January 15, 2013 — In the last few weeks, dozens of lawsuits have been filed by people who suffered debilitating injuries after being treated with Alloderm. According to the most recent case report list, a total of 304 lawsuits have been filed. The litigation has continued to grow rapidly since the first lawsuit was filed in May 2011.
All of the lawsuits involve similar injuries and allegations against the manufacturer of the device, LifeCell Corporation. The product, a biological device from donated cadaver skin, was created in the 1990s for use in reconstructive surgeries. About a decade later, LifeCell began promoting it for use in abdominal hernia repair surgeries.
Unfortunately, the use of Alloderm in abdominal hernia repair is associated with higher risks of severe complications. Many people who suffered these complications have filed lawsuits alleging that LifeCell did not adequately investigate the safety of Alloderm in abdominal hernia repair surgery.
More than 300 lawsuits have been filed by people suffering from the following complications:
- Severe pain
- Adhesion failure
- Shrinkage or thinning of the mesh
- Organ damage
- Opening of the hernia
- Need for additional surgery
- And more
Doctors can reduce the risk of adhesion failure by “pre-stretching” the device before it is used in surgery. However, the product was sold for many years without these recommendations. Many of the lawsuits allege that LifeCell did not adequately warn doctors about this risk.
In the last few years, hundreds of lawsuits have been centralized in a state court litigation in Middlesex County, New Jersey, in a Multi-County Litigation (MDL) where Judge Jessica R. Mayer presides.