East Baton Rouge Parish resident's suit claims Johnson & Johnson hernia system is defective

By Daniel Beauregard | Aug 1, 2018

BATON ROUGE – An East Baton Rouge Parish resident recently filed a federal lawsuit accusing Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon Inc. for selling and distributing a faulty hernia system. 

The complaint, filed July 25 in the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Louisiana, states that Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon knowingly manufactured and distributed its polypropylene Prolene hernia system even though they knew it was defective.

In his complaint, plaintiff Freddy Henry said during a ventral hernia repair procedure, he had the system surgically implanted and claims he was subjected to substantial risk of injury, or even death as a result.

“The scientific evidence shows that the polypropylene material is biologically incompatible with human tissue and actually promotes negative immune responses in a large subset of the population," the filing said. "This negative response promotes inflammation of the surrounding tissue and contributes to the formation of severe adverse reactions to the mesh,” the complaint states.

The suit goes on to describe how, due to faulty design and manufacturing, the system is prone to breaking apart as well as shrinking after being implanted and causing “acute inflammatory processes.”

The complaint also states that Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon failed to heed warnings from public health practitioners and complaints from consumers about the product.

Among the possible complications listed in the complaint are increased rate of fistula, severe inflammation, rash, sexual disfunction, nausea, bowel obstruction and a host of other health issues.

After Henry had his polypropylene mesh hernia system implanted, he soon began experiencing sharp and constant pain in his abdomen, the filing said. The suit states that he has experienced significant pain and suffering, sustained permanent injuries and will need to undergo corrective surgery.

The complaint requests a trial by jury and unspecified monetary relief, including compensatory damages, coverage of medical expenses, lost wages and attorney fees.  

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