Medical device manufacturer Atrium Medical Corporation faces over 700 lawsuits related to its line of C-QUR hernia mesh patches. As of August 23, 2018, 715 cases were consolidated in the United States District Court of New Hampshire, where District Judge Landya B. McCafferty has been appointed to preside over the litigation.
Over 700 Atrium C-QUR Lawsuits Consolidated In New Hampshire
The consolidated litigation incorporates claims involving 7 Atrium products:
- C-QUR Mosaic
- C-QUR Edge
- C-QUR TacShield
- C-QUR Lite Mesh V-Patch
- C-QUR Mesh V-Patch
In their lawsuits, plaintiffs claim to have suffered irreparable harm after being implanted with C-QUR mesh patches. Specifically, these plaintiffs allege that the C-QUR products, supposedly used to strengthen abdominal and groin muscle walls weakened by a hernia, are defectively designed.
Plaintiffs Decry Use Of Polypropylene Mesh
Plaintiffs’ claims arise out of Atrium’s use of polypropylene, a plastic that many experts believe is toxic when implanted inside the body. As alleged by the plaintiffs in their complaints:
“Despite claims that this material [polypropylene] is inert, a substantial body of scientific evidence shows that this mesh material is biologically incompatible with human tissue and promotes an immune response in a large subset of the population.”
As a result of this intense immune system response, the plaintiffs assert, the mesh degrades inside the body, leading to severe adverse reactions. In fact, plaintiffs have relied upon substantial evidence that polypropylene manufacturers warn other companies against using the substance for internal applications.
The plaintiffs cite Material Safety Data Sheets, which accompany all chemicals and materials used in industrial manufacturing, in support of their argument that the C-QUR hernia mesh products should not be used for hernia repairs. In their Material Safety Data Sheets, many polypropylene manufacturers consider “applications involving permanent implantation into the body” as a “prohibited use.” Here is an example of one such Material Safety Data Sheet, supplied by multinational chemical company LyondellBasell.
Despite these and similar warnings against use inside the body, many medical device manufacturers, including Atrium Medical, continue to use polypropylene as a key component in hernia mesh products. As plaintiffs note in their lawsuits, Atrium Medical’s C-QUR hernia mesh products are designed and intended for permanent implantation in the human body.
Lawsuits: Atrium Failed To Warn Of Polypropylene Risks
In spite of the known and well-documented risks of polypropylene, plaintiffs allege that Atrium Medical utterly failed to warn the public about the dangers:
“[Atrium Medical] failed to warn or notify doctors, regulatory agencies, and consumers of the known severe and life-threatening risk associated with polypropylene.”
Atrium’s C-QUR line of mesh products are based on a polypropylene mesh.
Plaintiffs Warn About Dangers Of Fish Oil
This mesh is then coated in a layer of Omega 3 fatty acid fish oils, intended to prevent the occurrence of adhesions. Adhesion takes place when the mesh sticks to other internal organs, leading to the development of scar tissue. The Omega 3 fatty acid layer, derived from fish oil, was designed to reduce the risk of adhesion.
In reality, however, plaintiffs claim that the addition of fish-derived fatty acids only serves to exacerbate the immune system responses caused by polypropylene. As the plaintiffs allege in their complaint:
“Fish derivates are considered to be commonly allergenic and immunogenic. If various remnants of the fish – such as proteins, genetic material, and / or adjuvant compounds – remain in [fatty acid] coating, an immune response can occur, causing complications including but not limited to pain, graft rejection, graft migration, organ damage, complex seroma, delayed wound closure, infection, sepsis, and death.”
Additionally, in their lawsuits, plaintiffs accuse Atrium Medical of failing to test its supply of Omega 3 fatty acid sufficiently to ensure that the material was free of fish proteins and genetic material.