MDL Motion Filed For Atrium ProLite and ProLoop Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

The lawsuits claim polypropylene is an inappropriate substance to use for Atrium ProLite and ProLoop hernia mesh implants, which can result in severe, permanent injuries.

With a growing number of hernia mesh lawsuits being filed throughout the federal court system over problems with Atrium ProLite and ProLoop implants, a motion has been filed with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) that seeks to centralize and consolidate the claims before one judge for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings.

Atrium ProLoop and ProLite are types of polypropylene mesh that have been widely used in recent years for surgical hernia repairs. However, the lawsuits allege the products were defectively designed and that Atrium Medical failed to adequately test the hernia mesh, which has resulted in high failure rates, frequent complications and revision surgeries among patients.

In a motion for transfer (PDF) filed on December 10, a group of 15 plaintiffs pursuing Atrium ProLite and ProLoop mesh lawsuits argue that a federal MDL (multidistrict litigation) should be established for the mounting claims, indicating that nearly identical cases are already pending before different judges in four different U.S. District Courts, which may result in duplicative discovery, inconsistent pretrial rulings and a waste of judicial resources.

Plaintiffs indicate that the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California is the most appropriate venue, as most cases are already pending in that Court and it has the capacity and capability to effectively manage an Atrium ProLite and ProLoop MDL.

Such consolidation is common in complex medical device litigation, where a large number of claims have been presented by former recipients of the same medical device or implant, alleging similar injuries. Plaintiffs point out that each of the lawsuits over Atrium ProLite and ProLoop mesh raise nearly identical allegations, and will involve many common witnesses.

“Despite the abundance of scientific and medical information published in the literature relating to the dangerous properties and serious risks of polypropylene mesh, Atrium made a deliberate decision to ignore these dangers and began to aggressively promote polyproylene mesh to healthcare providers and consumers,” according to the motion. “Atrium misrepresented and concealed from Plaintiffs, their physicians and consumers, the serious risks, dangers and defects associated with ProLite and ProLoop hernia mesh.”

Similar claims have been raised in other lawsuits over polypropylene hernia mesh sold by other manufacturers, several of which have already been centralized as part of separate MDLs, including Bard mesh lawsuits, Ethicon Physiomesh lawsuits and Atrium C-Qur lawsuits.

The U.S. JPML is expected to consider oral arguments on the motion, including any response filed by Atrium Medical, during a hearing early next year, at which time the panel will determine whether centralized management is appropriate at this early stage of the litigation, and the most appropriate forum for the pretrial proceedings.

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