In a positive sign for plaintiffs suing Atrium Medical Corp. over its C-Qur hernia mesh products, lawsuits are beginning to move forward with the court’s issuance of its first Case Management Order on Jan. 13.
The purpose of the Case Management Order is to manage and expedite complex legislation. Among other things, the order stayed all discovery proceedings until a discovery schedule can be established at the initial case management conference. The conference is set to convene on Feb. 24 at 10:00 am.
The order comes a little more than a month after the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) created multidistrict litigation for cases related to C-Qur hernia mesh. Almost two dozen cases pending across several federal courts were transferred to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire under the management of U.S. District Judge Landya B. McCafferty.
The panel found that the cases all shared common factual questions arising out of allegations that defects in the mesh caused an allergic or inflammatory reaction with severe complications.
“All the actions involve factual questions relating to whether C-Qur mesh was defectively designed or manufactured, whether defendants knew or should have known of the alleged propensity of C-Qur mesh to result in an allergic or inflammatory response, and whether defendants provided adequate instructions and warnings with the mesh,” the panel wrote.
Atrium’s C-Qur mesh combines polypropylene mesh with a coating consisting of Omega 3 fatty acids and triglycerides. It is most commonly used to repair hernias but can also be used in chest wall reconstruction and other surgical wounds.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuits contend that they suffered injuries as a result of defective mesh products. Moreover, they allege that Atrium knew or should have known about the risks associated with the mesh but failed to warn patients and doctors.
In 2013, Atrium issued recalls on more than a hundred thousand C-Qur hernia mesh devices after the company discovered that the Omega-3 gel coating would peel off when exposed to high humidity.
The company was also found to have poor manufacturing practices after inspections from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration confirmed 35 instances of hair in sterile medical devices.
Although the devices are no longer on the market, patients continue to file lawsuits against Atrium.