Atrium ProLite Mesh Lawsuit Results in Defense Verdict Over Inguinal Hernia Repair

Plaintiff claimed mesh was not sterile, causing infections and other adverse health effects after hernia repair

Following a six-day trial, a federal jury in Chicago returned a defense verdict in favor of Atrium Medical in a ProLite hernia mesh lawsuit, finding that the company was not liable for injuries suffered by a man who said his mesh was not sterile and became infected following hernia repair, causing complications and the need for further surgeries.

The complaint (PDF) was originally filed in October 2017, by Randy J. Africano and his wife, Diane, indicating that Atrium sold a surgical mesh that was not suitable for hernia repair, since it was unreasonably dangerous and defective.

Africano underwent an inguinal hernia repair in December 2013, at which time doctors implanted Atrium ProLite mesh. However, less than two years later, fluid was detected building up at the site of the mesh, which ultimately led to an infection and the need for follow-up surgeries, including a procedure to remove the Atrium ProLite mesh, causing severe pain and other health complications.

Before the case went to trial, Atrium Medical was successful in getting the court to bar testimony from some of the medical experts that were to testify for Africano, preventing information about design defects with ProLite mesh due to its polypropylene construction.

On October 19, following six days of trial and one day of deliberations, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois returned a defense verdict (PDF) in favor of Atrium Medical.

Atrium C-Qur Litigation

While this trial focused on Atrium’s ProLite mesh, most of the legal attention in recent years has centered around its C-Qur hernia mesh products.

Each of the Atrium C-Qur lawsuits in the litigation involve similar allegations over problems caused by the hernia repair mesh. The Atrium C-Qur product features a unique polypropylene patch design with an Omega-3 fatty acid gel coating, which plaintiffs allege was defective and unreasonably dangerous.

Given similar questions of fact and law raised in complaints filed throughout the federal court system, the Atrium C-Qur litigation has been centralized in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire since December 2016, where Judge Landya McCafferty has been presiding over coordinate discovery and pretrial proceedings.

Following a series of early bellwether trials that will be held before Judge McCafferty, if the parties fail to reach settlement agreements that resolve large numbers of cases, the Court is expected to start remanding individual claims to U.S. District Courts nationwide for separate trial dates.

In addition to claims over Atrium C-Qur patches, similar hernia mesh lawsuits are also being pursued over design defects associated with polyproylene products sold by other companies in recent years, including Bard, Ethicon, Covidien and others.

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