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A Wish List for Doctors, Lawyers and Patients

A woman who prefers to remain anonymous has a list of questions to consider. Doctors are invited to weigh in on the medical questions. Lawyers ditto!

Question mark woman 1922 Library of Congress, Wiki Commons

Question mark woman 1922 Library of Congress, Wiki Commons

1.  If patients have existing malformations   of abdominal organs is it appropriate to surgically implant a mesh that may   become invasive and cause potentially more damaging problems for them?

2.  How does one know if they are dying? How   do you know if something is killing you…I am thinking of perhaps women who   live in more remote inaccessible regions and who may be suffering….how do   they know if this is killing them?  Are there symptoms or signs?    What are they?  Women are accustomed to bearing pain and often will do   that rather than going for help especially where money is an   issue…often thinking it will pass.  How can we reach them?

3.  It may be a good idea to make sure your TRUST documents are in order and up to date or even a simple will and durable power of attorney for that matter.  I am doing this now.  I have also advised the attorney working on my TRUST and the law firm working on my case of each others contact data, of my general wishes, etc.  If one dies before trial would an autopsy be appropriate to determine cause of death?  Does the client/patient need to state in writing that they want   to move forward with their case even if they have passed away from a mesh   caused death or death due to something else?

4.  Do victims understand the importance of selecting counsel very carefully, and inviting proposed agreements then deciding which one to accept?  Every lawyer is lining up to sign on to represent these cases now and when they lose it weakens the ability of others to prevail.  Also, do women understand what a fair contingency agreement is and what a rip off is?  A tutorial on this may be helpful for people to refer to.

5. Do the victims understand the settlement vs. trial realities?  Do they know what a class action suit really is and what it would mean for them personally? **Editor’s Note: The cases in West Virginia are multidistrict litigation (MDL) which is the subject of some stories within MDND. Use the search function to find them.

6. I mentioned somewhere that it might be nice if there were (1) Support groups in towns and cities for victims so they could   get together every month or so and have some talk therapy, (2) It would be   nice if there were a network of victims/survivors who could pick up people   coming in for a hospital stay and perhaps even keep them overnight, or at   least maybe have dinner or something and provide some level of support while   the person is visiting what may be a strange city alone….could your website accommodate such a listing for people to refer to?  Maybe you could get a volunteer to manage it.

Editors Note** Facebook is a perfect place to do that and everyone is welcome to post such information.  TVT-NO may be involved in that effort as well. . 

7 Comments

  1. Sara says:

    What is the difference between settlement vs. trial reality? Also I’m part of the MDL, what is the difference between that and a class action suit? Is it a longer process, less chance of winning? Loved to be informed of that.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Hi Sara- I’m not a lawyer but know a bit about litigation. I was involved in a case for 8 years. Lawyers can chime in here but the MDL you are part of is like a class action in that similar cases are grouped together for the purpose of moving them through the court faster than hearing each case individually. With approximately 30,000 mesh cases filed around the country can you imagine how long that would take?

      It should also presumably be cheaper for the plaintiff (you) but it doesn’t seem to work that way. You are seeing the federal case and Donna Cisson, which is called a bellwether. That means the legal theories will be presented to a jury and the other side, in this case Bard. If there is enough evidence that is damaging and the jury comes back for the plaintiff (Cisson) Bard will take notice and vow to continue trying them all. There will be three other bellwethers. If Bard loses them all, it will likely make a business decision and offer a settlement. It is then up to your law firm to confer with you whether or not to accept.

      In a class action, everyone is treated the same, they all get the same amount. In an MDL, your case can still be tried individually or you could be awarded (presuming you win) based on your degree of injury.

      Please remember there have been two mesh trials so far- one in California in state court, and the other in New Jersey state court. the plaintiffs won both cases for millions of dollars. Both cases are on appeal. If that trend continues, a settlement would be likely in the MDL,,,, but with the law, anything can happen and no lawyer should ever say your case is a slam dunk. If they do, run away. This is all my layman opinion.

  2. `Tammy says:

    Jane, Thank you for all your information and keeping all of us up to date. May the Lord bless you and keep you safe. God Bless, Tammy

  3. Bejah says:

    I love the “Question Mark Woman” image from the Library of Congress.

    The question about malformations is an intriguing one. Many women in this age group may have been exposed to DES in utero when their mothers were carrying them. I believe from the 1940’s through the early 1970’s DES was given to pregnant women who had problems with miscarriage (Speaking of toxic implants!). The result was possible malformation in their female and to some extent male children…as I recall, especially reproductive organs. Many women in that group are infertile as a result. Worse, there are indications that there is a third generation spill over which may mean the genetic code has been damaged. The point for the purposes of this particular issue of toxic mesh is that women who are having these surgeries tend to be in an age group where they may have been exposed to DES and therefore may have malformation to some degree of internal organs IF there mother’s took DES. Many people never learn of these malformations until they are discovered in some other procedure and some are discovered only after death, often from other causes.

    So, the question is, should part of the pre-op work be to determine if there are any malformations in the organs that would be impacted by mesh surgery and if so should the surgery be avoided altogether, or should only a bio-material be allowed for use in the bodies of such individuals. It should be noted that often the old medical records that would confirm that one’s mother took DES may no longer be available. The question for each person then is, if they think their mother may have taken DES or did have a problem with miscarriage, or if the current patient does it may be prudent to make sure you know of any malformations before proceeding.

    With regard to question #1 above, if the individual has this issue and had a surgery where a mesh implant was used that individual may be in grave danger should the mesh migrate into his or her kidneys.

    It may be that we cannot depend on physicians to tell us of any malformation discovered on imaging or propose alternative options to surgery because of that. We already know that the petroleum mesh is (Let’s call it what it is) favored my many surgeons and hospitals because it is easy to install (Jiffylube?) and requires a shorter hospital stay (Saving hospitals money and increasing profit) (Phillipe Zimmern, et al 2007).

    Another thought: Individuals who may have been exposed to MRSA before having any surgery where a toxic mesh was used should remember that it evidently means you may be permanently colonized with MRSA suggesting in theory it could reappear at any time presumably if one’s immune system is compromised. Therefore, it is critical to strengthen the immune system and maintain a high level of immune strength. Further reading on this issue is recommended.

    Remember that we are our own advocates, and like our immune systems, our own first line of defense. Do not just depend on physicians, consider them team members at best and take the lead in your own care.

    Jane, please check the facts here as I write this from memory. Thanks.

  4. Jaramillo says:

    In regard to the living will and allegation of your assets. Interestingly enough I called my counsel anonymously and asked what happens if I don’t “make it to trial”. Reluctant to discuss this, I was advised to prepare all my legally binding documents as well as include “if a settlement or award occurs where I want the law suit money to be distributed.” II was told if you are deceased it is likely your punitive damages will be less. I completed this prior to my last surgery. I found forms on-line and the had them notarized. The forms are specific to your state and not expensive. You never know with our conditions what can happen. It is unpleasant to think about but I wanted to make sure so my children would be awarded if the trial every comes to fruition.

    • kim says:

      Hi, I was wondering what are the paper’s called I would also like to have them for my family in case I die before I’m fixed. I now suffer with extreme infections there trying other antibiotics – and also pudendal nerve blocks in both buttocks thanks kim

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