Hernia Mesh Litigation Is Going Strong
Law 360 reported on August 12, 2019, that a New Hampshire federal judge refused to dismiss one bellwether case in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Atrium Medical Corp and other makers of surgical hernia mesh.
The MDL, which began in 2016, includes more than 1,400 cases. All of the cases involve surgical mesh used to repair hernias. The plaintiffs involved in these lawsuits claim to have experienced severe injuries from hernia mesh. Patients have allegedly suffered through perforated organs, bowel obstructions, infections, internal bleeding, recurrence of hernias, damaged tissue, additional surgical procedures, and the pain and suffering that accompany such complications. Many of these patients filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of hernia mesh, like Atrium Medical Corp, C.R. Bard, and Ethicon.
Although the specific injuries and details of each lawsuit differ somewhat, all of the suits in the MDL involve similar allegations including:
- Whether the mesh was defectively designed
- Whether the makers of hernia mesh knew about the dangers and risks of the mesh
- Whether the hernia mesh contain sufficient warnings
Atrium Filed Motion to Dismiss
Atrium’s lawyers filed a motion to dismiss Felicia Blackwood’s lawsuit against Atrium. The lawsuit stems from injuries she received from Atrium’s C-QUR hernia mesh. Blackwood’s bellwether suit contends that C-QUR Mesh was defective and that patients who had it placed as part of hernia repair suffered significant injuries. Blackwood herself says she’s experienced pain, nerve damage, chronic infections, and constipation.
Judge Rejects Atrium’s Motion to Dismiss
In an order rejecting Atrium’s motion to dismiss, Judge Landya B. McCafferty determined that Blackwood’s allegations sufficiently supported her claim that Atrium violated consumer protection laws. Judge McCafferty’s order states the details at this stage adequately support Blackwood’s allegations that Atrium and its affiliates “intentionally misled physicians about the specific dangers of their products” and “manipulated clinical studies” to misrepresent the efficacy and safety of surgical mesh.”
For now, this Bellwether case remains on the docket. Atrium’s lawyers also tried to convince the judge to dismiss some of Blackwood’s claims because the suit was filed after the statute of limitations expired. Product liability cases, including ones that allege defective medical devices, have a three-year statute of limitations. Blackwood went to the hospital in February of 2013 with abdominal pain, and it was then that the hernia mesh was used to repair her problem. Blackwood alleges that the statute of limitations did not begin until later when she had to return to the hospital to have the hernia mesh removed.
Atrium Argued Statute of Limitations Prevents Litigation: Judge Leaves Issue Open
Judge McCafferty did not rule on the statute of limitations issue, deciding instead that “are sufficient to leave doubt as to the timeliness” of the claims the companies tried to get thrown out. Mc Cafferty stated in her order, “If, as the case develops through discovery, defendants find facts that support the statute-of-limitations defense, they may raise that defense at an appropriate time, such as in a motion for summary judgment.”
One of Blackwood’s attorneys told Law 360 that they were pleased with the ruling against Atrium and that they hope to proceed with the trial portion of Blackwood’s case soon.
Contact Our Injury Attorneys if You Are Suffering with a Hernia Mesh Injury
If you have suffered injuries because of hernia mesh, you might be eligible to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of this dangerous medical device. Call Alonso Krangle, LLP today and speak to our lawyers handling hernia mesh claims. Call 800-403-6191 for a free evaluation of your hernia mesh claim.