Woman alleges hernia repair patches caused bowel obstruction

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Aug. 30, 2011, 3:17am

MARSHALL - Nancy Cotten claims the mesh patch used to repair her hernia resulted in a small bowel obstruction and has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the medical product.

Cotten filed suit against Davol Inc. and C.R. Bard Inc. on Aug. 26 in the Eastern District of Texas in Marshall Division.

Davol manufactured Bard Composix Kugel Mesh which is used to repair ventral hernias caused by the thinning or stretching of scar tissue that forms after surgery.

According to the complaint, Cotten underwent repair of a recurrent incisional hernia, which was done using an intra-abdominal Kugel patch. The lawsuit does not state when her initial surgery occurred.

A Class I recall for the Kugel Mesh patch was initiated on Dec. 22, 2005, and recently updated on Jan. 24, 2007. According to the lawsuit, the recall was necessary because the "memory recoil ring," which opens after placement, can break under stress and result in bowel perforations, chronic intestinal fistulae, infection, pain and adhesion.

Cotten was diagnosed with small bowel obstruction secondary to incarcerated recurrent ventral hernia with failed Kugel composite mesh on July 18, 2010. She underwent exploratory laparotomy, resection of abdominal wall foreign body, extensive enterolysis and repair of recurrent ventral hernia.

The defendants are accused of negligence for failing to adequately and properly test and inspect Kugel mesh to determine whether it was safe for the purpose for which it was designed and failing to utilize or implement reasonable safe design practices in the manufacture of the Kugel mesh so as to avoid an unsafe finished product.

Davol and Bard are accused of negligence failing to have adequate safety measures in place to test Kugel mesh patch safety before releasing it for use on the public and failing to timely and adequately warn physicians after discovering the potential safety hazard and harm associated with the patches.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for medical expenses, loss of earnings, physical pain, mental anguish, disfigurement, physical impairment, medical losses and court costs.

Cotten is represented by Jeffrey T. Embry of Hossley & Embry LLP in Tyler. A jury trial is requested.

Case No. 2:11-cv-00376

More News