Atrium Wins Quick Verdict In Chicago In 1st Hernia Mesh Trial

A Chicago federal jury has returned a verdict in favor of Atrium Medical Corp. in the first trial over its hernia mesh products in a suit brought by a man seeking $12 million in damages over an allegedly contaminated mesh product.

Randy Africano had hernia repair surgery in December 2013 and was implanted with a ProLite mesh made by Atrium, which he claimed was contaminated at an Atrium manufacturing site.

His attorney, James Benak of James D. Benak Attorney LLC, asked the jury to award $20,000 in medical expenses, $500,000 for pain and suffering, and $100,000 a year for future pain and suffering, with a multiplier of five for enhanced damages,

In his 2017 suit, Africano said that after his implant surgery he suffered increasing pain and that a 2015 ultrasound revealed that fluid had started to collect at the site, or what’s called a seroma, but was told there was no satisfactory treatment.

He claimed that the mesh was contaminated with bacteria at Atrium’s manufacturing facility in New Hampshire and that Atrium failed to tell his doctor about a warning letter sent by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that all of the products made at the New Hampshire facility were adulterated.

“We’re disappointed in the jury’s verdict, which we believe was due to the trial court’s improper exclusion of important evidence that the jury should have considered, including the FDA complaint against Atrium in February 2015,” Benak told Law360, “We have another case pending in New Jersey and look forward to a fuller presentation of the evidence in that case.”


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