Dangerous and defective products have been injuring thousands of people every year in the United States. Thankfully, we have stringent product liability laws that ensure that companies responsible for products like those are held accountable for the resulting damages. The laws make it easy for anyone willing to recover their damages to do so in a legal manner. Medline Products are some of those that have caused injuries to many people. At Consumer Alert Now, we bring you information regarding defective products and guide you on what to do to recover damages.
Therefore, if you suspect that you or your loved one has incurred injuries after using Medline Products, contact us today from anywhere in the country. We can make the legal process easy and successful for you. We could even point you to a mass tort lawsuit you can join.
Medline is a private American company that deals with the manufacture and distribution of healthcare products. It is currently the largest privately-owned healthcare company and is based in Northfield, Illinois. The company is responsible for distributing over 550,000 medical products and clinical solutions to surgery centers, hospitals, extended care facilities, home care agencies, physician officers and retailers, and providers. In the United States, the company has 43 distribution centers. Its product range cuts across all areas, including diagnostics, anesthesia, wound care, gloves infection prevention, surgery, pharmacy, and skincare.
As a popular manufacturer and distributor of healthcare products, the company has a huge responsibility on its hands. Its commitment includes ensuring that healthcare facilities it supplies are only receiving excellent quality products. If the company distributes defective or dangerous products, thousands of end-consumers of its products will suffer severe injuries. Thus, the company has to conduct thorough research on all the products it sources from other manufacturers to ensure that they are of excellent quality. However, this has not always been the case as the company faces several lawsuits over the manufacture/distribution of counterfeit medical products.
The company’s objective is to ensure that healthcare facilities are running better through quality and functional products. To achieve that, Medline has over 24,000 qualified employees working in its various branches worldwide. Among them are researchers, product specialists, clinicians, and sales representatives. With the right skills in place, the company can adapt to the dynamically changing market and offer solutions customized to its clients’ unique needs. Even so, the company has faced several accusations, among them, negligently supplying defective products that have caused so many people injuries. Thus, it faces several lawsuits that could cause it to part with thousands of dollars for compensation.
Lawsuits against Medline over Counterfeit Medical Products
As a healthcare company, Medline is a company that thousands of people depend on, mostly healthcare professionals and patients. Their products are meant to ease the work for healthcare providers and improve the health of patients suffering from a wide range of medical conditions. Thus, it is only right for the company to be sure about the effectiveness and quality of the products it manufactures or distributes. If not, it will face charges for negligence and/deceit. The company is facing over eighteen lawsuits from patients who have suffered injuries by using a counterfeit batch of surgical mesh sold by Medline.
The healthcare industry is very sensitive. It is an industry that handles all manner of delicate cases, which could worsen and even result in wrongful deaths if not handled with care. Healthcare professionals need protection as they go about their day-to-day activities. Protecting them ensures that they do not get infected as they take care of their patients. On the other hand, patients need to be handled well to prevent their conditions from worsening. When a patient visits a hospital, they want to leave feeling better and sometimes wholly healed.
Healthcare professionals rely on their medical supply to stay safe and offer guaranteed services to their patients. If the products these professionals receive are substandard, they will not be effective, and so, everyone is at risk of suffering injuries. If a low-quality product is used to improve a patient’s health, it may not work as expected or result in more infections. The person responsible for the resulting injuries could be the supplier or manufacturer of fake products. As the allegedly fake surgical mesh’s leading supplier, Medline faces several lawsuits, mostly from patients whose medical conditions got worse after using the counterfeit surgical mesh.
What is a Surgical Mesh?
A surgical mesh is a medical product used either temporarily or permanently to support body organs and other tissues when a person is undergoing an operation. The product is made from biological and inorganic materials, and it comes as a loosely woven piece. A surgical mesh can be used in a wide range of surgeries, for example, in the repair of hernia, pelvic organ prolapse, and reconstructive work. Permanent surgical meshes are designed to safely remain in the body after an operation, while the temporary ones will dissolve into the body over time.
Surgical meshes are some of the sensitive medical products that Medline deals with. Quality surgical meshes should work as they are designed to, without resulting in complications and causing more injuries. However, this does not seem to be the case with surgical meshes supplied by Medline. Close to twenty patients who had a surgical mesh installed during their operation have called out the company for providing and recommending defective surgical meshes. Their goal is to receive compensation for their damages and warn other patients against the faulty product.
About the Lawsuit
Medline is a popular and successful healthcare company, with an annual income estimated to be $4.7 billion. The company is not the manufacturer of the alleged defective surgical mesh, but only the distributor. Medline is a company that has dominated the healthcare sector. So, it sources the products its company cannot produce to ensure that healthcare centers have adequate supplies for almost all their needs.
In the beginning, reports show that Medline had bought the alleged counterfeit mesh from Ram Medical Inc. it is alleged that the mesh had been manufactured by a famous surgical product manufacturer known as Murray Hill. But the truth is that the alleged surgical mesh was manufactured by a company in India, as Medline would admit later. Ram Medical Inc. was later charged with drug counterfeiting, which the company pleaded guilty to and was penalized $73,000.
Medline is suing Ram Medical Inc. for the troubles that have come with the counterfeit surgical mesh. On the other hand, Medline is facing a growing number of lawsuits by people who have been affected by the defective surgical mesh during operation.
Litigation like this shows the difficulties even top suppliers face in distinguishing between fake and safe products. Products like these change hands several times before they can reach the final consumer. Thus, it becomes a great challenge to trace the product to the manufacturer. Again, a company like Medline cannot always be sure about the quality of a product they have not manufactured in their company. When the product harms a consumer, it becomes another challenge to determine who the responsible party is.
Problems regarding the counterfeit surgical mesh by Medline came up in 2010 When the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) started investigating claims that the U.S market had surgical meshes that were being illegally marketed under Bard’s product name. When the investigations began, RAM Medical Inc. decided to recall the product, which it had already sold to six distributors, including Medline. in June the same year, FDA released a report stating that the alleged counterfeit surgical mesh was not sterilized and could therefore cause infections if used on patients. The FDA also noted that the said products were made in a manner that they could unravel, and therefore not work as they should.
It seems that RAM Medical Inc. recalled the product a little too late after several patients had already undergone surgery and had the mesh in their bodies. So far, we have eight lawsuits filed against Medline, one of which has eleven plaintiffs. The eight lawsuits also include two mass torts, which were later on consolidated into a single case in New Jersey.
As a distributor of medical products, Medline had a significant role to play in ensuring that only quality products were delivered in the healthcare centers it supplied to. RAM Medical Inc. also had a role to play in ensuring that only quality products from reliable manufacturers were being brought into the country. Thus, the two companies were accused of fraud and negligence. Medline and RAM Medical Inc. could determine whether the surgical meshes they were distributing were sterilized and without defects. The greater level of oversight on their part was in supplying medical products that were not approved by the FDA to be used on patients.
The said products were unreasonably dangerous and defective and have caused patients serious risks of infections, suffering, and pain. Patients have also incurred economic damages as they need additional treatment and surgery to take out the defective mesh. It is not clear about the number of patients having had defective surgical mesh implanted. Therefore, attorneys handling the class action lawsuits are expecting that the number could go up with time. Defective products affect different people at different rates, and so, some cases could be reported later after others.
How to Tell If a Defective Surgical Mesh has Injured you
A defective surgical mesh will affect patients differently. Some symptoms are easy to spot and others difficult, based on the severity of the effect. Among the most common symptoms to watch out for include:
Discomfort and Pain
Surgical meshes are used when patients are undergoing hernia repairs. A common symptom for anyone who gets a defective mesh implanted in their body is discomfort. Surgical meshes come in a particular design that will fit precisely at the point of hernia repair. In the counterfeit meshes from Medline, the design was not as per the required standard. So, it is evident that the patients would experience some form of discomfort immediately after the operation.
A surgical mesh that has not been sterilized is likely to cause an infection in the area where it has been implanted. The main symptom of an infection is pain and sometimes pain with swelling. If you have been experiencing pain at the point of your operation or swelling, it may have been infected. So, you need immediate medical intervention to prevent the infection from spreading or worsening.
In any case, the defective mesh has to be removed. Thus, the patient has to undergo another operation. All this comes with additional costs for the patient. If indeed, Medline was at fault for supplying faulty medical products, the affected patients must be compensated for all their financial and non-economic damages.
Bleeding is a sign of chronic infection. Therefore, if you experience bleeding at the point of the operation, the surgical mesh implanted in your body may not have been sterilized. Some infections are minor and would require medications and a few days to heal. Others will be severe and could affect other parts of the body close to the operation.
A severe infection at the point of operation could also lead to a seroma, a condition in which fluid builds up near or at the point of mesh implantation. The built-up fluid could even start leaking.
A complication resulting from a faulty surgical mesh may cause a person to experience difficulties in using the bathroom. Bowel obstruction usually occurs in the small or large intestine, making it hard for a person to defecate or urinate. When a bowel obstruction occurs after surgical mesh implantation, it could result from adhesion, which results after the intestines’ loops adhere to the surgical mesh. In more severe cases of bowel obstruction, the bowel is removed.
When you experience bowel obstruction after an operation, it may be because the surgeon used a defective model of surgical mesh. Thus, you may have a case against the party responsible for the defective implant’s production or sale.
If a person suffers complications from a surgical mesh, they may experience changes in their sexual functions, characterized by the person’s inability to become physically aroused. The majority of those affected this way are men. Most men who have undergone an inguinal hernia repair have later reported that they suffered erectile dysfunction, difficulties in achieving an orgasm, and loss of sensation afterward.
Other patients have reported slight/severe pain, swelling, reduced testicle size, and harness after a failed hernia repair. A faulty surgical mesh could be responsible for this, as it could reduce blood supply to the testicles. Eventually, the affected patients may need to undergo another operation to have their testicles removed, resulting in additional medical costs, pain, and suffering.
Medics say that the chances of a hernia recurring after treatment with a surgical mesh are low. However, in a defective mesh, a patients’ underlying issue could recur, requiring him/her to undergo another operation. Several complications that result from a faulty surgical mesh such as fistula, adhesion, perforation, and migration may cause the hernia to recur. Going through another operation comes with additional costs to the patient. That is why the law allows patients like those to file a claim for compensation against the responsible party. If indeed, another party’s fault caused you pain and more medical expenses, you can recover all your damages by taking immediate action.
What to Do If Medline Products have Injured you
When a large company like Medline supplies medical products to its usual customers, thousands of patients are likely to benefit from at least one or two of its products. If the company negligently supplies a defective product, thousands of patients worldwide are at risk of suffering injuries. Thus, it is possible that so many people, not just those covered under the eighteen lawsuits, have been injured through the use of a faulty Medline product. If you are one of them, you may be wondering what action to take to recover compensation for your injuries. An easy way out is to join a mass tort lawsuit near you. This way, you will be joining others who have been injured in a similar manner or by the same products to seek justice and compensation.
Product Liability Laws
Defective and dangerous products are all under product liability laws. They are the laws that guide injured people to recover compensation for their damages. The laws hold the manufacturer or seller of a defective product responsible for placing the faulty product in a consumer’s hands. Responsibility, in this case, will affect all sellers who are in the distribution chain. The law expects that every product that manufacturers and distributors sell must meet the ordinary expectations of a consumer. When a product is dangerous or defective, it will not meet those expectations. But, it will cause severe side effects that could result in other damages.
Join a Mass Tort Near You
When a medical product causes injuries to several people, they can come together to create a single lawsuit against the alleged at-fault party for compensation. Fighting together seems more effective tat filing a separate lawsuit against the same responsible party. As a group, the plaintiffs can communicate, share ideas, and seek legal advice to improve their chances of success. However, each plaintiff’s case will be separate, and each will be compensated according to the number of damages suffered. Already, some plaintiffs in the case against Medline have come up to file a mass tort against the healthcare company. Anyone that has suffered after the use of Medline products can join any of these mass tort lawsuits.
Mass tort lawsuits will include different factors and sometimes a variety of elements like multiple plaintiffs. In this case, the plaintiffs do not have to have undergone an operation in the same healthcare facility. What matters is that the leading supplier of surgical mesh in those facilities was Medline. Every plaintiff will require legal representation from their attorneys. These attorneys can communicate with each other and consult to increase the chances of their clients’ success. Therefore, if you suspect that a Medline product has injured you, you can get in touch with an attorney. He/she will help you determine whether there is a mass torn near you against Medline that you could join.
Your attorney will also prepare your case against Medline, complete with compelling evidence. Once you identify a mass tort near you, your attorney can determine the attorneys representing other plaintiffs in the mass tort. Then he/she can join hands with them to create an even stronger case against the responsible supplier. The good thing with joining a mass tort is that your attorney does not have to collect more evidence than other attorneys have collected so far. Also, you will not need to engage a separate expert witness if need be. It saves a lot of time and money for the plaintiffs.
Once the case is determined, each plaintiff will be paid according to the damages they incurred from the defective device. However, you have to be sure that your case is connected to those in the mass tort you are joining. If not, you may have to file a separate legal suit against Medline.
Find Legal Help for Defective Medline Products Near Me
Manufacturers and suppliers of medical products are required by law to ensure that healthcare facilities use only quality and effective products. However, issues have always been experienced; for instance, patients or healthcare professionals suffering injuries after using a particular product (s). Medline is one among those healthcare companies that have been in the limelight for the supply of defective and dangerous surgical meshes. If you suspect that a faulty surgical mesh by Medline injured you or your loved one, call us at 800-511-0747 from anywhere in the country. At consumer Alert Now, we create awareness of defective and dangerous products and guide the injured persons through the legal process to claim compensation.