The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated all Atrium C-Qur hernia mesh lawsuits into a single federal court system in December, and now the lead litigator has been set.
Attorney D. Todd Mathews was appointed to a five-member Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee by Judge Landya B. McCafferty of the United States District Court of New Hampshire to lead the litigation for all cases filed in federal courts around the country.
“A highly qualified and diverse Executive Committee has been established by the court to ensure plaintiffs will have the best possible representation moving forward throughout this litigation,” said Mathews. “Having the court place their faith in me and the others appointed to oversee this litigation is a huge honor and responsibility.”
Plaintiffs have claimed that Atrium’s C-Qur hernia mesh devices are defectively made, increasing the risk of infection, bowel obstruction, organ perforation, inflammation, pain and much more.
“The injuries these plaintiffs have suffered are horrific,” he said. “I certainly plan to honor the court and the victims of this product by working hard and doing everything in my power to see that justice prevails.”
The multidistrict litigation was created on Dec. 8, 2016, after parties agreed that consolidation into a single docket made the most sense since many of the cases involved similar questions of fact. The New Hampshire district court was chosen because the majority of federal cases were already pending in the court and no other district had more than one pending action against Atrium.
Lawsuits Against Atrium C-Qur Continue To Mount
About two dozen cases have been consolidated in federal court, but more lawsuits continue to be filed each month.
On March 2, Joseph A. Godwin filed a complaint in the 7th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida over allegations that Atrium was negligent in manufacturing the C-Qur hernia mesh device. He had a surgery on April 9, 2013, to repair a hernia using Atrium’s mesh. However, he claims that the product was unsafe and caused him injury.
Godwin’s complaint is similar to many that have come before his. In December, couple Terry McLain and Gary McLain filed a lawsuit against Atrium alleging that Terry “suffered permanent injuries and significant pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost wages and earning capacity, and diminished quality of life” from the C-Qur hernia mesh.
In July 2011, C-Qur TacShield mesh was used to repair her incisional ventral hernia. In July 2013, she began experiencing abdominal pain near the site of implantation. This resulted in the need for additional surgery and the removal of the old mesh.
“Upon incision, the surgeon determined that Plaintiff’s symptoms appeared to be caused from mesh rejection and the mesh was balled up inside Plaintiff,” the complaint says. “The C-Qur mesh was dissected and removed from Plaintiff and no additional mesh was implanted due to the amount of scar tissue buildup.”
The surgeon believed that the fish oil compound coating the mesh was likely the contributor to her need for revision surgery.
She has since continued to suffer severe abdominal pain, digestive problems and other abdominal problems caused by the failed C-Qur hernia mesh. The couple blames Atrium for not doing anything to warn the public.
“Defendants advertised, promoted, marketed, sold, and distributed the C-QUR Mesh Products as a safe medical device when Defendant knew or should have known the C-QUR Mesh Products were not safe for their intended purposes and that the mesh products could cause serious medical problems,” the complaint says.
Direct Filing of Atrium C-QUR Mesh Cases Now Allowed
As part of the consolidation into a single docket by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, plaintiffs may now file their claims directly in the proceedings. This is intended to eliminate any delays transferring or removing cases from other federal courts may cause.
An initial case management conference was held on February 24 in regards to the C-Qur mesh litigation.