or from surgery. As you age, regular wear and tear of muscles may increase the risk of hernia.

Hernia commonly occurs in the lower part of the chest when it protrudes through the diaphragm. It can also occur in the lower abdomen and along the front line of the abdomen, as a birth defect or from previous surgery.

There are different types of hernia, and they include:

A ventral hernia- is a hernia occurring through the front abdominal wall, and it includes epigastric (hernia above the belly button), incisional, and umbilical hernia.

Inguinal hernia– is the most common type, making up about three out of every four hernia cases, and it is more common in men than women. This form of hernia occurs from the protrusion of part of the bowel into the inguinal canal. The inguinal is a passageway running through the inner thigh.

Femoral hernia– this form of hernia occurs in the femoral canal in the groin area when the bowel or fatty tissue pushes through a weak part of the wall muscles surrounding it.

Hiatal hernia– occurs when the stomach pushes through the diaphragm to the chest, and half of the cases occur in people aged 50 years and above.

A congenital hernia is a birth defect whereby the diaphragm fails to close properly as a fetus develops. This causes a serious condition whereby organs grow into the chest as the child grows making breathing difficult.

Incisional hernia– occurs from a previous abdominal surgery, which results in a point of weakness in the affected area, allowing tissues to protrude.

Umbilical hernia– it commonly occurs as a birth defect, and in such cases, the intestines protrude through an opening in the abdomen near the belly button. An umbilical hernia is a common birth defect.

Perineal hernia– is a rare form of hernia that occurs from a point of weakness in the pelvic floor when organs and tissues protrude into the abdominal cavity.

How is hernia mesh used to repair hernia problems?

Some hernia cases require immediate medical attention, especially where the protruding part or organ gets stuck and fails to return to its original location. Depending on the affected organs, it may result in complications such as cut-off of blood supply and tissue death, pain, and discomfort. Most hernia cases worsen over time and can only be repaired through surgery.

Over the past three decades, doctors have used implants through surgical procedures to support the affected body part. When repairing a hernia, the surgeon tucks in the protruding part and repairs the muscle wall supporting the affected organ.

These implants, commonly known as hernia mesh/patch, resemble a net placed across the weakened muscles and attached with sutures. The patches are made of biological materials that can remain in the body without causing any adverse effects. They provide the necessary support to the affected muscles with the pores in the implant, allowing the tissue to grow within and around the patch.

There are absorbable and permanent hernia implants. Absorbable hernia meshes disappear over time as the body takes them up, while permanent hernia mesh remains in the body, providing lasting support.

The materials used to make hernia patches are made of synthetic materials, often polyester (PET) or polypropylene (PP). Hernia implants prevent recurrence by 50%. However, there are certain hernia cases where a mesh or implant is not recommended, such as those showing signs of infection.

There are also animal-derived implants that are absorbable into the body. They are mostly manufactured from the tissues (skin and intestines) of cows or pigs. However, these implants do not provide permanent support, and they can lead to a recurrence.

Hernia repairs can result in complications. Where a hernia mesh is used, complications can occur from some recalled hernia mesh products. The recalled implants were found to have defects that led to pain, infection, hernia recurrence, adhesion, obstruction, and tissue perforations, among other complications. Hernia implant complications can also occur from the surgery due to malpractice or the patient’s underlying conditions.

Hernia implants are supposed to stay in place after surgery without triggering body reactions or infections. However, defective devices can move from the original site, affecting the surrounding organs and requiring immediate surgery to rectify the problem.

Problems associated with polyester monofilament and multifilament mesh

There are monofilament and multifilament hernia implants and those that combine both materials. Multifilament polyester meshes are commonly associated with infections that require implant removal. Studies have shown that these implants are also likely to trigger a rejection response from the body, leading to chronic inflammation.

Other studies suggest that abdominal exposure to polyester or polypropylene may lead to bowel erosion and fistulation.

Some studies associate monofilament polyester meshes with a high recurrence rate of 22%, with 87% of these cases being central mesh failure.  The same studies associate lightweight monofilament polyester mesh with high mechanical failure rates in cases of open incisional hernia.

Studies have also shown that polyester material used in hernia meshes is twice as likely to shrink and has a higher risk of infections than polypropylene. According to these studies, polyester triggered more foreign body reactions.

Although polypropylene is generally safe for humans, however, some patients with hernia implants may be hypersensitive, thus exhibiting rejection reactions to polypropylene mesh that result in pain and tenderness around the implant.

A meta-analysis and systematic review of polypropylene and polyester analyzing the clinical outcomes of ventral hernia repair involving both meshes concluded that the material used does not affect the outcome; rather they both require appropriate surgical techniques.

Complications resulting from Hernia Mesh implants

  1. Infections – after hernia implants, bacteria may breed on the device, leading to pain, inflammation, and fever. Studies have shown that the type of mesh used may contribute to the infection, among other factors such as the patient’s health condition.
  2. Pain- people with hernia complications are likely to experience pain, which can occur within days of the implant or later. Pain is often experienced around the affected area, presenting as a burning sensation or tingling. It is often due to inflammation, scarring, nerve damage, and shrinkage.
  3. Adhesion- adhesion refers to the formation of scar tissue, and it occurs when tissues that should be moving freely stick together due to the surgery and inflammation. Bowel adhesion to the implant can obstruct the intestines.
  4. Bowel obstruction- it is an intestinal blockage that may result from adhesion.
  5. Internal bleeding- in some cases, hernia mesh implants can erode surrounding tissues, resulting in internal bleeding that can be fatal if not treated immediately.
  6. Fistula- a fistula is an abnormal connection between two body parts and can result from various causes. In hernia cases, it may occur when a hernia implant moves and erodes through tissues, perforating other organs and tissues.
  7. Seroma- referring to fluid buildup, which usually occurs at the hernia site a few days after the surgery. It presents as a palpable mass that most patients interpret as a recurrence.
  8. Perforations- holes and tears often occurring in the intestinal walls following incisional hernia repair surgery. Perforations may occur if the implant detaches from the original site. Intestinal perforation is treated as a medical emergency.
  9. Shrinking- when a hernia mesh shrinks, it pulls the attached muscles, resulting in pain and inflammation. Some studies show that polypropylene meshes shrink more than polyester.
  10. Hernia mesh migration- most hernia mesh complications are associated with partial or complete movement of the implant from the original point of attachment.
  11. Nerve damage- hernia mesh complications can cause nerve damage, leading to severe pain. This occurs when nerves grow into the mesh and get entrapped. Nerves may also be affected during surgery by surgical sutures.
  12. When these complications occur, the patient requires corrective surgery to remove the mesh, repair the hernia, and rectify the affected organs. The surgeon may have to remove the entire or part of the mesh and its tacks and replace it.

Who can file for a hernia lawsuit?

If you had complications following a hernia implant, you could be eligible for compensation. Your state’s statute of limitations could deter you from filing a claim. However, problems with hernia implants may take time to develop. For this reason, it is best to seek the help of an attorney. It is also important to note that product defects do not always cause hernia implant problems. Complications can also occur from improper surgical procedures, medical malpractice, or other underlying conditions. An attorney should guide you through the necessary assessment to establish if you may be eligible for compensation. Depending on who you are suing, the case can be filed directly to an existing MDL, offering benefits, including cutting on cost.

Contact us for a free hernia lawsuit evaluation! Our charges are contingency-based.