The surgeon is placing a hernia mesh to strengthen the inguinal region during open inguinal hernia repair.
Clients approach their defective product cases in different ways. Some call me with an injury caused by a medical device and say, essentially, “figure it out.” I have no problem with a client taking this position. Others keep detailed notes and meticulous records and send me a package of documents that can be several inches thick. I never require a client to do this initial “leg work,” but it can often jump start a case against the device manufacturer. If you are inclined to be more involved in the process, at least early on, I have noted some important tasks below you can accomplish to launch your hernia mesh case.

Let’s start with two assumptions: (1) you had hernia mesh implanted in your body in the past, and (2) you have suffered injury because of the hernia mesh. Where do you go from there?

Identify Your Product

For the past year or so, I’ve written extensively about the Philips Respironics (Philips) CPAP, BiPAP and ventilator FDA recalls. Hundreds of CPAP lawsuits have been filed against Philips. The primary problem comes from the foam material Philips uses to reduce the sound and vibration from these machines.

What’s Wrong With the Foam?

CPAP and BiPAP LitigationThese machines use polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) foam that can break down into little bits and enter a user’s airway. The foam can also break down by off-gassing harmful chemicals that the user inhales. These can potentially cause health problems for users, such as:

Camp Lejeune Water ContaminationIt’s been a few months since President Biden signed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 (CLJA) into law. I’ve written several posts discussing this new law, but none of those posts have gone into detail about how and why the drinking water at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune caused so much harm to so many individuals for so long. Camp Lejeune water contamination, sadly, occurred for decades, and it’s important to understand how it happened and how it hurt people. In this blog post, we’ll examine:

  • How the water got contaminated
  • What chemicals or toxins contaminated the water

Camp Lejeune toxic water litigationIn today’s blog post, we’re going to go dig a little deeper into Camp Lejeune claims arising from the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 (CLJA). I’ve written about this remarkable legislation on several occasions, from when it was just a bill to after it got signed into law by President Biden in August 2022.

If you read those blog posts, you’ll recall that before you can file a lawsuit to recover damages for your exposure to the contaminated water, you have to first file an administrative claim with the appropriate federal agency as required by 28 U.S.C. § 2675. Only if this administrative claim gets denied can you sue the federal government. Read on to learn more about this requirement and what it entails.

Where Do I File This Administrative Claim?

Exactech artificial hip liners
Exactech Inc. (Exactech) has been having some legal troubles lately involving its hip, knee, and ankle implants. Some patients receiving these implants have suffered complications from the implant they allege are the fault of Exactech.  There have been recalls for the affected products, but this hasn’t been enough to fully compensate the affected patients.

As you might expect, many of these patients have sued Exactech. Because there are a lot of cases with similar facts and issues (and they are also in the early stages of litigation), many of these cases have been consolidated into a multi-district litigation, or MDL.

Exactech knee liners
One of the more recent updates in this litigation involves transferring many cases to a single federal district to centralize the legal proceedings. To better explain what this means, let’s first review what an MDL is.

Camp Lejeune Marine Base NCToday we’re going to discuss the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022. Great people have been trying to get this legislation passed for many years, and the new law is going to offer a pathway to financial compensation for those people who were exposed to toxic water on the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in North Carolina. Many of those people developed serious health problems, including certain cancers. We’re going to get into the details of this legislation, but first I wanted to tell you about my personal connection to Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, and to Jacksonville, North Carolina, which is where the base is located.

Back before I went to law school I was an English instructor at Coastal Carolina Community College in Jacksonville. For a few years down there I taught US Marines, their spouses, children, and I even taught several classes directly on the Marine Corps Base at Camp Lejeune. And so this legislation is very important to me both as a lawyer but also as a person who had a pretty close connection to Camp Lejeune. I guess I would say that there are virtually no other attorneys handling these Camp Lejeune cases that can say they worked on the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base as I did. I am very familiar with Camp Lejeune. I’m very familiar with that area. I wanted to share that personal experience, but let’s dive into this Camp Lejeune Water Act that recently passed.

I think it might be important to read certain parts of the bill, which was signed by President Joe Biden earlier this month in August 2022. It’s a straightforward bill, and the language is just astonishing. It starts with this:

Knee replacement showing plastic linerExactech Inc. (Exactech) is a company that makes various products to repair or replace joints in the human body. Some of Exactech’s biggest selling products have been replacement joints for hips, knees and ankles. Unfortunately, there have been some problems with certain products suffering from premature wear and other issues. This has led to some patients getting revision surgery to fix the issue and repair damage caused to the human body. Exactech has also started various product recalls involving certain knee, ankle and hip implants. I have prepared the following Exactech FAQs so you can learn more about this problem and what to do if you’re affected.

1. What Exactech Products Have Been Recalled?

The recall involves two groups of products. The first group relates to certain batches of Exactech’s Connexion GXL acetabular hip liners. The second group relates to specific ankle and knee polyethylene liners and inserts, many of which were manufactured in 2004 or later. Some of these products have been sold under the following brands:

Marine Corps Camp Lejeune Toxic WaterIt’s been known for a while now that many members of our armed forces and their families were exposed to toxic chemicals from the drinking water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune (Camp Lejeune). Right now, getting compensation for injuries that resulted from the toxic water exposure is limited.

However, a new law will hopefully change that. The purpose of this blog post is to answer some questions you might have about your rights concerning health issues stemming from contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

1. What Chemicals Contaminated the Water at Camp Lejeune?

U.S. MarinesMarine Corps Base Camp Lejeune (Camp Lejeune) is an important military base and training facility for the U.S. Marine Corps. Located on the coast of North Carolina, many Marines and their families have spent extended time at this base. In fact, before law school I was an English instructor at Coastal Carolina Community College, located just a few miles away from Camp Lejeune. I taught hundreds of students who were active-duty Marines or Marine-dependents, and many of them lived or worked on the base.

However, from at least August 1, 1953 to December 31, 1987, many of the base residents were likely exposed to toxic chemicals from the drinking water. And this exposure has potentially led to a variety of serious medical issues, including death.

But for the time being, taking legal action for injuries relating to toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune has been impossible. But the likely enactment of a new federal law should change that.

Oxygen can degrade plastic joint partsBefore we talk about Exactech liners and defective packaging, we need to talk about oxygen. Oxygen is necessary for human life, but it’s a fairly reactive chemical element. We don’t think of oxygen as damaging but it can be very reactive. A perfect example of how reactive oxygen can be is fire. Get most things hot enough and they’ll start to react with the oxygen in the air and oxidize rapidly. In other words, they’ll start to burn.

This reactivity many things have to oxygen is one of the major reasons why there’s a recall for Exactech’s hip, knee and ankle implants. No, they don’t catch on fire, but they may have been exposed to too much oxygen before implantation. This could lead to premature wear, damage to bones and the implant breaking while inside the body.

How did the implants come into contact with too much oxygen? It appears to be the result of faulty packaging. Let’s take a closer look at what was wrong with the packaging and why that has allegedly led to problems with the Exactech implants.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
I was involved in a case for the faulty hip replacements. Clay Hodges represented me. I can't say enough about how much he has helped me. Clay was able to win multiple settlements on my behalf with most of them being the maximum amount able to be awarded. Matt J.
★★★★★
Clay, thank you sir for making a disheartening experience at least palatable, you and your staff were honest, caring and understanding through the entire process of my wife’s hip replacements, while monetary settlements never make the pain and suffering end, it sometimes is the only way people can fight back to right a wrong. J. V.
★★★★★
We are absolutely pleased with how Clay Hodges handled my husband’s hip replacement claim. He always kept us informed of the progress. And, his work resulted in a settlement which we are extremely pleased. Thank you, Clay! Carol L. & Norm L.
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