The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has granted a request for a consolidated docket of federal lawsuits claiming Ethicon’s Physiomesh device caused injury, according to Harris Martin Publishing.

Physiomesh is an implantable device sold by Ethicon Inc. and Johnson & Johnson that is used during laparoscopic herniorrhaphy to repair hernias. Ethicon and J&J marketed Physiomesh as a hernia repair product that would allow the mesh to incorporate into the abdomen with minimal adhesion and inflammation.

However, the plaintiffs allege that the Physiomesh device caused a variety of serious complications.

The Physiomesh is a unique product in that it is made with five distinct layers, four of which surround the polypropylene mesh. The plaintiffs claim that it was this multi-layer coating that impeded the mesh from being adequately incorporated into the abdomen.

The plaintiffs cite the defendants’ voluntarily removal of the device from the market in May 2016 as evidence of the known complications.

Approximately 330,000 Physiomesh devices were sold worldwide, with nearly half being sold in the United States, as reported by Harris Martin Publishing.

As of last month, there were 18 Physiomesh cases pending in nine federal districts, and the petition stated that hundreds more are expected to be filed in the near future.

Six of the 18 current cases are filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, including the very first case filed. The plaintiffs contend that this is therefore an appropriate location for the multidistrict litigation docket, as well as an adequately equipped location with the resources to handle the current and future influx of Physiomesh cases.

The alternative location named by the plaintiffs is the Southern District of Illinois, with Judge David R. Herndon presiding over the cases.

The petition to form a multidistrict litigation docket was filed by plaintiffs from Athens, Georgia; Pensacola, Florida; Mount Pleasant, South Carolina; Providence, Rhode Island; and Boca Raton, Florida.

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