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What’s Wrong with the MDL System of Conflict Resolution?

Elizabeth Burch, Professor U GA Law School

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, Part One, June 27, 2017 – University of Georgia School of Law professor, Elizabeth Burch, is not a fan of multidistrict litigation or MDLs.  Burch studies mass torts, such as the Kugel mesh case, and is currently working on a book about the MDL system.

According to her research, collecting data from 72 product liability pending as of May 2013, 70 law firms had attorneys who were named to five or more leadership roles in the MDLs.  Calling them  “repeat players,” Burch writes that 16% of the involved law firms held nearly 54% of all leadership positions.

What’s created is a two-edge sword.

On one hand, high-stakes multidistrict litigation is managed by lead lawyers with trial experience who are best equipped to bring cases to settlement. On the other hand, the judges are relatively powerless to police these private settlements created by the MDL.

Professor Burch published, Judging Multidistrict Litigation in April 2015, and she talks to Mesh News Desk about her findings. This is Part One, Part two is here.

Scales of Justice, WikiCommons

Q: Akre – The MDL steering committees, you call them repeat players since the same law firms represent 63% of all mass torts. How do they get into those enviable positions?

A-”The judge is the one who decides who will lead the litigation. There are a lot of different methods to decide. Some will say – pick your own people and bring me the consensus and the judge then confirms the slate.  The slate could be heavily populated with people who have done this before. 

“They have the pull and capital to get everyone to vote for them.

“Long before there even is an MDL they are posturing so they know the most about a particular lawsuit.”

 

Q-Should that be a concern for the plaintiff?

H. Garrard leaving federal court Charleston WV, July 2013

A-“On one hand repeat players have done this before.

“After litigation against JNJ (Johnson & Johnson), you have lawyers who have dealt with them on talc, strategy, hip implants, and that’s the upside. 

“The downside potentially is you have repeat players on both the defense and plaintiff side. JNJ uses the same lawyer over and over again and they deal with each other and may develop a quid pro quo relationship. 

“I don’t want to say they go into a back room, but you develop these working relationships where “You know what I need….” 

“The plaintiff lawyers negotiate to increase their common benefit fees, so every plaintiff agrees to settle also agrees to the increased fees they’ve negotiated with the defendant.

“The defendant, in return, can negotiate for things it wants.  You want finality, for example. You can have a walkaway provision, where basically it says, ‘Unless we get x percentage of the plaintiffs to agree to this, we walk away from the deal and the deal is off. ‘ That ranges from 85% to 100% of plaintiffs who must agree to the deal.  

“Some of the provisions aimed at the lawyers say you must recommend this deal to 100% of your clients.  Some plaintiffs might not be in the same boat, but by agreeing to this settlement, you’re agreeing to recommend it to everybody!

“Some other settlements say if you have a client who doesn’t want to settle you have to drop them like a hot potato. It’s unethical yet it’s done.  That’s the tit-for-tat I’m talking about.”  

 

Judge Joseph R. Goodwin, Charleston, WV

Q-In the mesh MDL the common benefit fund is 5% and Judge Goodwin has not specified who is to fund it.  Most plaintiffs are told they must pay the 5%.  At the same time MDL lawyers are charging plaintiffs 40%. Are these costs excessive?

A- “Different states set caps on what an attorney can charge. I don’t know where 40% came from.  Thirty-three percent is typically the norm.

“With a common benefit fund, every plaintiff has to put 5% into the kitty. Some lead attorney are also forcing them to pay to package claims together. 

“If I’m in Athens, Georgia, I represent only five plaintiffs, and Bard says I will only settle if you bring me 1,000, I can’t do that.

“The lead lawyers are charging them between 25% of individual attorney fees to process claims together on top of 5% common benefit fee.

“The problem comes when I try to figure out how to best represent my client. The only way to settle is to pay $3,000 a case and I can’t go to trial then and I can’t press for a better settlement.  I have no leverage, you’re stuck in huge MDL yet you can’t do anything other than package for a small settlement.

“In theory the Plaintiff fees – if I charge you a 30% fee and lead lawyers are charging me. It should come out of the attorneys’ fees. There have been judges who have stepped in and cut individual attorney fees, for example in Vioxx, Judge Fallon and Zyprexa litigation. They’ve gone in and said your individual lawyer has not done 40% worth of work, it’s an unjust fee and I will come in and cut it.”

 

Q-Is it fair to say you’re not a fan of the MDL system?

A-“I’m not a fan of how they are handled. Some judges do a better job of policing the repeat player than others. But there are systemic problems in MDLs.  One example – there was litigation on Propulsid, an earlier MDL and in my database.

“The lawyers recovered over $22 million in common benefit fees. There were over 6,000 claimants in the MDL proceeding.  The lawyers negotiated a strict process for settlement. First, a panel of doctors decide on causation.  As soon as you opt into the settlement, you don’t know if you will recover, but you’ve given up your right to sue in court.  

“Of those 6,000 plaintiffs, 38 recovered money…they recovered $6.5 million in total.  The lead lawyers made over $22 million, $8 million went to Canada’s program and $8 million to the Louisiana Public Health Initiative, since Judge Fallon is in Louisiana.

“Only $6.5 million went to the plaintiffs. The rest of the fund went back to JNJ, the defendant.  The lawyers said that was the template for all mass torts.  And they never tried to get the products off the market.”

SCOTUS, Wikipedia


Part Two- How does the SCOTUS  decision Monday might affect the MDL? 

51 Comments

  1. Bejah Butterton says:

    Honestly, I am so tired, so overwhelmed with all of the data, the rules of play, the language between the words, the power struggles even for their own sake, I feel lost, I feel like crying out “I am a human being” down here in the bottom of the tunnel of this typhoon of legal and criminal and economic winds of change and season”.

    “This is supposed to be about me is it not and yet I am lost”. My mind can not focus any longer, my eyes see as if I had been twirling in the garden as we did as children only now I do not fall back into the grass laughing, now I am afraid and confused and my eyes can find no horizon, no true north. “Why did you do this terrible thing to me and having done it why do you now try to avoid responsibility?” How can this be? How can I believe in anything or anyone any longer.

    I want to closed my eyes and wake in Heaven. I am too tired to go on in this world of madness and sorrow.

    Bejah

  2. Anon says:

    Everyone involved in the MDL process benefits financially except the victim, according to this story remaining funds was returned to the defendant. Financial gain at the expense of another human beings’ misfortune.
    Sad and a horrible miscarriage of Justice

  3. Bejah Butterton says:

    National Cancer Institute reports that a risk factor for getting bladder cancer is exposure to petroleum products.

    Bejah

    PS Why was my other post removed?

  4. daniee says:

    Seriously? this is a type of ‘mafia”.

  5. Anon says:

    Our whole justice system and country is geared towards money and greed. How is it justice when we get nothing for our suffering enjoyment in life as both sides line their pockets and the victims walk away with little or nothing by the time everyone gets there hands in the cookie jar. Its not a small piece of a cookie as it has been used in some commentaries on here. Some are not even given a crumb to rebuild the lives we’ve lost. I lost love a good career after enduring 4 surgeries in 3 years. I still suffer but I do it without any health insurance that also was Taken from me when I lost my great job. I’ve been robbed of the best years finally got my kids raised and have nothing left. My retirement is all gone and I am in my early 50’s. Just trying to get a job has been impossible. Then when I do holding onto a job will be difficult in the shape I’m in. I deal with constant pain in my back my hips my whole body at times. My immune systems shot . I have incontenance again. I have sores that won’t heal and scares from them . its a constant battle to just survive. As Bejeah said it would be nice to close your eyes and wake up in heaven.

    • Bejah Butterton says:

      “Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream” (need cite). Meaning, try not too take it too much to heart (Oh, God so many “too’s and to’s…did I use them properly?).

      Maybe this is not the real world but only a shadow of it and that is why it is said the colors in Heaven are so much brighter.

      Something strange and good (I guess) happened…Friday last I got a call from a medical assistant at my Urologists office telling me to prepare for a series of six infusions over six weeks of something (I had to ask) called BCG. I looked this up after hanging up. It is a treatment for bladder cancer. For several days I was left to consider this. Yesterday I got a call from my doctor’s nurse. She told me there had been a mistake and the BCG was for another patient, not for me. My six days of infusions is for something to soother my bladder, and I forget the name (Starts with “H” I think. Has this ever happened to any of you? I was left with my head spinning.

      I wondered, do things happen for a reason…if so why did this happen, so I would be informed about bladder cancer or maybe to bring it to the attention of this community so all of you make sure you do not have it and know the warning signs. I am still reeling from this.

      After she told me I felt very tired and went to bed and slept until just now. I sleep so much these days I feel I have sleeping sickness.

      Never a dull moment…

      Bejah

      • Still Standing says:

        Bejah, this is good news and hopefully eases your mind. That was upsetting to you no doubt. Check the first post I sent when you talked about the BCG instillations. I wondered then if you were instead scheduled for bladder cocktails, which are instilled to calm bladder irritation. These are frequently made up of heparin, lidocaine, and kenalog, so maybe that is where the “H” comes in. These work for some people, others not much. One thing you can do in the meantime or to make the cocktails work better is to reduce acidic foods in your diet. This includes coffee, soda, brewed tea ( you can make sun tea because that does not release the tannic acids) chocolate, alcohol, of course citrus fruits, etc. Google the IC diet, and you will find all of the foods you should avoid when your bladder is inflamed. You can also get an OTC called Prelief, which you take when you eat acidic food to remove the acid. I take d-mannose supplement, which is inexpensive and has been the best thing I hav e taken to reduce bladder inflammation. Inflammation allows bacteria to stick to your bladder walls and leads to UTI. The d-Manosse totally ended my bladder issues. I suggested that you ask your doctor about learning how to do the instillations yourself, especially since you have to travel on public transportation and have a cost to cover. They are not hard to do. They can be compounded and mailed to you already in a syringe so if you can learn how to insert a thin, short catheter, it is easy to do. Also, public transportation may be hard since the medication is inserted then you have to hold it for at least 45 minutes up to 4hours. Do you have opportunity to get to a bathroom if you are in transit? That could be a little difficult to schedule. Again, I am happy you don’t have bladder cancer and so hopeful that bladder instillations help you. Keep us informed. Be well.

        • Jane Akre says:

          Still- Thank you so much for your wise words!!!

        • Bejah Butterton says:

          SS, One of the first things I thought of was what you had said and it is now permanently implanted in my long term memory.

          At least this has given us all an opportunity to learn a little more. I think this cancer is something we may be at risk for because of our medical history. I developed IC in probably the first 3-4 months post implant, if that and I diagnosed it myself and then the surgeon added it to my symptoms, etc.!

          Do we all have IC now, I wonder? The catalyst must be something in the petro cocktail that is used to make the mesh, but what and who is working on this? Inquiring minds want to know.

          Back to my cocktail, I recall that the nurse said that I should ask to have more lidocane added because I am very sensitive to pain (red hair, blue eyes). I guess they mix it for each patient.

          RE your question about transport I get on the bus going up the mountain and an hour later I am home with no stops. I will not ever wear Depends. Very stubborn. When I was a child I wet my bed and I was ridiculed for it by my mother so I think there is a psychological scar that would re-open with the sensation of having to use the Depend. If I ask they will stop at a gas station or something for me, a bush, whatever! It is a small bus company and they take a personal interest in us all. For example instead of taking me to the bus station in town they take me right to my house which is very nice as there is no public transport to anywhere near my house. If you are not where you are expected to be they worry about you and even search for you to some extent. Smaller towns have a lot of advantages especially if they are near a larger more sophisticated community; it creates a nice balance and the fuel cost for me to drive up and down the mountain would be considerable even for diesel so $10 RT is a good deal for me and the environment. The price is the inconvenience. When I finally get my front brakes done I will be tempted to drive it but hope I have the strength of character to resist that lovely path of least resistance. I encourage all to use public transport more. You shop less because it is less convenient so you save money and you often meet interesting people. Best wishes to all,

          Bejah

          PS I make sun tea a lot using herbal tea and I had no idea what you said about it was true, how wonderful.

          Bejah

    • Bejah Blue says:

      Anon, I am so sad for you. Hope you have seen a good immunologist or someone who can help. I would recommend something I have mentioned here before that I take: Colostrum by Jarrow (Only this mfg.). I think it is about $30 for 120 caps. See if that helps. Also, if you have a “smoothie” at midday made with frozen fruit, banana, protein powder, that may soothe your digestive tract and help energize your body. I buy the frozen fruit at the Dollar Store and have a freezer full. Saves on washing dishes also. I also eat a lot of home made trail mix sorts of things and get things to mix in at the Dollar Store and at Trader Joes mostly, best prices, eat lots of nuts, especially walnuts and almonds. Someone told me almond flour is much better for us and less calorie burdened than wheat flour so you might try making a batch of muffins with that. Take care sister,

  6. Still Standing says:

    Jane, is the money recovered by JNJ costs they were reimbursed for having to defend against the plaintiffs who filed yet either lost or had their cases dismissed.? I know that happens if a plaintiff refuses settlement and recovers less in trial. If this isn’t the reason, what is?

    • Bejah Butterton says:

      Clearly corporations should not be able to recover such “costs”. They should go to a general fund to benefit victims. Speaking of “no-brainers”. Lets back up and see how this practice came to exist as if we don’t already know. Let’s pull the facts out and expose them to the light of day (again?). Also, can anyone tell me when this country stopped being the democracy we all thought it was and began the evolution into what it is becoming, I dare not speak the name.

      Bejah

  7. Wilson says:

    If you want things to move in the courts you should make lawyers make less and defendants pay more when things keep getting appealed. If they didnt have so much to gain they would move it along.

    • Bejah Butterton says:

      I wonder what the rules for appeal are and if they are the same for business and personal matters. I wonder how many times a corporation can file an appeal and if it can be on the same grounds each time. I wonder if it costs them each time they appeal, that is the probable outcome and financial gain is reduced, I hope! Also I wonder if these are state laws governing appeal.

      Bejah

  8. BoK says:

    Wow, now that’s a new piece of information I have not heard nor read about yet. Exposure to polypropolene can cause bladder cancer. I did learn, (in fact I read the sheet) not all that long ago that the primary inventor of polypo… Phillips Petro… Stated directly and clearly in the materials MSDS* that it is Never to be used for permanent placement inside of the human body.
    * Material Safety Data Sheet
    My mesh was implanted for a LIH repair via the Lapro.. procedure which sounded (given my lifestyle) like the way to go at the time ’05. Not to mention it was the only alternative I was given.
    Yes, This whole situation sucks in the biggest way, the Lawyers the Dr’s and the FDA all get the good ole Italian full arm salute from every one of us collectively ‼️.
    So, for all of us stricken in what ever way, to what ever extent, don’t ever give up the ship, don’t ever lose your mental focus it’s imperative you don’t, it empowers the body, your Ship, to repair itself. Search out only those who know the stakes, what the deal is and are will to do what’s

    • Still standing says:

      Here is a study to determine bladder cancer post mesh sling. There was absolutely no finding that bladder cancer resulted from the mesh. The link to the full article is below. You can usually read the abstract, then the conclusion to get the drift of the research. This is in no way proof, but evidence.

      https://www.ics.org/Abstracts/Publish/218/000231.pdf

      • Jane Akre says:

        Interesting…. note that they quote Noni Wideman as a resource! Wow…TVTNo! Cleveland Clinic is a long proponent of mesh just FYI

        • Still Standing says:

          This was a retrospective study, so biases about mesh would not make any difference. I will remind you that a doctor at Cleveland Clinic did my last mesh explant surgery. It was brutal and high risk and good outcomes were not promised. I was never given the opinion there that mesh was not causing my many problems. This surgery was a game changer for me so I think we need to realize that doctors can change their opinions when evidence emerges.

          • Bejah Butterton says:

            Just reviewing these posts…Jane I think it is unwise to make general statements about the positions any entity may take on a particular matter. To say that any hospital, for example, supports the use of mesh is problematic. For one thing physicians are independent contractors and not bound any position hospital admin may take on an issue. Some physicians may support its use in certain situations, others not at all.

            I might rephrase a statement such as the one you made and this may be especially important in the time in which we are living. Keeping the faith,

            Bejah

          • Jane Akre says:

            I’m happy to review, what specifically are you referring to?

        • Bejah Butterton says:

          Dear Jane, This is what I was referring to…Cleveland Clinic comment. Make sense?

          B

      • Bejah Butterton says:

        SS, I read that also. That does not mean something will not be found in the future that creates a meaningful causal link and I expect it is safe to assume that risk of certain cancers is more likely because of the existence of this material in our bodies, in our pelvic regions.

        When I see now the concerns about hernia mesh which I believe is made of the same materials seem to be escalating I wonder what that tells us about this material. Or perhaps it is just the advertising of hungry attorneys.

        I had a different material used in my brain to address the rotting of the sheath protecting my nerves and there have been no problems with it. I wonder why we can not use some modified version of that for these meshes.

        Why do they continue using this petro product with such insistence; because it is the cheapest alternative and they do not want to pour research dollars into a more viable alternative? Human life is clearly worth little to these corporations.

        Bejah

      • Bejah Butterton says:

        Thanks, SS. It is truly comforting. When I had hysterectomy in 1998 my surgeon who is also the head of that dept at UCSD SOM suggsted I have a total Hyst. because of my risk profile and although I deeply mourned the loss of the ability to have a child I also felt relief and have never really evolved from that conflicted place in my heart BUT at least I have fewer places where cancer can develop but ya know how that goes! I also still have my problem with run on sentences!

        I have to admit that I too am terrified of cancer and we seem to live in a world where it is far more likely that we will encounter it than our ancestors tens of thousands of years ago.

        There is a woman who lives across the street in a big house. Even though her drivers licence was taken from her she still drives her sports car around town. She is 80 something and recently hospice came in and set up a bedroom for her but she is still walking around, taking out the trash which requires going up and down a bit of a hill…she has some sort of heart failure and is often breathless but I never see her with any breathing assistance devices. I think she has a lot of pride and a rather well nourished ego. This is not how I thought hospice worked and not how I thought we might die. So I guess she might drop dead while whipping up some tacos! Death is not without humor at least sometimes. Maybe I can opt to die at home. I think you need to just not call an ambulence. So even if we do not die from some sort of cancer, heart attack and stroke loom large as well as grim reapers and I think now women have a risk level that is much higher than it once was. None of this necessarily relates to the polypropelene unless a link is found that causes escalation in pre-existing pathology.

        With regard to cancer of the bladder, if there is no evidence that cause exists (Who funded the research?) there then defendants would probably argue that the same is true for other systems in the body (Using a kind of FDA 511 ? rule). I do not believe it. I think we are missing something. Consider the impact on auto immune disease incidence for example.

        Just stream of consciousness babbling….

        Bejah

  9. BoK says:

    RIGHT …

  10. Disgusted says:

    Life has never been fair. I do not understand why, when there is so much devastation, there aren’t any criminal actions being taken? How do we make a criminal complaint? It’s on such a large scale. The scales are weighed on the manufacturer’s side.

    It is really bad, we have walking wounded, done by our own country and no one (except rare exceptions) are taking notice. I am amazed at comments still, even from doctors.

    There is very little comprehension in the medical community. I’ve been all over the US. CA, MS, MI, GA, AL, TN, KS, AZ and there is no continuity. I am some better, but that is a relative term. I look ok. No sex life. Since I was 48, hey I have an interstim and can now drive 30-40 mins before horrible pain. I can sit for maybe up to an hour or a bit longer before pain starts to interfere. Better than not being able to sit at all. But I still have a pillow and a stool I take everywhere with me. I’ve become hardened. Some people are not ready to hear what has been done to us. Vaginal, clitoral, labia, urethra, colon, rectum and more have been affected. This is not a minor issue. They knew it, did it anyway. It’s criminal whether they admit or not.

    • Jane Akre says:

      It sounds an awful lot like female genital mutilation doesn’t it? I’m sorry. You are very strong.

      • Bejah Butterton says:

        It is mutalation of female genatalia. Have you all seen the extraordinary film about this… The Sheltering Sky: Debra Winger, John Malkovich starring. A fabulous and haunting film.

        We should all be aware that this still goes on, even in America in certain communities. It must be stopped just as implantation of these devices must be stopped.

        There is much work to do where women’s issues are concerned. Two steps forward, one step back. We should all take a vow to do something, even some small thing every day no matter how tired or in pain we are. We must keep walking the path, keeping it clear for our daughters and granddaughters. If we do not it will one day not be just the genitalia that is cut away from us or the mesh sling that is implanted.

        I think I saw a trailer from a film that is being made from a book I read once that affected me deeply..”.The Handmaid’s Tale’: A Newly Resonant
        Dystopia Comes to TV The Hulu series, which stars Elisabeth Moss and is based on Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel (Fm NY Times).
        By KATRINA ONSTAD APRIL 20, 2017″

        This really terrified me in a very strange and prophetic way and for some reason one of the things I most remember is the lead character resorting to using…I think it was Vaseline, to moisturize her skin. Try to read it if you have not. It is relevant for us.

        Good day to all,

        Bejah

    • Still Standing says:

      Criminal charges are filed by local, state or federal governments. Citizens can make a report, but we cannot file criminal charges against anyone. Prosecutors decide if they have enough evidence and enough resources to file charges and win a conviction. Mesh litigation is a civil proceeding.

    • Bejah Butterton says:

      Dear Disgusted, So glad you have found at least a little relief. It is worth so much. Forgive me but I had to laugh at your mention of your little stool. I understand that so well (Speaking of devices). We all have a lot of our own devices! Pun a happy coincidence. I guess I would describe my state of mind these days as numb, but not resigned, never that.

      By the way, I might mention in case it helps someone, I can not wear underpants because it hurts so what I discovered it that soft thin fabric leggings are much more comfortable so I wear them all the time with everything and have fun with color and pattern. It is over 100 degrees out now but really it does not bother me. Sometimes I do not wear a bra either, depending and that is also more comfortable.

      Bejah

      • Jane Akre says:

        Thanks for sharing….LOL

        • Bejah Butterton says:

          Dear Jane, I do have Vulvodynia and Intersistial Cystitis so honestly, truly it is a problem and the leggings option does help. So when we are out and we see someone wearing something that seems odd for the season remember we do not know their story and should be kind. I know you meant well and after all I seem to be the court jester sometimes and why not. Love ya, Bejah

        • Bejah Blue says:

          post script: “Laughter is the best medicine”

          Love ya, Bejah

    • Bejah Butterton says:

      Recalling when I had a hysterectomy in 1998 I look to something the surgeon said to me in my post surgery chat, something that shocked me. Considering it from the perspective of this time and what we have all been through it seems clearer that medical schools are not doing a very good job in some areas like nutrition, alternative medicine, vitamins/supplements and perhaps especially women’s issues. This highly respected OB/GYN physician, head of his dept. at the SOM, said “Well now you are no longer a woman” (paraphrased). I asked the nurse to leave the room and had a little “Come to Jesus” talk with him. We had come to be friends so he listened to me. This represents what we often face. This perspective exists all over and we must guard against it, interviewing perspective new doctors before we entrust them with our care. What worries me most is that they are being taught these attitudes in their training.

      Bejah

  11. Waiting for Justice says:

    Jane

    In the MDL 2327 orders (PTO # 261) it says Ethicon dismissed. What does that mean? It has a list of plaintiffs listed in wave 6 but I really don’t understand it. Could you explain? Thanks

  12. lordhelpus says:

    Worse than a ponzi scheme….except in this particular crime people are actually physically hurt and even dying. I wish these judges would open their eyes and see that these people have complete disregard for human life…#revictimized

  13. Bejah Butterton says:

    Dear Jane, If they are close to reaching settlements with a group can we please revisit briefly how the settlement amounts are determined…at this juncture would it be a global settlement for the group (same dollar amount, just in the name of expediency a process that sets aside what would be a redundant look at each case yet again meaning plaintiffs would likely be offered less than the merits of their case call for but on the other hand a desperately needed check a little faster than otherwise might be the case, always remembering that we will be left with what remains after all others have taken what they can from the settlement, and also remembering that the settlement moneys will be doled out annually so as to not create too much of a burden for the defendant. We may get a larger initial check with those that follow being uniform and smaller. Do I understand this rather sobering process clearly? Thanks.

    Bejah

    • Still Standing says:

      Hi Bejah. In re: settlement question. Up to now, the settlements have been inventory settlements, or settlements between a single defendant and an attorney that represents a number of clients. Look at the MDL orders where the judge approves a settlement order between say, Bard and certain plaintiff council and it will state the law firm that has entered into the settlement on behalf of their clients. They appear to be based on a tier system but the tier payouts vary widely among the defendants and the law firms. For example, people in the highest tier( 4 or more surgeries) get compensated very differently by the different companies. We saw the meager offerings of Caldera to all of their victims. AMS may pay far less than Bard. Coloplast has a different tier payout. It’s just all over the place. I assume that amounts even vary from one company with different lawfirms. It is mind boggling. I cant imagine that all the companies and all attorneys would agree to settle all of the remaining lawsuits in a global settlement offer at this point, but maybe so.

      Also, you won’t get a structured settlement unless there is some reason for it. You will get a first check that is your award amount less attorney percent, case costs and the 25% hold back for liens. It is not a short process, however. Plan for a year between settlement and final disbursement. I got my first check about 4 months after settlement, then a second one maybe a year later. The defendant will transfer the total amount into a qualified settlement fund as soon as all the deliverables of the settlement are completed.

      • Bejah Butterton says:

        Dear SS, Thanks…you know it seems that there should be some sort of…wrong word, but…standardization; that is all of these firms should be required to follow guidelines that are in alignment rather than “All over the place”. It would be in keeping with our Democratic way of life to require that sort of…fairness. Am I on the right track? Thanks for your comments as always. Little linguistic treasures they are so often.

        Bejah

      • Bejah Butterton says:

        Aside from other concerns and observations about this process two things continue to concern me about addressing victims:

        1. Victims who have been told that additional surgery would kill them so they do not meet the stages criteria

        2. Victims who were not implanted transvaginally who also suffer pain and other symptoms but are not represented in this action by definition.

        3. Victims who may have suffered transvaginal and abdominal (robotic) damage.

        I, by the way suffered damage to the cornea of my left eye in surgery and my abdomen was black and blue from some kind of wound in surgery. Always remember that the surgeon you think is handling your surgery may, at a teaching hospital, delegate that work to a student. For that reason it may be best to avoid teaching hospitals for serious surgeries.

        Bejah

        • Bejah Blue says:

          I should have said there were three points, not two AND I should have included men and women who have hernia implants of this mesh.

          Bejah

  14. Bejah Butterton says:

    I have neglected to offer heartfelt thanks to Elizabeth Burch for her efforts and find her study most interesting. I think many of us have had criticisms of the MDL structure but it is probably not possible to create something like this that is not the subject of criticism. Her work is how we make it work better. It is a process I guess. Thank you Elizabeth if I may address you personally. Happy to see a woman doing this work, highly appropriate IMHO!

    Bejah

  15. Lisa says:

    “There have been judges who have stepped in and cut individual attorney fees… They’ve gone in and said your individual lawyer has not done 40% worth of work, it’s an unjust fee and I will come in and cut it.”
    Judge Goodwin needs to do this! MOST of the cases in his MDL have only short form complaints filed and VERY minimal work by our individual lawyer, yet they are taking 40% and more! Something must be done when the victims continue to be victimized by the justice system!

    • Still Standing says:

      Here is an interesting article about contingency fees. States have some caps for certain types of litigation but the general judicial thinking is that a plaintiff and his/her attorney sign a contract for services and a judge will not go in and alter that agreement. Can you imagine what would happen if judges started undoing contractual agreements made between two adults ( Plaintiff and attorney). There would no doubt be very many plaintiffs who would not be able to find an attorney to take their case.

      http://www.kreindler.com/Publications/NYLJ-Nuts-Bolts-6302010.pdf

    • Bejah Blue says:

      Lisa, Thanks for your comment. It sounds like a very appropriate action in some if not many cases. This is the kind of legal matter that attracts all sorts of “pond scum” and that must be addressed.

      B

  16. Anna D says:

    Dear Jane Aker,
    No need to reiterate redundancy as I have alreay received a website that should give more case information for my case but doesn’t…
    Can you direct me to:
    nj.judiciary.usa.courts.pelvicmesh.case list.html…
    that will take me to my case management area, give case managers name and dates of activity on my pelvic mesh case?
    I have been told it’s in final closure stage then was told it could me another 6 months… really feel like I’m being strung along…
    thanks for this information if available
    Anna D

  17. Bejah Blue says:

    I am going through papers in my study, and I found an interesting note. It says that there are claims against DaVinci. This would not apply to most of you I guess as you had only transvaginal method. I had both because of my malformed kidneys, the surgeon told me so, but it is not in the official file. Anyway a law firm in MD. is handling some of these cases. I was hut by the equipment, my left eye…the cornea was wounded and still bothers me and there were disturbing black and blue marks on my chest. I had forgotten to follow up on this. Needless to say, I will never return to UCLA SOM. Most of the claims filed are evidently for burning and or cutting (of tissue). Looks like incomplete training, one of those infamous weekend seminars perhaps. I am going to call this law firm just to see what they say.

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