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Although a North Carolina man has suffered painful and debilitating complications after an Atrium C-Qur patch was implanted to repair an umbilical hernia, a product liability lawsuit filed recently against the manufacturer indicates that his doctors are reluctant to perform hernia mesh removal surgery, as it would be a very dangerous procedure.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Elbern H. Perrine in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, indicating that Atrium Medical Corporation, Maquet Cardiovascular US Sales, LLC, and Getinge AB sold a defectively designed and manufactured hernia patch, which was not safe for use during hernia repair, posed unreasonable risks that outweighed any potential benefits associated with the unique design.
Perrine had an 8.9cm x 8.9cm patch of Atrium C-Qur mesh implanted in his body in May 2010, during an umbilical hernia repair. By July 2012, the lawsuit indicates that he began to suffer abdominal pain, and was admitted to the hospital where it was discovered that he was suffering a partial bowel obstruction in the area of his prior hernia repair. Following an EGD and colonoscopy, Perrine was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia. In 2014, Perrine experienced further problems, resulting in additional surgery for multiple adhesions to the abdominal wall.
The lawsuit indicates that his surgeons now advise that due to complications caused by Atrium C-Qur, the hernia mesh needs to be removed. However, his current surgeon is reluctant to perform any additional surgical procedures as a result of the serious nature of the problems Perrine has suffered. As a result, he has been left with daily chronic pain, and indicates that he will require ongoing future treatments.
“As a result of the defective design and/or manufacture of the C-Qur mesh, there was an unreasonable risk of severe adverse reactions to the mesh or mesh components including: chronic pain; recurrence of hernia; foreign body response; rejection; infection; inadequate or failure of incorporation/in growth; scarification; improper wound healing; excessive and chronic inflammation; allergic reaction; adhesions to internal organs; erosion; abscess; fistula formation; granulomatous response; seroma formation; nerve damage; tissue damage and/or death; and other complications, including the inability to remove the C-Qur mesh absent serious injury or death,” according to the complaint.
The case joins a growing number of Atrium C-Qur mesh lawsuits filed in courts throughout the U.S., each raising similar claims that Atrium knew or should have known about the risk of problems associated with the hernia patch and large number of adverse events reported. However, the manufacturer has not issued any warnings or any official Atrium C-Qur recalls, instead choosing to withhold information from consumers and quietly remove certain products from the market.
Given the similar questions of fact and law raised in dozens of cases filed throughout the federal court system, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) decided to consolidate all lawsuits filed against Atrium last month, centralizing claims before U.S. District Judge Landya McCafferty in the District of New Hampshire, for coordinated pretrial proceedings.
Perrine’s complaint and additional Atrium C-Qur cases filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide will be transferred to Judge McCafferty, for coordinated handling during discovery and a series of early “bellwether” trials in the MDL, which are designed to gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout the litigation. However, if Atrium C-Qur hernia mesh settlements or another resolution is not reached following the MDL proceedings, each individual case may be remanded back to the U.S. District Court where it was originally filed for a separate trial date.