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Caldera Denied Settlement and Quick Exit to Pelvic Mesh Litigation

cm logoMesh Medical Device News Desk, July 26, 2016 ~ Late Tuesday morning, the Judge overseeing a proposed settlement involving Caldera Medical denied the company claim it is insolvent and only has pennies to settle with women injured by its pelvic mesh.

That means Caldera Medical must face hundreds of defective product pelvic mesh cases filed in a Los Angeles court or  declare bankruptcy.

“The decision prevents a company still selling defective mesh from doing so and to get out of litigation for peanuts,” said attorney Lee Balefsky of Kline & Specter to MND. The law firm is one that had argued against the settlement  before Judge Wilson.

California based- Caldera Medical  announced it was insolvent last February and had about $25 million in insurance coverage (Federal Insurance, a subsidiary of Chubb) remaining to settle defective mesh claims by 2,100 women.  There would be no opt out, according to the company.

Caldera claimed the ongoing litigation had exhausted half of the $25 million and to continue would mean the claimants would receive nothing, according to the May 16th Joint Motion for Final Settlement and Approval of Class Certification.

Last June, the company sought final approval of its proposed settlement before Judge Stephen v. Wilson U.S. District Judge for the Central District of California. Here is a background story. An estimated 46 women filed objections to the settlement including “Samantha” who filed a story with MND here.  

Kline & Specter represented 36 of those women.

In today’s decision in Federal Insurance Co V. Caldera Medical, Judge Wilson denied the motion for final settlement approval and class certification and denied a motion for attorneys’ fees as moot. There is no “definitely ascertained” limited fund he writes that has been placed into the settlement sum.

Additionally, “Given that Caldera remains a solvent, operational business, without evidence regarding Caldera’s potential liquidated value, it is not clear that the Policies are the only available funds to contribute to the settlement. “

At the time it announced its insolvency, Caldera Medical said it had signed an agreement with IVUmed
to have its pelvic mesh implanted in women in third would countries and had committed $1 million to that effort.  See the background story here.  

In June of last year, Caldera Medical Introduced the Vertessa Lite, a pelvic mesh abdominally placed and introduced through the Food and Drug Administration’s 510(k) approval process. See the MND story here. 

Caldera makes the T-Sling®, Desara®, Ascend®, Hydrix®, and POPmesh®.

Judge William F. Highberger is overseeing a state multidistrict litigation in the Superior Court of the State of California (JCCP No. 4733), where hundreds of product liability cases are filed against the major mesh manufacturers.   ##

 

18 Comments

  1. MICHELE says:

    I WISH SOMEONE WOULD EXPLAIN WHAT THIS MEANS EXACTLY. I HAVE CONTACTED MY LAW FIRM SEVERAL TIMES IN REGARDS TO MY CASE AGAINST CALDERA AND AS USUAL CAN NOT SPEAK WITH AN ATTORNEY, MUCH LESS ANYONE THAT WILL GIVE ME ANY ANSWERS THAT MAKE ANY SENSE. THE ONLY THING THE PARALEGALS TELL ME IS THAT THEY ARE STILL TRYING TO GET MORE MONEY OUT OF CALDERA. THAT DOESN’T ANSWER MY QUESTIONS HOWEVER ABOUT HOW THIS AFFECTS MY CLAIM AGAINST CALDERA. DOES THIS MEAN THEY CAN FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY AND IT WILL JUST BE TOO BAD FOR THE WOMEN LIKE ME WHO HAVE AND STILL ARE SUFFERING DUE TO THEIR GREED? DOES THIS MEAN WE FINALLY GET A DAY IN COURT? I WISH SOMEONE COULD TELL ME SOMETHING BECAUSE I SURE CAN’T GET THE LAW FIRM TO….THIS IS SO FRUSTRATING.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Basically it means that the easy fix for Caldera is denied…. they will not be able to offer small settlement dollars for the 2,200 women injured by Caldera mesh. It remains to be seen how this plays out for you, however, it puts the company in a tough spot and sends a message to industry that it cannot just discard the harm it has caused. Im not a lawyer, that is a great question for your law firm…. Please tell us who it is and perhaps their name here will alert them they need to be responsive to their clients.

      • Still Standing says:

        Michelle, I am pasting a link below to an excellent article about “lawsuit mills” and how they operate outside what mainstream lawyers consider ethical. I have seen so many comments here about women not being able to talk with their attorney. This is not right. Take a special look at the characteristics of lawsuit mills and see where your attorney stacks up. I dont, however, know how you get dis-entangled from their firms if you have signed a contract with them. Perhaps others here have some advice in that area. You absolutely should not be kept in the dark about your case. I just had a much more positive experience with mine, and I cant imagine how frustrating that must be to deal with being ignored by your legal representative. Dont let them do that to you. You have already been a victim, your attorney should not use you exclusively for their benefit. Shameful.

          • Michele says:

            Thank you for the information. I read the article and it was very informative. The law firm I am using sounds a lot like the ones that are discussed in the article, other than the quick settlement time of course. I would post the name of the law firm but since I’m not supposed to be discussing the case, I’m almost afraid to. I have looked up information about the law firm I am using and to no surprise, I can’t find any reviews good or bad about them anywhere on the internet. Maybe I’m not looking in the right places. I just hate that I feel like the law firm I am with is working more for Caldera than for me. Maybe I’m just being paranoid but, when a law firm basically forces you to sign a settlement agreement that you don’t even know what you’re agreeing to settle to, that just sounds and feels very underhanded to me. I’m really glad that the judge dealing with the Caldera cases denied the settlement, but at the same time, I have so many unanswered questions about this whole process. Everything about this Caldera company and this whole lawsuit business just feels wrong and very, very shady to say the least. I do appreciate the information you referred me to however, it leaves me wondering if once again I made another mistake in dealing with this whole mesh mess. I don’t know if anyone else is having these same issues and doubts out there, but if you or anyone else has any other advice or suggestions, I am definitely open for anything. Thank you once again.

          • Jan says:

            I agree your attorney’s should be looking out for the welfare of his r hers client’s. .after all they cone out with 40%.. but if that firm has over 1000 cases he is coming out on top anyways. When will we as the injured victims get and receive justice from these man. It really seems to me we are dealing with WORMS
            .if your attorneys are not doing right by you and your case then they are not an honest firm in my eyes and I bet in God’s also.. just remember in life what goes around comes around. I have seen it happen so many times
            As for me I am not out for BLOOD but I do want what is right for me to try and move on and invest to pay for future medical and to get me paid out of debut that I sold never been in.
            I had a fantastic job. And I no longer have I had a home no longer have gad to sell all contents because I needed to make ends meat .. we all need to see justice for everything. .
            They brag on what they have to fight against us
            If they would take those billions and device up they would give good settlements and maybe have a little dignity about themselves
            And I want to say THANK YOU JUDGE GOODWIN for not letting these manufacturers put blinders on what and who they really are and what the represent

  2. Bejah Blue says:

    Praise our heavenly father for making this possible at long last, so many have waited so long. We rejoice at any and all victories and this will set a standard, drawn in the sand, a line has been. The world has turned dear women, dear sisters and brothers. Let us pray in thanksgiving and unity. Justice has been done this day. Bejah

  3. jade says:

    “Praise The Lord, and Pass the Ammunition!” – The Dixie Chicks
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQlHpT_-IV4

  4. Aaron says:

    This is SO HUGE! I am weeping.

  5. jan says:

    That is wonderful news
    Thanks to you judge
    These manufacturers buy sell and make BILLIONS if dollars every year..
    These companies have been proud to announce they have billions of dollars to fight these cases even though they have been proven these devices are defective. .
    These manufacturers should pay out 5mil to each woman butchered and altered by these devices. .if they are so capable of spending Billions in attorneys fees,court costs, just wanting to get out of there obligations of fixing what they have done they should look at the over all pictures and stand up with MORALS and do what’s right to the women they butchered and altered for the rest of there lifes. .they should nit have to pay attorneys fees fir what the manufacturers have done. . This should be done so they can try to over come there battles if getting them through the HELL the manufaceturers have put them all through

  6. Rebecca L says:

    I agree, why are WE the injured, responsible for paying attorney’s fees?

    • Still Standing says:

      We are not paying the attorney fees for the defendants. However, we women have filed the lawsuit and have to pay our attorneys for their work. How else would they be able to front al, the costs of the litigation?

  7. Cindy E says:

    I AM COMPLETELY FUSTRATED WITH THE LAW FIRM I HAVE CHOSEN FROM DAY 1 OF HAVING THEM REPRESENT ME (2011WAS THE YEAR) REGARDING MY BLADDER MESH LAWSUIT, WHICH HAD BECOME A “CLASS ACTION SUIT” WHICH I DIDNT WANT TO JOIN , BUT WAS FORCED INTO THIS AFTER WAITING 5 YEARS FOR A SETTLEMENT. I HAVE HAD NUMEROUS SURGERIES DUE TO THE BLADDER MESH IMPLANTED INSIDE ME, AND WAS TOLD IT WAS A CALDERA BRAND, ONLY TO HEAR THE COMPANY WENT BANKRUPT, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO ME, I HAVE TO CONTINUE TO EXPERIENCE UTI’S SOME THAT ARE VERY PAINFUL, AND REQUIRE MEDICATION, I CANNOT TRUST THIS BLADDER AS I CANNOT HOLD THE URGENCY, MY BLADDER WAS NICKED AFTER THE 1ST ATTEMPT TO IMPLANT IT, WENT HOME WITH A CATHERER BECAUSE OF THAT, THEN HAD IT “SUCCESSFULLY” IMPLANTED. WHAT I THOUGHT WAS SUCCESSFULLY DONE HAS BEEN A 5 1/2 YR NIGHTMARE. AM I SUPPOSED TO FORGET THIS ORIGINAL LAWSUIT BECAUSE THE CALDERA COMPANY HAD CLAIMED BANKRUPTCY AND THE LAWYERS I HIRED WHO COME AWAY WITH A PERCENTAGE IF MY CASE WAS IN FACT A WINNER, DIDNT HAVE THE DECENCY TO KEEP ME INFORMED WITH THE GOING ON’S OF THIS CASE, IT IS TOTALLY DISGUSTING THAT IF I DONT CONTACT THEM,THEY DO NOT BOTHER TO SPEAK TO ME,! NEVER HAD TO DEAL WITH ANY LAWSUITS BEFORE AND I DEFINITELY WOULD NOT RECOMMEND THE ATTORNEYS I HAVE NOW,! THEY WERE NAPOLI, BERN, RIPKA , SCHOLNICK, IN MANHATTAN, AND SINCE SPLIT UP AS BERN , RIPKA, TOTALLY UNRELIABLE!! AS YOU CAN TELL I AM LIVID AS I THOUGHT AN END TO THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN OVER, AND I COULD HAVE MOVED ON WITH MY LIFE, UNFORTUNATELY TO DATE 11/20/16 MY LIFE BECAUSE OF THIS HAS BEEN A COMPLETE NIGHTMARE,!

  8. My Lawyers never call me to inform me of updates either.I had Caldera/Desara mesh.Thank God for Jane and this site to keep us informed.I even e mailed my attornies and they never wrote me back-not an ounce of compassion. I think they wondered how I got their personal e mails.
    I am getting worse over the years-my pain is so intense and all my doctor tells me is to try estrogen cream to “plump things up, so maybe the erosion won’t hurt so much”. So I can be in pain, or risk a stroke. Even my clitoris hurts now, and wearing jeans is painful a lot of the time.Has anyone else had this problem? This is a new pain and can be excruciating. My groin pain is also getting worse over the years, but my gynecologist told me that I might risk death to have it removed. I really hate that we were all guinea pigs for these companies ,and our doctor’s greed.

  9. Lynette P says:

    I like other women who have tried to find answer as we suffer in pain. I contacted my lawyer an was dimissed saying that only clients that have had corrective surgery will get any compenstion. Which means to me the firm cares less about my pain and does care that I wish the doctor could tell me that surgery could improve my condition. Actually told it could get worse.
    After reading the above post you would think thst lawyers shoul be required to contact their clients to let them know what was happening
    Actually prior to this post I was told by my law firm that the above company had no more money and was filing bankrupt.. So now why Am I reading something different.
    Shouldnt lawyers disclose to their client what is happening to their case

    • Jane Akre says:

      Should lawyers be required to keep their clients informed! Absolutely. Caldera is one of the worst companies among the mesh makers, partially because it is privately held, and second, because it was not held responsible for the injuries it caused. Underinsured? So what…then it should come out of the private insurance of its directors, in my opinion. Lawyers have let Caldera off the hook here…Sorry, this is all my opinion ….but it is very wrong!

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