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Scott Kappes
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First Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch Trial Underway

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The first Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch lawsuit to make it to trial since the recall of the devices in 2005 is underway. The case is the first over more than 1,000 similar cases awaiting trial.

Back 2005 the FDA issued a Class I recall of the devices after receiving numerous complaints from patients who had suffered serious and potentially fatal problems with the patches.

The Kugel Mesh hernia patch uses a memory recoil ring that allows from the material to be folded and inserted into a small incision. After being inserted the recoil ring is designed to allow the patch to expand creating a patch on the inside wall and effectively patching the hernia. However, on some occasions the recoil ring may break which has lead to serious complications such as bowel perforations in some patients.

The first lawsuit to reach trial involves Missouri truck driver, John K. Whitfield. Last week Whitfield told 10 jurors his story and how he had to have a portion of his intestines removed in order to save his life after the allegedly defective patch became attached to his intestines and caused an obstruction.

Whitfield has accused the defendants in the case, Davol and its parent company C.R. Bard Inc., of failure to produce a safe product and also alleges that the company continued to sell the patches after the they knew or should have know about the patches were failing at a high rate.

The defendants have denied Whitfield’s claim, arguing that Whitfield’s surgeon, Dr. John R. Bumberry, failed to warn him of possible complications and also failed to properly insert the patch.

Whitfield’s case is one of 1,335 involving Kugel Mesh hernia patches that are set to be tried in fedral court. Chief U.S. District Judge Mary M. Lisi has been assigned to oversee all pretrial processes Kugel Mesh hernia patch lawsuits nationwide.