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Missing Pelvic Mesh Plaintiff: Where is Melody E. Mullins?

Missing Isdal Woman, Wikicommons

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, March 8, 2017~ With nearly 100,000 lawsuits filled in one federal court in West Virginia by women who claim injuries from pelvic mesh, there are some women who are Pro Se, that is going it alone without an attorney.

They are all dangerously close to having their cases dismissed against C.R. Bard for being no-shows.

So where is Melody Mullins?

Melody E. Mullins, from Madison County, Ohio, is one of several plaintiffs in pelvic mesh litigation who is proceeding Pro Se, that is, for whatever reason they are proceeding in the court without the help of an attorney.

(Mullins is not the lead Plaintiff in the current case naming Ethicon that has been continued.)

Unnamed woman, WikiCommons

Here is a list of Pro Se Plaintiffs Before Judge Goodwin in the cases naming manufacturer C.R. Bard.

In her Complaint, (Mullins, Melody Complaint) filed in District Court in the Southern District of WV, Case No. 2:13-30667, she names C.R. Bard and Sofradim, a French company that partners with Covidien to manufacture mesh implants.

She claims she was injured from a Uretex TO3 Transobturator Urethral Support System implanted at Ohio State University Hospital in Columbus by Dr. Jason Gilleran on  October 6, 2006.

Mullins’ case was filed in the federal court in WV on June 5, 2013 by Doug Kreis of the Aylstock law firm of Pensalcola, Florida. There is no husband named.

Now Mullins is dangerously close to having her case dismissed. She and eight other women have been fined $1,000 for failing to appear at a January 11, 2017 mandatory settlement conference.

In sanctioning the group, Judge Goodwin writes of, “The need to deter this sort of noncompliance.”

He is referring to a failure to engage in good faith negotiations with the Defendants.

Judge Joseph Goodwin

“While I am cognizant of the difficulties that are presented by a plaintiff not being represented by counsel, those difficulties do not excuse the plaintiff herself from her obligation to pursue her case actively,” Judge Goodwin writes in his response February 13, 2017.

While Pro Se litigants are entitled to some deference from the courts they are also subject to the time requirements for effective judicial administration.

Covidien defendants have “expended substantial resources on motions, lawyers, travel and time spent attempting to reach the plaintiff unsuccessfully,” Judge Goodwin writes in the template letter to each Pro Se litigant dated February 13, 2017.

Mullins, Melody – Judge Goodwin Grants Sofradim’s  Motion to Dismiss

Where are Melody Mullins and the other 8 Pro Se litigants?

On June 9, 2015,  lawyers from the Aylstock firm – Kreis, Bryan Aylstock and Renee Baggett-  motioned to withdraw from the case because they couldn’t find their client Mullins.

Did Melody Mullins live here?

Melody E. Mullins, of 285 Bowman Court, Apt. A, London, Ohio 43140 did not respond to telephone calls, voice mails, electronic or certified mail.

A letter dated February 22, 2016, was not deliverable.

Kreis then sent certified mail to another address which he submitted to the court March 9, 2016. It was sent to a new address on March 25, 2016 and signed for by a Shamea (?) Mitchell at 1255 Minnesota Ave., Columbus, OH 43211.

The two-story, 2 bed, one bath, 1,166 square foot home, built in 1925, is listed at a value of $56,000, according to Zillow.

According to Ohio Resident Database, a Melody E. Mitchell, age 37 born August 4, 1979, lives at that address.

A Debbie J. Mullins age 62, lives down the street.

Douglass Kreis, Aylstock Law

Attorney Doug Kreis can’t comment on Mullins but tells MND there are a number of possible factors.

“Significant life or family matters and stressors that arise which – at the time- take precedence over personal legal claims; private nature of the injuries that, when put to the task of memorializing the pain and suffering, weigh on patients emotionally causing a flight response; unrelated serious health issues and illnesses; or any number of other issues.

He adds that an overwhelming number of the Aylstock clients have been strong throughout the process and have shown incredible courage, fortitude and perseverance.

MOTIONS TO DISMISS

On February 13, 2017, Judge Goodwin granted a Sofradim (Mullins, Judge Goodwin grants) motion to dismiss the Mullins case after she didn’t show up for the January 11, 2017 mandatory settlement conference.

Mullins and the eight others have 30 days to respond to the court with the $1,000 payment or their cases will be dismissed with prejudice.

They will not be able to refile their cases and they will not be on the receiving end of any settlement dollars.

Missing woman poster, WikiCommons

OTHER MISSING WOMEN

There are eight other women missing from Bard litigation and facing having their cases dismissed. They are all without husbands.
Six of the eight have the Pelvisoft, Pelvicol or Pelvilace composite mesh.
They include:

Maureen K. Buckley  2:14-cv-01398- Last Known address Sagertown, PA- Buckley, Maureen Complaint

Mary Margaret Golding,  2:14-cv-09621- Last known address Drexel Hills, PA – Golding, Mary Mgt Complaint

Carrie Hau,   2:13-cv-30509- Last known address North Olmstead, Ohio – Hau, Carrie A Complaint

Paula Lupia,   2:12-cv-00090- Last known address Montague, CA – Lupia, Paula Complaint

Julia A. Oliver, 2:13-cv-30668- Last known address Bonaire, Georgia – Oliver, Julia Complaint

Kristina Ann Riddle, 2:13-cv-32233- Last known address Anderson, Indiana – Riddle, Kristina Ann Complaint

Lydia E. Torne,  2:14-cv-03106- Last known address Gilberts, Illinois –Torne, Lylia Complaint

Tawana Waites, 2:14-cv-09326-Last known address Anniston, Alabama – Waites, Tawana Complaint

Melody Mullins Complaint  – Mullins Melody Complaint  – Last know address- Columbus, Ohio

45 Comments

  1. Kitty says:

    From what I am reading…these are ignorant women that don’t know what to do. They may be lost in the process and have no way or.idea how to communicate– ie Internet cell phone et al

    • Jane Akre says:

      I wish we knew their stories. Lets try to find them, they likely could use whatever settlement dollars due them.

    • Diva64 says:

      We have a toxic poison inside us that has caused a mountain of complications, Dr who are “Educated ” blowing us off , trying to say it is all in your head , no mesh ,etc , women or men losing homes, having to move ,maybe she even changed her name trying to rent a place to live. Some people with $$ and good insurance has no idea what someone else goes through, don’t judge without walking a mile in her shoes. She is not the only person out There that filed with a legal office to then not hear anything back ,I personally have been told of another woman with a similar situation with her attorney, not me I have great attorneys. But this other lady has gone years. You grow sicker while trying to find doctors that will help you. God knows that is no easy task, you basically give up on nearly everyone in the medical profession, you find out they don’t want to get involved with Mesh patients you ,may get sent to pain management, while still seeking medical help get told by another doctor you only have a drug problem. The entire ordeal is almost more than most can deal with.
      You wonder why your still alive then know , that your being used by our higher power ( mine being God) to provide emotional support to others in your same situations, to hold the Mesh companies accountable, to further educate the doctors that blew you off , to hopefully, have F.D.A. do a more though job before items are placed on market for people’s health, to know this is not going to harm patients. All the while hoping you will actually somehow get well.
      Those of us fighting this fight to survive and to be heard are not doing so just to be selfish, but to help others as well.
      Should we be compensated absolutely, we have and continue to suffer, physically , emotionally, financially, our lives have been stolen , years taken from us. Never to be made whole again, most will need medical care, someone to take care of them their homes, they ,we, I have lost the ability to be intimate, or even leave our homes. Life that we once knew gone.
      By the way C.R. Bard Corporation is a part of Vanguard Corporation with unlimited funds, so this penny anni crap needs to stop. I don’t care if they sell that aspect of the company off to some bankrupt company that is not who they were when the Mesh went into us. And who they were is who I see as accountable.
      Because a murder who shoots someone and later sells that gun to someone else does not make the new owner of a gun responsible for a shooting someone else did, why should selling off a portion of your company to a smaller company reduce the liability of the original company. ? I am not an attorney, I am a MESH injured woman, one that speaks my mind. One whose mother and father grew up near Charleston,WV. A woman that was a nurse in the years when the medical field cared about helping patients, when the courts wanted to punish the defendant not the plaintiff. To fine a lady a $1000. That is sick and doesn’t even have a thousand dollars.
      How sad for America .

  2. Patient Advocate says:

    Before filing to dismiss; maybe the attorneys of these women should contact their local law enforcement to do a house call on each. Mesh injured women can be homebound or dead. Just an extra step to ensure they are okay. The judge should help Pro Se claimants know that the liaison counsel is responsible for assisting them to pursue their cases. Sanctions are at the end of the day paperwork alone, none of them can pay sanctions. The injured are poor. They also cannot travel.

  3. Barbara says:

    I hope she and they are all found safe!
    I understand feeling overwhelmed at times these women are injured and sick and in pain from the implants and being treated as though it’s there fault!
    It was with out informed consent toxic plastic was implanted with out consent!
    Why are those that did it not in jail?
    And why are the injured on trail ?
    With little or no help!
    It was like Rape to not have informed consent it is like no consent at all!
    We have all been thru so much trama !
    Enough for many to develope PTSD
    It has been a war on women!
    They deserve help care,love and most
    Of all Justice! Had they told us toxic plastic would be implanted!
    We would have said No!
    But they did not tell what they knew
    And did it anyway like Rape!
    No consent for this implant!

    • Jane Akre says:

      I anyone has access to a Pacer account, they can look up the Plaintiff in the So District of WV and try to find her themselves, if she is from your area. Anyone willing? Pacer is ten cents a page…. signup is free.

    • A.B. says:

      Im a victim of the black market poloy resin that cr bard bought from china ..its riddled with selenium and in large doses as they are comes with very scary side effects..i finallygot a Dr to order me a blood test when all others have not! Persistance is key..im scared yes after readings if the huge list of side effects..as im already dealing with a lot of issues from the failed bladder sling ..and now they won’t remove it because of the possibility of further damage to my female parts…its so unfair to go through this after trusting Dr s…my faith lies in God and Mostyn law for my peace of mind. ..all this us wemon are dealing with because of greed … Drs get $$ kickbacks for using us as sicence experiments. ..only God is God not the Dr s who don’t stand by the oaths to protect their patients

  4. Barbara says:

    I know there were Men injured to !
    But this is women’s day !
    And there were way more women
    Injured and dead! But please correct me if I am wrong! I am not trying to take away the men that were brutally injured to ! Speak up and out !
    We’re all fighting for humane rights!

  5. Barbara says:

    I to had my case dropped as it is Bladder sling s and anchors and screws pounded out from my pubic bone!

    Now to get another lawyer and a huge box of records sent off!
    Some changed or not right

  6. Nameless says:

    Tracey and Fox in Houston, Texas took my out of the box case. Abdominally placed Sacrocolpopexy doesn’t fit the main parameters of the WV. Cases. They are willing to negotiate for me an out of court settlement. Maybe. A couple of hurdles but they didn’t shut me down. I don’t know if they are still taking clients only that I was turned away by many firms. Even though this deadly crap was killing me. The 100,000 number is so bogus because so many were left out of litigation based on the strict FDA 2011 formulation of a warning. The transvaginal placement was defined as more likely injurious due to contaminated placement. That’s all that court and the lawyers in the cookie cutter world care about. Polyprolene placed abdominally – most aren’t counted. So, just imagine how many more of us there are – left out based on the legaliese.
    What a shame for those poor women. It is so possible that they are living in poverty and cannot travel. Absolutely right that the police or someone should be trying to account for their wearabouts. Potentially sick. Obviously injured. What a mockery to fine them and toss them away instead of worrying where they are and if they are ok.

  7. Candice says:

    I’m a skip tracer. Can help if I’m called upon.

  8. Candice says:

    I’m a skip tracer (headhunter/locator), as well as an injured Mesh plaintiff. If someone needs my services to locate these women, call me.

  9. JC says:

    I am a man whose wife has had over 22 surgeries because of the mesh.She almost died twice..It is a crying shame what these manufatures have put women and families thru..I feel for these women going it alone.I know first hand how hard it is even with an attorney..May God bless them and find them safe…

  10. Lana Keeton says:

    Thank Henry Garrard III, co-lead counsel, with Bryan Aylstock and Fred Thompson, for litigating women’s health. They used abdominal sacral colpopexy as a Better, Safer alternative procedure to implant mesh than transvaginally. Nothing to do with FDA! I found an expert with a True safer alternative procedure he invented and proved that DID NOT USE MESH. I informed ALL, yes ALL, West Virginia plaintiffs attorneys. What did they do? Perpetuate the use of mesh by litigating ALL women’s health. Yes! Thank the plaintiffs attorneys!

    • Still standing says:

      Lana, can you explain your comment? I’m unclear about what you meant about the colcopexy promoted by the attorneys as the better, safer surgery. Research that compares the two approaches does suggest that colcopexy is better than transvaginal mesh for prolapse. That comes from the scientific community. Just because it is considered “better and safer” does not mean that it poses no risk.

  11. Gwen says:

    I’m with Bard and that’s too bad these women can’t be found. It sounds like in the one case they at least tried to send info to them, but she obviously doesn’t live there anymore & most likely didn’t leave a forwarding address. If they took on the challenge to go Pro Se I would think they would’ve been smart enough to keep in touch. But there could be a lot that changed in their lives because of the mesh or whatever, and their lives went haywire, and now they’re “lost” in the system. Just so sad.

  12. Kitty says:

    The pelvicol disintigrates into a pile of scar tissue

  13. Anon says:

    What’s really sad about this story is the lack of compassion and patience of our judge Goodwin for these somewhat troubled cases and injured women. For years now we have waited for him to set trial dates and keep them, hold JJ Ethicon accountable for destroying 600 lbs of evidence that had been on litigation hold for years, and the list goes on………………….we have been on hold for years. A few more months to locate these ladies is not going to harm any of us.

    • Still Standing says:

      Judge Goodwin did not arbitrarily toss these women out. The Defendant Sofradim petitioned the court for Mullin’s dismissal. They cant defend a claim if the plaintiff doesnt communicate with the court. Her petitioning attorney sent a certified letter, which was signed for by someone who must have known her almost two years ago. The courts cant track down every single person in the U.S. who doesnt show up for litigation. Judge Goodwin may have a lot of compassion for these women, but he has to make decisions based on law, not his particular emotions about it. Judge Goodwin cant press criminal charges against JJ for document destruction. That has to be filed by prosecutors in criminal courts. So far, not many have been willing to do this. Prosecutors are hampered by lack of funding, lack of manpower. They just dont have the means to prosecute every high profile company that breaks the law. Tragic no doubt, but that is the reality of our court system. Sometimes there does not seem to be justice in our justice system.

      • Anon says:

        What court System? If you considers this Justice then you are more gullible than I thought. I get so tired of you defending these crooks. There is no Justice or Fairness in this MDL process. In this country you get the amount of justice that you can afford. J J Ethicon and the other manufacturing giants are the only ones with money (read between the lines)
        JJ Ethicon pay out BILLIONS each year in fines for bribes, kickbacks to doctors.

        • Still Standing says:

          Anon, I must not have communicated what I meant. I said that there didn’t seem to be justice in our justice system. I didn’t say I considered this to be justice. It isn’t. Justice would be criminal convictions, That is not going to happen more than likely. Settlements aren’t justice, jury awards are not justice. For the companies, these are just the cost of doing business.

          I truly am not defending the compnanies at all. I AM a victim of mesh implants and my health is fragile. However, we have to look at what the reality is. There are not going to be 600 mesh trials. The companies will hold out until their actuary tells them that losses will outweigh profits, then they will pay not nearly what is fair. Companies don’t have a conscious, they aren’t going to do what we consider the ethical and moral thing to do. They operate from the bottom line. That drives all of their decisions. They will not be shamed into showing compassion.

          It is a crappy system, but it is the reality we are operating in right now. We can spend hours discussing what should happen, but we eventually have to come to terms with what is happening and find a way to rise out of the ashes. If not, the anger will eat us up. On most days, I intentionally choose not to let that happen to me. Then, we have to make sure this doens’t happen to new generations of women. I tell every single woman I meet about mesh. I am working locally and nationally to increase the understanding of pain, especially pelvic pain. This MDL process is fatally flawed and we need to speak loudly about it. That is what we collectively have the power to change.

      • Kitty says:

        A letter sent 2 years ago? That’s lame. I smell a rat and a stack of dead chickens. “Come closer and sit on my nose” how foxy

  14. Kitty says:

    Maybe there is a conflict of interest because I believe these ladies’ attorneys’ are on the steering comittee…but what do I know.

  15. Yes I am still here. Its been close to a decade since my surgeries (2). As an R.N. I know a few things. This has been shameful time for Mesh peddlers. They ruined my best years. Never hear from my “famous Law firm either. Sent one video update. Not monthly one promised. God bless you all.

  16. Anon says:

    Any updates about the missing nine ladies?

  17. Jane Akre says:

    Update on the women. I have a mesh injured woman helping… she does this for a living but is doing it on the side, so that explains the delay. Kristina Ann Riddle, 43 years old. has a lengthy criminal record, dui, public intoxication etc. We found her number and called her in Indianapolis. She does not answer her messages or return the calls. Her daughter finally answered on March 21 and said “Stop calling me” she said to call her mother… I tried to explain she had an active court case but the daughter was not at all interested. More to come.

  18. Jane Akre says:

    We have found Mullins who is apparently engaged. Again having trouble getting her to return a call…. more to come.

  19. kitty says:

    Thank You Jane.

  20. I feel my attorney dropped the ball my email has never changed

    • Candice says:

      Unfortunately, I don’t believe lawyers communicate with clients by email – unless it’s simply to update them on on-going cases. Most definitely, they would send a certified letter or phone call to inform their clients of court hearings. If the lawyer has (let’s pretend) 200 clients, they cannot possibly be emailing as a form of legal communication. They need proof, such as a certified letter, they attempted contact. Even leaving a voice mail is not “certified proof”. I’m sure each lawyer and/or court has their own definition on means of “contact”. To them maybe a letter is a “diligent attempt”. No response, they drop it. Sad but true. To avoid any confusion, it’s our responsibility to keep the lawyers informed of any changes. Which is a simple phone call. 🙂

  21. Hopefully helpful says:

    Jane, Mrs. Waites had her husband pass in october 2016 the obit (same town and state as listed above)lists some family and the online funeral book lists friends names. That should be a start to finding her?? These people in the courts do not try that hard, it is so sad. Found info in a five min search.
    Mrs. Mullens i agree, your lawers dropped the ball, bad. Call them they should put in an appeal. If not they owe u big time!!stay positive!!! Never give up!!

  22. anon says:

    I usually don’t make any comments because I’m afraid that it will affect my case but this is too close to home. I’m also originally from Columbus, Ohio and have the same attorney as Ms. Mullins. I had to move because I couldn’t afford the rent in Columbus, Ohio especially after I couldn’t work any more but I did call my attorney and let them know that my whole life had to change because I was about homeless. It’s a true shame that because of the mesh I had to lose my whole life, friends and job. My husband and I have come to the conclusion that this will never come to an end in our favor and we will never recomp. what we have lost, including each other.

  23. Kitty says:

    Anon…you must feel a very close kinship toward Melody being in such close proximity….maybe more ways than one and my prayers are with both of u and for all of us. For all of us that are Catholics and other Christians…we must carry our crosses…especially at this time

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