Atrium Medical Supports MDL for C-Qur Hernia Patch Cases
With a growing number of individuals nationwide pursuing Atrium C-Qur patch lawsuits, raising allegations that the controversial hernia mesh is incompatible with human biology and can cause severe complications, immune system reactions and other permanent injuries, the medical device manufacturer acknowledges that it is appropriate for the federal courts to centralize the claims as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation.
The Atrium C-QUR patch, pronounced “Secure”, is a mesh product introduced for hernia repair surgery in 2006, which has been used during procedures nationwide over the past decade. However, issues with the design have been linked to a large number of reports involving severe and debilitating problems, resulting in hernia mesh cases brought against Atrium Medical in various different U.S. District Courts throughout the country.
Each of the complaints allege that the surgical mesh is unreasonably dangerous and defective, claiming that individuals suffered severe and debilitating complications from Atrium C-Qur hernia patch products, which feature polypropylene mesh with an Omega-3 gel coating. Lawsuits involve plaintiffs implanted with Atrium C-Qur mesh, C-Qur TacShield and C-Qur V-Patch, each alleging that Atrium breached its duty of care by failing to design and manufacture a reasonably safe product.
Given the similar questions of fact and law raised in cases filed nationwide, a group of plaintiffs filed a motion to consolidate all Atrium C-Qur cases last month, seeking to centralize the litigation before one judge for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings designed to reduce duplicative discovery into common issues, avoid conflicting rulings from different courts, and to serve the convenience of the witnesses, parties and the judicial system.
Plaintiffs proposed that the litigation be transferred to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire, where several of the cases are already pending.
In a response in support (PDF) filed on November 1, Atrium Medical indicates that it agrees the lawsuits should be consolidated, noting that more cases are pending, and discovery has only begun in two of more than a dozen cases filed so far. The manufacturer also indicates that it believes New Hampshire is the proper venue for an Atrium C-Qur MDL.
“Numerous factors militate toward centralization in the District of New Hampshire, and thus Defendants agree with the MDL Movants’ preference of this venue,” the response states. “Half of the pending cases are in the District of New Hampshire and no other district currently has more than one CQUR Action. New Hampshire is Defendant Atrium’s home venue, and therefore the majority of the relevant documents and witnesses as to the common questions of fact and law are located there.”
While there are only 14 cases currently pending in federal courts nationwide, it is widely expected that hundreds, if not thousands, of complaints will be brought in the coming months and years as hernia mesh lawyers continue to investigate and file claims for individuals throughout the United States.
The U.S. JPML is scheduled to consider oral arguments on the motion during an upcoming hearing scheduled for December 3, in New Orleans.
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