Hernia mesh lawsuits involving Atrium Medical Corp.’s C-Qur mesh continue to mount in the federal multidistrict litigation now underway in the U.S. District Court, District of New Hampshire.
According the New Hampshire Business Review, 2,136 claims were pending in the proceeding as of Tuesday. In May alone, 75 new hernia mesh lawsuits were filed in the litigation – a figure that represents twice the rate they being filed just two years ago.
New cases will likely to continue to join the litigation in the future, but filings are stabilizing and the total number of claims will likely reach the mid-2,000. Hundreds of additional C-Qur hernia mesh lawsuits are also pending in New Hampshire Superior Court.
Atrium C-Qur mesh is indicated for permanent abdominal wall reinforcement in hernia surgeries. The implants are constructed from a unique polypropylene patch that’s been coated with an Omega-3 fatty acid (O3FA) gel.
Like other polypropylene hernia mesh products currently the subject of litigation, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration approved the Atrium C-Qur patch under its 510(K) protocols. This program allows a medical device to come to market without the benefit of human tests, as long as a manufacturer can demonstrate that it is “substantially equivalent” to another product that’s already gone through the agency’s much stricter pre-market approval process. This was allowed even though Atrium C-Qur was the first surgical mesh to ever utilize an O3FA gel coating.
Atrium claims the C-Qur O3FA coating reduces the risk of adhesions and allows for better fixation of the hernia mesh to the abdominal wall. However, plaintiffs who have filed hernia mesh lawsuits against the company claim the material actually causes an inflammatory response that promotes the formation of bowel adhesions, impedes fixation, and causes additional severe complications that may result in the need for painful and risky hernia revision surgery.
The federal litigation is schedule to convene its first bellwether trial in September, but the parties have been given an August 2nd deadline to resolve the hernia mesh lawsuits before the trial commences. While Atrium had requested that the trial be pushed back until January due to logistical issues posed by the continuing coronavirus pandemic, the presiding judge declined the company’s motion after plaintiffs’ attorneys agreed to wave some depositions to keep the trial schedule on track.