One Woman Facing AMS Legal Setback After TVT-O Injury

Jane Akre
February 13, 2017

Suzanne and her pups

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, February 13, 2017~ The following is written by a mesh-injured woman. Since she is involved in transvaginal mesh litigation, and represented by legal counsel.

She does not want to be named. Instead, we will call her Suzanne. Suzanne was implanted with American Medical Systems (AMS) TVT-O transvaginal mesh in 2012.

As many readers know, there have been no trials involving AMS transvaginal mesh. It was one of the first to settle. But the settlement dollars have been small and slow in coming.

Now Judge Goodwin, who is overseeing federal court in Charleston, WV, wants to file a number of AMS cases in “waves” that is a large number of actions at one time.

Wave one and Wave two are being prepared with a schedule. See it here and here. Most likely they will never make it to trial, but heading toward trial should encourage a settlement.

Also comes word that those law firms with 75 or more AMS cases will be the ones largely represented in these waves. Firms with fewer AMS clients will have to wait, or be remanded back to state court.

Suzanne’s lawyer feels she is being treated unfairly.

“Why should she be penalized because she went with a firm that had fewer than 75 cases?” he asks Mesh News Desk. Like many women, Suzanne has lost nearly everything, her vocation, her husband, finances and she fears her home.

What was most heartbreaking is she fears she may lose her dogs, her only steady companions.

For a topic that has been largely ignored by the media, perhaps more women would like to share the story of their survival and the pets that help them hang on. Maybe then the world will pay attention.

Thank you,

Jane Akre, Editor MND

In her own words:

Hi Jane,

I wanted to wait until I talk to Dr. Hibner before I contacted you again.

I spoke with his nurse today and they have gone over my complete file, looked at the operative report for the mesh removal, and the pudendal nerve surgery and have told me that there is nothing more that they can do for me surgically.

That’s what the neurologist said.

They have suggested a pudendal nerve block. Another is thinking about an obuturator nerve block. The nurse will be calling back next week with his thoughts but he believes that might be a good step to go.

Problem is flying down to Phoenix is not possible at this time. So I'm trying to get a doctor here in (her town) to take an order from Dr. Hibner, if Dr. Hibner would allow that. I’ve already had one revision and four or five injections to numb the pain, but the pain has gotten terrible lately and not much relieves it.

I had a surgery to place a neurostimulator in for 7 days, but it didn’t work so it was taken out. I’ve had pudendal nerve surgery. My doctor said he’s done everything except Botox. Each batch of Botox is tested on dogs, so because of my principles, I will not let anybody inject me with Botox.

I tried taking my fentanyl patches and putting them on, but every time I put one on I get extremely sick to my stomach. The doctors are pretty much hopeless other than that what to give me.

So life is not fun right now.

Jane, I'm one of those forgotten people that nobody cares about and I wish the world could even know my story. I just wish somebody understood how I have to live with the young mind of a 57-year-old woman and such a broken body.

I was sitting here and thinking tonight about where I used to be and where I am. Each day is just a struggle to try and find a way to get the pain to stay away.

I used to be a biller at a multi-million dollar transportation company, a very important, responsible position. My work suffered because of the meds I was on and all the doctor appointments, not to mention trying to work with constant pain. I miss the challenge every day to do a great job.

I had dreams with my husband. We had a chance to have a good life. It’s all gone now.

It’s destroyed who I was completely I used to be so active and now I sit all day long, doing whatever I can to try to easy my pain, my anxiety, my depression. It’s a vicious cycle.

It’s not just the injury itself, it’s not just pudendal neuralgia, but it’s so much more about how they’ve destroyed me as a person and have taken my life. I just don’t think anybody gets it.

The only thing that's keeping me going day in and day out is my faith and trust in Jesus.

Thank you and God bless you Jane as always for the help that you do give us women. You gave my injury a name via your website and the contacts that I got from there have at least got me to this point.

I guess you just have to take one day at a time now and just pray that one day maybe you won't feel pain anymore. That's all I can do.

God bless Jane

Hi Jane,

Wanted to let you know I talked to (my attorney) tonight and he is going to ask the judge to send my case back to the state so we can go to court. He's hoping to understand how the most catastrophic people that are hurt seem to be getting less attention. He asks why should we be penalized because he only has a small caseload?

Normally, they go by cases that are filed first, my lawyer says, and go down the line, but the court is not even doing that, so something is very wrong here. Meanwhile I don't have the money to go get the medical care that I need and he's forcing me to suffer and that is simply not fair.

Jane, I moved around my whole life and not until seven years ago did I ever have a place that was mine to keep; a place I could call home. I don’t want to lose the only place I have ever called home.

But if I leave now I will have $850.00 a month to live on. I can't survive on that. I would end up homeless! I have no family left.

I can't work. If I venture out to a store by mid- afternoon I am in so much pain even the fentanyl doesn’t help completely. If I try to vacuum, it kills me almost.

Judge Joseph Goodwin

I told my lawyer yesterday, I will need help to come in and do the cleaning for me, do my grocery shopping, lawn work if I am by myself. I need resources—aka, a respectable settlement to help me live the rest of my life the best I can. I have 3 pets, my family that I will not give up! They are the only thing that gets me out of bed in the a.m. If I lost them, life would slip away on me.

AMS already offered me a settlement that even my lawyer laughed at and I'm sure that I will get some money from them to help me some, but I will fight this to the very end if I have to.

I will never get the millions it will cost to treat my injury. So I face medical debt the rest of my life, perhaps even bankruptcy. Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it to continue to fight for my life. A life that once felt worthy now, I just feel completely broken.

They are not going to butcher me and get away with it.

Greed, I think not. Survival. I will not settle until I can provide a way for me to live.

I just don’t understand Judge Goodwin, Jane. You said he is a good man but yet it seems like he is punishing the ones who don’t take the settlement.

Judge Goodwin is not even following protocol for these cases. It doesn't matter when you filed your case, if you have an attorney with only a few cases it will be years before my case is heard.

If it takes years, I don’t know if I will be here anymore.

My only hope is that the steering committee will support our request to go to state court. Jane, I am desperate. Why is Judge Goodwin doing this? Why!!!

I cannot support myself now! Anyways I don’t know what to tell you. I am trying to hang on. I am trying to believe that God is watching.

My life was bad growing up. My life hasn't been easy but I always could work and make money. But now I have nothing.

Do I have to end up dead to get someone to take notice?

Is that the only way to help the catastrophically hurt women out there? Would anybody even care? I am at a loss, I just try to survive every day the best I can. And wait and wait and trust in those people who I put in charge of my case.

God be with us all.

As always Jane you are an angel sent to earth to help all those you can.

I'm going to stay positive and believe my case will be sent back and we'll go to court if we have to and it will all be okay, that there will be life after surgical mesh. It's a fairy tale I keep telling myself.

Anyways I'm going to try not to be so negative it's just that some days like I said a very hard when you're losing everything in your life all at once.

God Bless Jane.

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