Maryland Attorney for Injuries & Deaths Caused by Hernia Mesh
Surgical mesh is used in many procedures, including surgery to treat hernias. The mesh used in these surgeries supports weak muscles and tissue to prevent hernias from recurring and help you get better. However, mistakes with how the mesh is used, unnecessary use, or use of recalled or dangerous surgical mesh products can leave a patient with further complications and harm.
Common complications from hernia mesh include interfering with how surrounding tissue works and severe pain. You might be able to sue the manufacturer if the mesh was defective, or you can sue the doctor for negligently implanting the mesh. When suing a doctor or healthcare institution, you must be mindful of the statute of limitations and when it begins to count down to the filing deadline. You should also talk to your attorney about damages, as they may be significant. To begin your claim, we need a certificate from an expert regarding the negligent medical treatment, your medical records, and expert witnesses to testify on your behalf.
Schedule a free case review with our attorneys for injuries and deaths caused by hernia mesh from Rice, Murtha & Psoras by calling (410) 694-7291.
Common Complications with Hernia Mesh Implants
Surgical mesh is a soft, flexible material placed inside the body during surgery. This mesh is often left inside to provide additional structural support. Hernia repair surgeries typically take a piece of tissue that has slipped out of place and repair the bulge and the tissue it slipped through. Mesh can be an excellent tool in this procedure because it can reinforce the tissue and prevent a hernia from slipping through again or hold the bulged tissue in place. Weakened muscles and other tissue might be unable to stop future hernias without this kind of reinforcement, so a hernia mesh is sometimes necessary.
The fact that the mesh might be necessary does not excuse complications or problems with the mesh or how it was implanted. Complications from hernia mesh can include things like infections or pain, but many of these complications are common and expected in any surgical procedure, let alone procedures involving medical implants. Other more painful and dangerous complications, however, might be unacceptable.
Hernia mesh might improperly adhere to the tissue around it, causing complications in how that tissue moves or functions. The mesh could also perforate or damage the surrounding tissue as the patient recovers and begins moving around again. Improper placement and other issues could also cause internal or excessive bleeding and other complications. Many of these issues are more common with mesh that has been recalled – and using recalled mesh could be a serious danger to the patient.
Suing Medical Device Manufacturers for Surgical Mesh Injuries
Many cases of defective or dangerous surgical mesh can allow you to sue the medical device company that manufactured the surgical mesh. Medical device companies have a strict process they need to follow to get medical devices approved or cleared by the FDA (the U.S. Food and Drug Administration). Without FDA approval, medical devices and implants like surgical mesh should not be used in medical procedures.
Even some devices that are “cleared” by the FDA but not “approved” might not be safe. The FDA also works as a watchdog, making the public aware of recalled and dangerous devices or companies they should avoid. If the company that produced the mesh used in your surgery failed to get approval, hid evidence of defects from the FDA, or otherwise put dangerous products on the market, you might be entitled to sue the manufacturer for damages.
Surgical mesh can cause serious complications and even death after a hernia procedure. In cases of injury or death that can be linked back to manufacturing defects, design defects, or other mistakes made by the manufacturer of the mesh, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries from the manufacturer.
Suing Doctors for Hernia Mesh Malpractice Injuries
In some cases, the injuries you or a member of your family faced may have been caused by the doctor’s negligent care rather than a problem with the mesh itself. Hernia mesh is not always necessary in a hernia repair operation. Moreover, there are many types of mesh and, depending on the specific location in the body and other factors, a doctor may choose to use different types of mesh. Doctors may make mistakes in either of these choices, unnecessarily installing mesh or electing to use the wrong mesh. In either of these cases, complications may be the doctor’s fault.
Surgeons can also commit errors in how they place the mesh. If your doctor commits an error, the mesh might be less likely to be effective, or it could cause additional complications and injuries because of where or how it was placed. In these cases, you might also be able to sue the doctor.
To succeed in a medical malpractice claim against your doctor for mistakes in installing hernia mesh, you will typically need to prove what the doctor did wrong and what they should have done differently. This often means hiring a medical expert who can testify in court on your behalf. The medical expert your lawyer chooses will typically be another doctor who performs similar medical procedures and can speak to the proper standard of care in a procedure like yours.
When You Should File Your Lawsuit for Injuries Caused by Hernia Mesh in Maryland
When filing a lawsuit related to injuries from hernia mesh, you must submit your claims to the appropriate court before the statute of limitations expires. In Maryland, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is found under Md. Code, Cts. And Jud. Proc., § 5-109(a) and imposes different deadlines under different circumstances.
The first deadline for medical malpractice claims is 5 years, and it begins to run from the date the injury occurred. For victims of hernia mesh accidents, this would be 5 years from the date the mesh was surgically implanted. The second deadline is 3 years, and it begins to run from the date the victim realizes the injury.
Many victims of hernia mesh accidents follow the 3-year deadline rather than the 5-year deadline. This is because many victims do not realize there is something wrong with the mesh until some time after the surgery. In many cases, patients only realize something is wrong weeks, months, or even years after the mesh is implanted.
The law goes on to provide certain exceptions for people who were minors when they were victims of medical malpractice. For those younger than 18 but not younger than 11, the statute of limitations may be tolled until they turn 18. This means the time would not start ticking away until the plaintiff’s 18th birthday.
However, if the minor was younger than 11 when the malpractice happened (i.e., when the hernia mesh was implanted), then the statute of limitations begins to run when they turn 11. In such cases, plaintiffs need an adult or a court-appointed guardian to file the case.
Damages for Claims Involving Injuries or Death From Hernia Mesh in Maryland
Damages may be very valuable in medical malpractices involving hernia mesh. Not only do victims often require extensive medical treatment to correct the problem, but they also tend to endure a lot of pain. While certain damages in Maryland are not capped, others may be limited by statute.
Your compensatory damages are designed to make up for the losses and costs associated with your injuries. These losses can be financial or based on more subjective experiences. Either way, damages in medical malpractice cases may be significant.
Common economic losses in hernia mesh injury claims involve extensive medical bills. Not only was the initial surgery to implant the mesh probably very costly, but you likely needed additional surgeries to remove or fix the mesh after the negligence was discovered. Add other costs for pain medication, x-rays, and hospital stays, and the damages really add up.
You also deserve compensation for non-economic injuries like your physical pain and emotional trauma. Many victims of hernia mesh injuries report great anxiety and emotional struggles after learning of their condition. Many victims live with a fear of medical treatment and hospitals that may get in the way of future needs.
Non-economic damages for medical malpractice cases are capped under Md. Code, Cts. And Jud. Proc., § 3-2A-09(b)(1). According to this law, you cannot recover more than $875,000 in non-economic damages as of 2023. On the other hand, economic damages are not capped and may be as high as your actual costs for your injuries.
Punitive damages in Maryland are not capped by any statute, and they can be very large in some cases. These damages are not meant to make up for any of the plaintiff’s losses. Rather, these damages are designed to punish defendants for their behavior. Typically, punitive damages are only awarded in cases where plaintiffs can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted with actual malice. This is a high bar to meet, making punitive damages very rare.
If punitive damages are awarded, they must still be somewhat reasonable, even if they are not capped by statute. Courts may reduce unreasonably excessive damages after a jury verdict.
What You Need to File a Medical Malpractice Claim for Hernia Mesh Injuries in Maryland
Getting a lawsuit for medical malpractice started requires several key actions. First, we need to get a certificate from a qualified expert attesting to the medical negligence in your case. Second, we need to thoroughly review all your medical records. Third, we need to speak with medical experts who can also review your records and testify in court.
Certificate of a Qualified Expert
According to Md. Code, Cts. And Jud. Proc., § 3-2A-06D, plaintiffs filing medical malpractice claims, such as those involving injuries from hernia mesh, must also submit a certificate from a qualified expert attesting to the medical negligence in the case. The certificate should come from a medical expert knowledgeable in the relevant medical field. A doctor with experience with hernia mesh and hernia treatment should be contacted.
The certificate should contain information from the qualified expert explaining how they believe the defendant was negligent and the basis for their conclusion. The certificate is important because it helps us establish standards of care for your case.
The certificate does not necessarily have to be submitted when we file the initial complaint. However, the certificate must be submitted to the court no later than 15 days after the date the discovery phase of the trial is complete.
The plaintiff’s medical records are the most important evidence in almost any medical malpractice claim. All records relevant to your hernia mesh surgery and treatment should be obtained. If your medical history is relevant to your treatment, we might also need records from before you initially received treatment.
These records are crucial to proving your claims because they may reveal when and how the negligence occurred. For example, records and notes from doctors and nurses might indicate that hernia mesh was never necessary and that the surgery to implant the mesh in your body should not have happened.
Other Medical Experts
Medical malpractice cases are often a bit over the heads of jurors, attorneys, and judges. While we might know you were injured because of a doctor’s medical negligence, explaining why or how involves in-depth medical knowledge. As such, we need medical experts to testify as expert witnesses.
These expert witnesses should review your medical records and testify as to whether the treatment you received met the standard of care in your case. Since medical experts are uniquely qualified to explain the standard of care, their testimony may be very powerful.
Call Our Maryland Injury and Death Lawyers for Surgical Mesh Hernia Repair Complications
Arrange a free case evaluation with our lawyers for injuries and deaths caused by hernia mesh from Rice, Murtha & Psoras by calling (410) 694-7291.