One of the biggest mass tort suits to play out in New Hampshire courts reached a critical turning point when Atrium Medical Corp. settled litigation over its hernia mesh implants, NH Business Review reported. On December 8, 2021, Swedish parent company Getinge Group announced it would set aside more than $66 million to resolve lawsuits claiming that Atrium’s C-QUR hernia mesh products caused serious medical problems and side effects.
Atrium’s deal allows the company to move on with business as usual without any admission of liability or wrongdoing, according to coverage by Law360.
Basics About the C-QUR Hernia Mesh Lawsuits
The Atrium hernia mesh lawsuits were filed in U.S. District Court District of New Hampshire—some dating as far back as 2016. Originally, pretrial proceedings for 13 actions were consolidated in multidistrict litigation (MDL) in this court because seven of the actions were already pending in the district. The fact that Atrium is headquartered in the district also played a role in cases being transferred to this court. At the time of the settlement, more than 1,000 cases had joined the MDL.
On December 10, 2021, Law360 reported that plaintiffs asked MDL Judge Landya B. McCafferty to set up a settlement fund for the distribution of money. They also requested that the judge appoint a fund administrator to facilitate the process of collecting, allocating, disbursing, and manage the accounting of the settlement proceeds.
Alleged Medical Complications From the Atrium C-QUR
Plaintiffs in the Atrium hernia mesh lawsuits allege that the C-QUR product caused serious complications and side effects.
The C-QUR, like other meshes, is composed of polypropylene. The device’s distinctive feature is its natural Omega 3 gel coating. Designers used this coating to facilitate the healing process and to lessen risk of mesh attaching to internal tissues of surrounding organs—a problem with other meshes on the market. The design backfired. Not only did the coating fail to add any health benefits, but also the coating sometimes peeled off during the implantation process.
The mesh also prompted the following types of medical complications in recipient patients:
The widespread occurrences of infection—beyond what is normal for surgeries—prompting the need to remove the mesh.
Some patients who had allergic reactions form their hernia mesh device endured debilitating pain. Chronic groin pain is just one example of this type of complication.
Rejection by the Body
In other cases, allergic reactions caused the devices to be rejected by patients’ bodies. This side effect has been largely attributed to the fatty Omega 3 oil.
Perforation of Organs
When a mesh implant migrates, it can perforate other organs, causing serious, long-term medical problems. In some cases, the patient suffers from a bowel obstruction.