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February Brings New Life in Mesh Litigation

Bruiser

Hello February~

Those of you who are socked in with winter, I’m sorry. When it hits 60 degrees in Florida, we complain and get out our sweaters. But spring lies ahead and so does movement in this Mesh Mess.

Mesh News Desk (MND or MMDND) has been covering the issues surrounding pelvic and hernia mesh for five years now. If you are new to the issues surrounding the controversy, please visit the search bar or click on the topics. You will find a world of coverage. You may want to start with Resources and our Facebook page. For those of you who contribute, thank you for being so thoughtful. It keeps us going!

Please do not use your last names when you comment!  You can also post anonymously, making up a name.

Charleston, WV federal courthouse

Charleston, WV federal courthouse

There are now in excess of 100,000 lawsuits that have been filed in Charleston, West Virginia by women who’ve had complications with their transvaginal mesh used for pelvic organ prolapse or to treat incontinence. (100,731 as of Jan 31).

Judge Joseph Goodwin, overseeing the multidistrict litigation, reportedly wants it to be concluded and soon.  He is sending cases back to state courts and will conduct trials with large numbers of plaintiffs at one time!  Fasten your seat belt.

One would assume with those numbers, that now exceed the number of asbestos cases filed in the largest MDL ever, the media coverage would be heard.  Some women would like to target various news outlets for multiple  contacts which is a very good idea.

Since settlements have not been forthcoming from Johnson & Johnson/ Ethicon, let the trials begin again.

In February in Philadelphia, the Sullivan case against Boston Scientific will be heard, (Feb 27) then on March 6th, 25 or so women from West Virginia will have their day in court- all at the same time!  The details on how that will work logistically have yet to be determined, however it did work with four plaintiffs in a Miami courtroom with Judge Goodwin and defendant Boston Scientific in 2015. Each woman was awarded several million dollars after being injured by the Pinnacle pelvic mesh.

There is a steady stream of cases planning to be litigated in Philadelphia Court of Common Please, most against J&J.

Many of you contact me unhappy with your law firm and the paltry settlement you have been offered.   I always say if you have the most severe injuries such a pudendal nerve injuries, there are probably other law firms who will take your case. You must fire your first law firm first, and that’s the quandary you will find yourself in. I always tell folks I’m not a lawyer or a doctor. Any law firm willing to take on these cases, it might be an excellent time to advertise on Mesh News Desk.  There will be no shortage. Since November, the MDL has added 3,500 new cases!

So many hernia-injured folks contact me as well. I ask if they know their manufacturer. Most do not. You need your medical records to find out a) what type of mesh and b) who makes it.   There are a few hernia mesh law firms willing to take your  case, especially now if you have Physiomesh or C-Qur, but there may be others.

Polypropylene is the bottom line for both transvaginal mesh and hernia mesh.  Some day we may determine that it is bio-incompatible in some bodies, for any use, but we are not there yet.

MND is NOT a legal referral service!

The longer mesh makers wait – the more evidence amasses that life-long compensation will be required for those impacted by polypropylene mesh. The autoimmune registry continues at UCLA, Please enter your autoimmune reactions to mesh here.  

Bruiser

Bruiser

For those of you who asked, editorial assistant, Brewie, who was born with a compromised liver, finally lost his struggle on January 11 th.  He was jaundiced and losing the fight. Poor little guy. We miss him.

Your emails are never shared unless you request. Providing your email may result in enrollment in the newsletter.  Thank you all!  Hang in there friends.  A new year, renewed determination!

Jane Akre, Editor

janeakre@meshnewsdesk.com 

32 Comments

  1. just me says:

    So sorry for your loss.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So sorry Jane I know what it’s like to lose a family member my heart breaks for you just remember though when you get to heaven he’ll be there waiting for you

  3. Jan says:

    Ruff, Ruff Brewie RIP. So sorry for your loss. xo

  4. Jan says:

    Our law firm has finally sent us a “settlememt packet” not to mention it was submitted late and most if not all deadlines are unreachable due to the late isssuance of packet. Easy fix though… On to the question, if i am not in agreement with the settlement amount what would be the best course of action? There is a section to appeal to the special master? Can one fire and hire a personal attorney? oppose to being dragged along with the 3k or more women also derservant of the highest settlement.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Jan, there is a way but it is not necessarily easy. First your case… which manufacturer? Do you have some revision surgeries? that helps. Are you filed in New Jersey, that helps too. Unfortunately you have to fire your law firm first, which is where you potentially can fall without a safety net. Best to figure out if you have a case someone else might want to pick up. janeakre@meshnewsdesk.com Agreed $3000 is hardly worth it…

      • Toni says:

        Jane, you commented about being filed in New Jersey. You said it helps. In what way does that help us. I am filed in new jersey still just wait and wait. What happened to the right to a speedy trial. I don’t seem to see near as much movement of these cases. They are just stalling is all I see.

    • Jan g. says:

      From my understanding they are going off injury and revisions. .I have been in this since 06 filed in 09.. still nothing regarding a settlement offer. .
      I did Spk with my attorneys office for a update.. I did ask that question. . They advised me if we do not settle for what they give we could lose everything and our case could be thrown out completely.
      I believe that this would be an injustice to us and our case and health. It’s sad that the American government our justice system can do such harmful things to us. .
      But that is what I was told..

  5. So sorry about Brewie…they bring us such unconditional comfort and love…they ground us and get us through life’s tough times…what a precious little friend.

  6. anonymous says:

    breitbart doing live interview in 30min . ?’s likedd on their facebook page may be asked. ? has been posted to about fda , accountability , and specifically women damaged with mesh implants. please go viral and like.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Why dont you listen before liking…..their reputation preceeds them.

      • Kitty says:

        Jane.. I am sorry for the loss of Brewie. Jan
        ..hang tight..I think I know about the news. We don’t want to loose more than than we already have. Will keep in touch Kitty

    • Kitty says:

      Jane. Why are u censoring all my posts. This is biased and too politely.

      • Jane Akre says:

        I only remove political messages…. not the place for that here. We can express ourselves in that regard on Facebook, until we have a direct ruling that impacts the FDA, let’s just agree to leave it out here.

  7. Hiawatha says:

    Hi Jane sorry about your precious fur baby !!! Still hoping & praying for all to be over & settled soon !! It’s been a long 6 years for us . I still have an open wound from my 3rd abdominal surgery that keeps tearing open from swelling .thevnerve damage in the vaginal area & down my leg is still horrible !! The cow went dry & the hen won’t lay !!!! I still have faith Lord I wish I could use my name, my life story from all of the vaginal & abdominal operations . The Poir family life’s alterations . All the things I ( we) can’t do but are happy for the things we still can have & do. You have been a STRONG WARRIOR & have taught me how to be one as well !! The story you did last year on me & my husband was great though annonimous names used . I think it helped a lot of of couples & Lord knows little Christy The Fab’s story touched all of our hearts . Thank you Jane my dear friend & leader to healthier minds. We have to FIGHT THIS MESH LIKE PURE HELL & I WILL FOREVER BE A MESH WARRIOR BECAUSE OF YOU !! My love, my thanks , my Jane, love, Connies

  8. Willow says:

    Hello Jane, I am so sorry about your loss of Brewie. Liver health issues. Mesh health issues. A strong sense of right vs wrong. Thx for helping us.

  9. Tammy says:

    Jane I received my settlement offer and was wondering why do you get an offer and them have to wait and see if J&J will except. Why do they waste time with that. Why don’t they get that approved before they send it to you.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Confused by that… generally the offer has already been agreed to by both sides before it is sent to you? Something doesn’t sound right here…. why are we letting J&J dictate in the first place?

      • Still standing says:

        The settlement has been agreed upon but your attorney has to deliver a certain percentage of their clients for the deal to go through, usually 95%. That is why they want you to sign the agreement and send it back asap. Once they deliver their % of clients, then the money stage will begin. Remmber that they will hold back 25% of your gross amount for lein searches. The attorney will get 40% of the gross. Then you will be charged for case costs which will be taken out of your initial check. This is in addition to the attorney 40% . This process from signing your settlement agreement to getting your initial check can take 6 months or so. It could take a year for you to get the 25% held back and that could be wiped out if you have insurance providers who have leins, hospitals, etc, anyone who paid out for your medical care or bankruptcy declarations. It can get confusing.

        • Jane Akre says:

          Thank you for the clarification. I believe a plaintiff can negotiate down the 40%, the lawyer doesn’t have to agree. And the expenses? Very few with an MDL because it’s not as though each lawyer is doing individual discovery, they are sharing in common benefits knowledge. Just my opinion.

          • Still standing says:

            The initial contract that you sign stipulates what % the attorney will take. Maybe that could be negotiated if there will be nothing left for the plaintiff, but it is a legal agreement that you signed. As far as MDL case costs, they are significant. Just my costs for my case were $85,000. Yes, the comma is in the right place. The killer is when your case is worked up for trial. It sounds like a great thing, but airfare, depositions, hotels stays, fact sheets, filings, shared discovery costs, other legal work add up very quickly. This was my case cost for a five year period of time. These costs are not part of the % the attorney retains from your settlement. This isnt an issue in class action, where the attorneys are usually the only ones getting significant money. But MDL cases are still individual cases and they incur individual costs. Preparing for trial is very expensive. It is definitely not a financial plus if your case ends up settling anyway. Cases not worked up for trial end up settling in the same settlement tier with less cost and they eventually get more than those ready for trial. Does anything surprise us at this point? It is a rabbit hole we fall into.

        • hopeful says:

          Hi Jane

          I’m hoping you can answer my question….
          I do not have any unpaid medical bills from my mesh surgery in 2011.
          But I do for a unrelated surgery in 2016.
          Will they check for ANY or just related to the case???

          Thank you

          • Jane Akre says:

            Not certain but likely because the law firm wants to be paid and doesn’t want any surprised that might compromise their 40%. In some cases the law firms are going above and beyond to unearth any liens or possible liens, even those already satisfied, so there are no surprises. I’m not a lawyer but that is my understanding.

          • Still standing says:

            Hopeful, it does not matter whether your have paid or unpaid medical bills. I had none, but ended up paying more than $50,000 to insurance companies that paid for all my surgeries and I live in an anti subrogation state. Go figure. These were private insurance companies, not Medicare or Medicaid. I paid more than $1000 a month premiums for this insurance, yet they still claimed the money back. I dont know how they could lay claim to settlement for your expenses not related to the mesh, but your attorney could probably give you guidance about that. Has the hospital or doctor filed a lein on your settlement for the 2016 surgery? Was the 2011 surgery the implant ? If so, have you had any mesh removal or revision surgeries? Your attorney needs to inform you about how the settlement leins work.

  10. Still Standing says:

    Just a postscript to the above. When my case was worked up for trial, the judge had not put the limitations on how many physicians could be deposed, how many hours depositions could be, and other rules. In new cases readied for trial, there are limits on number of deposed physicians ( now four. I had six. With the going physician deposition charge of $1500.00 per HOUR, those extra two cost big money. With deposition prep and actual deposition time, it plus my attorney’s travel to all the different places, it was easy to top $15,000 for each physician not to mention the cost of legal transcription. The court reporter gets a daily fee but also $4/page per copy. My personal deposition was almost 400 pages. My attorney needed a copy, I needed a copy. It gets expensive very quickly. Some depositions also have videographers. Court imposed time limits have since brought these numbers down for new cases being readied for trial, but I can’t go back and recover those costs just because there is a new set of rules. And , it is still a very costly process.

  11. alex says:

    What’s the status with ethicon are they beginning to settle a lot now?

    • Jane Akre says:

      Not aware of any mass settlements…. however fasten your seat belt… beginning in March, Ethicon will be facing a lot of litigation with the goal of forcing them to the settlement table. Mullins March 6th is the first of it in WV.

      • SickAndTired says:

        I received a call from my lawyer and Ethicon wants to settle with me. I’m sure it will be a while though before I see any money.

  12. Jack M says:

    My following comments pertain to a low MDL settlement and not an individual trial/case. My wife and I live too in a very anti subrogation state and not sure how the insurance companies can claim repayment of their expenses. Multiple cases on record in this state of denial for reasons such as both partners are part of the MDL and how does the court distinguish between settlement amounts to the wife versus the husband – the MDL doesn’t. Also, the MDL settlement doesn’t distinguish between actual damages and punitive damages and doesn’t delineate economic and non-economic losses which makes recovery difficult by the insurance company. Lastly, and most telling, is the insurance company has to prove that the plaintiff has been fully compensated for injuries. Not sure anyone would agree that a person has been fully compensated for their damages by using an MDL. With all that said, I am not sure our MDL law firms will be going out of their way to fight any subrogation claims but I could be wrong.

    • Still standing says:

      Companies that settle admit no wrong doing at all so there are no actual and punitive damages. The upside is that you pay no taxes for settled cases. With trial judgmenets the plaintiff will have to pay taxes on punitive damages and in some states, that state makes claim to a large percentages of the punitive dollars.

  13. mia says:

    i have been waiting for allmost 7 years good luck getting anything!

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