The Providence Journal recently reported on the end of a medical malpractice trial involving a problem hernia patch made by the firm Davol, Inc, which is owned by large medical device manufacturer C.R. Bard. This trial is only one case out of over 3,000 that have been filed involving the defective patch.
The plaintiff in this case, Christopher Thorpe, had the patch implanted in 2005 to fix a hernia in his abdomen. The patch is a sophisticated medical device that is folded in half and inserted through an incision behind a hernia. The patch’s “memory recoil ring” springs again once inside the body.
The problem began for Thorpe when the ring component surrounding the patch broke; the mesh portion of the product had been attached to the ring. The section of the ring that broke then traveled inside Thorpe’s body.
The breakage caused an abscess to form, leading to swelling and pain. The abscess had to be continually drained, and Christopher had to undergo multiple surgeries to fix the damage. The surgeries are still not completed, as he will face more of them to continue to correct the problem. As a result of the damage, he will only be able to lift 5 to 10 pounds for the rest of his life.
Ultimately, the jury determined that the poor design of the product caused the damage suffered by Thorpe and his family. They awarded Christopher $1.3 million for his injuries and $200,000 to his wife for her time spent treating his medical issues. Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti hope the best for Thorpe and his family. We also encourage anyone who has similarly suffered extreme consequences following medical device problems to contact a local lawyer to help explain the possible legal ramifications of the situation.