Fed Up? Want to talk To MDL Panel? Here’s How!

//Fed Up? Want to talk To MDL Panel? Here’s How!

Fed Up? Want to talk To MDL Panel? Here’s How!

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, December 4, 2018~  As regular readers of Mesh News Desk understand, and as you’ve experienced in your own litigation,  lawyers representing the injured have, in many cases, ended up with more money than the injured!   This is all too common an occurrence.

Ultimately, you will live with the after-effects of the medical device that may have changed your life!!  The lawyers will not.

How has the MDL (multidistrict litigation) system worked for you?


Pelvic mesh became the second largest mass tort ever in history behind asbestos. At one time there were more than 104-thousand defective product cases against seven mesh makers filed before Judge Joseph Goodwin, who oversees federal court in Charleston, WV.  While many of you blame him for not doing more, his job is basically to rule on the motions that come before him.

The law firms that jumped into pelvic mesh litigation were supposed to work for you.  Some worked hard. Others did not.  There were bellwether cases before Judge Goodwin that were supposed to set the relative value of these injury cases, but in some cases, the manufacturers stood firm that they would not offer mass settlements.  Even though the average outcome of a jury trial is about $9 million, massive numbers of cases just settled as law firms accepted what was offered, then, as Mesh News Desk has heard repeatedly, threatened their clients to take settlements or else get nothing.

What then?   What do you do with a $40,000 settlement before legal fees are taken out?  Or even less in many circumstances?


Thousands of women have been hurt by the manufacturers then the system that let their lawyers keep them in the dark, then threaten them to take small settlements. (In fairness, some early cases did settle for more money, even with just mesh in place).


Elizabeth Burch, Professor U GA Law School

Elizabeth Burch, U of Georgia law professor is working with a statistician to present to judges and policymakers the procedural justice issues that litigants faced in this mass tort. They will have to take note!  Your input into the article through this survey will go to each judge who has been involved with these MDL proceedings.  How do we know she will be heard?

As Professor Burch says,  “In the past, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has asked me to present at the annual transferee judges conference (before 150 of the judges who handle MDLs) on a panel entitled “What’s Wrong with MDLs?” Judges have also invited me to present on MDL procedure at their district-level annual retreats.  This has given me an opportunity to get to know some of the judges who handle these proceedings. In addition, I’ve taught short courses on Multidistrict Litigation: Law, Practice, and Strategy with a sitting transferee judge or a Panel member.

“Last year, when the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill relating to multidistrict litigation (H.R. 985), the Committee on the Judiciary asked for my analysis of the bill, which I provided. I taught at Harvard Law School in the fall of 2017, and in 2015, I received the American Law Institute’s Early Career Scholar’s Medal, which is awarded every other year to “one or two outstanding law professors whose work has the potential to influence improvements in the law.”

“Since entering the academy in 2006, I have authored over 30 law review articles, which have been cited over 790 times in books, articles, and court documents. These articles have been published by many of the nation’s top law reviews, including NYU Law Review, Cornell Law Review, Virginia Law Review, and Vanderbilt Law Review among others. I also co-author one of the leading textbooks on complex litigation, The Law of Class Actions and Other Aggregate Litigation (Foundation Press 2013) and have given over 65 lectures to a diverse array of domestic and international audiences—from law professors at workshops, symposia, and conferences, to federal judges at their judicial retreats, to lawyers and jurists at the American Law Institute and the American Bar Association, to psychologists at the International Congress on the Psychology of Law.”

They will pay attention, particularly if enough people participate that it becomes too hard to ignore! 


That’s where you come in.

Imagine 40-thousand women weighing in on how they were injured, AND the fact that the firms never spoke with them, AND then gave themselves a blank check where they could fill in the amount, AND asked you to sign off with no amount specified, AND charged you 40% even though they promised a trial, AND then threatened to drop you if you did not sign off on what was left in your settlement after expenses and liens and insurance, AND in some cases, the firm took home more than you even though you will need medical care for the rest of your life!

Just a few thing your editor has heard time and time again (not to put words in your mouth, but that is the typical story I hear).


Unfortunately you have become an unwilling member of a club you never wanted to belong to.  One of injury and harm, then insult added to your injury.   Your confidentiality is assured, says Professor Burch. There are strict rules through the university process that prohibit her from disclosing the identities of any of those who chose to be involved. Instead you are assigned a participant identification code.

Professor Burch email, which is non FOIA-able is:  masstortsuga@gmail.com


The Survey:

(It works best with Firefox or Explorer, but doesn’t seem to work at all with Safari).

The Website explains more: https://www.elizabethchambleeburch.com/womens-mdls


By | 2018-12-11T15:02:20+00:00 December 4th, 2018|Featured|10 Comments

About the Author:

I’m National News Editor, Jane Akre and I began Mesh Medical Device News Desk aka Mesh News Desk (MND) in the summer of 2011 just after the Food and Drug Administration issued an explicit warning to the public that complications associated with surgical mesh used for prolapse repair (POP) and incontinence (SUI) are NOT rare! That was the starting point for the litigation you see today and thousands of lawsuits have been filed by women whose lives have been altered, some permanently, by the use of this petroleum-based product.


  1. Bruce December 4, 2018 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    Why in these caeses the Court doesn’t move in and do a class action and give the money the victim and or families like im so many cases

  2. Anon December 5, 2018 at 9:07 am - Reply

    Come on Ladies! This is our chance to fight back and expose some of the ugly truth about this MDL process and All of the Players that has exploited our unfortunate situation for their personal gain by taking our Constitutional rights to Due Process, by taking our rights to be involved in the decision making of (Our) Property Rights (our cases) and defrauding us of the little that’s left after taking their unethical 40%. Really we have no idea yet.. about extent of Fraud involved in this MDL.
    Please….Let’s Do All We Can to Assist Ms. Elizabeth Burch Expose the corruption (Crooks) involved in this MDL.

    Please… Do the Survey it is completely confidential.

  3. anonymous December 8, 2018 at 7:46 am - Reply

    No wonder when I call for a status update on my case they keep saying “sorry funds have not been distributed yet”. But it is in escrow account.

  4. Rhonda December 10, 2018 at 8:43 am - Reply

    In over 5 yrs. I have only spoken with my law firm’s receptionist other than 4 or 5 other times. They never call back or return messages. I have no idea how my case is going. I do know that this law firm almost got my case thrown out because they had no clue that I had corrective surgeries. They have had my case since mid 2013 and they waited till Oct. of this yr. to say that they didn’t know because they had never gotten my medical records. I did all the foot work for that. Then they notified me on a Friday that I had a deposition scheduled for the following Monday. No one called to go over anything. No one showed up for my representation. The girl representing Johnson and Johnson had to phone my law firm to get someone to be conference called in on it. So not only do I feel that everything to do with my mesh was misrepresented I feel as though these law firms are doing the same thing to the victims here just to cash in on the money for themselves.

  5. Wren December 10, 2018 at 10:40 pm - Reply

    Hi Jane, I want to thank you for giving us the chance to be included in a judicial survey from Ms. Burch, law professor at U of Georgia whose expertise in is MDL, mass tort revision. I did this survey feeling that this is a viable opportunity to affect change is a system that is obsolete and has caused eminent pain and harm to hundreds of thousands of women. Ms Burch has clout with many prominent judges, lawyers and politicians and her message is not falling on deaf ears. I encourage all readers to participate in this valuable survey to make your voice heard. We have to keep going forward with might and courage.

  6. Anonymous December 11, 2018 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    This MDL hasn’t worked for me or many thousand other (victims) plaintiffs. The MDL needs a major overhaul, major Reform. This MDL has worked for everyone else involved except the most important member, the injured victim or the Plaintiff. I personally feel that the Plaintiff, the victim was invisible in this process.

    Presiding judges manage cases.
    Trial attorneys try cases.

    Section 174(8) of the Constitution provides that before judicial officers begin to perform their functions, they must take an oath, or affirm in accordance with paragraph 6(1) of schedule 2, that they “will uphold and protect the Constitution and the human rights entrenched in it, and will administer justice to all persons alike without fear, favor or prejudice, in accordance with the Constitution and the law.”

    Article 7: Equality
    A judge must at all times—
    (c) in conducting judicial proceedings, give special attention to the right to equality before the law and the right of equal protection and benefit of the law; and
    (d) in the performance of judicial duties refrain from being biased or prejudiced.

  7. Onewhodoesknow December 12, 2018 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    I talked with the lawyer once at my deposition. I was told if we had to go to trial we would . Of course I was offered a low ball settlement. After everyone gets their cut I think my insurance gets the most. My lawyer gets 40 % but shares it with the Master settler and the original lawyer that transferred my case to them. So there are 3 peoples hands in that 40%.

    I only get a customer service person when I call the big law firm. They tell me there will be interest accumulating on my insurance balance if I do not take the settlement. The guy sounded like a salesmen and turned me off. I really think the Judge should know what we are going through. I feel like I am a Pawn in a game of chess. And I have been played big time.

  8. Barbara l Melling December 13, 2018 at 12:59 am - Reply

    Why were we given no informed consent?
    Implanted with Toxic plastic with no consent ? Not told
    With out shared information we could not consent to what we were never told?
    Also why were they allowed to use us as in informed lab Rats with out our agreement?

  9. Anonymous December 13, 2018 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    We (plaintiffs) are all being symbolically screwed by (some) in this Million dollar good-ol-boys club, legal title– attorney. This MDL is nothing more than a form of wholesale justice where the (victims) Plaintiffs cases are herded together against their will, their Constitutional rights are ripped away and given to shady characters for their financial gain.

    Judge Goodwin please understand that (7) seven years of agonizing over this court to resolve our cases is more than enough time. The (JPML) Judicial Panel of Multi Litigation has jurisdiction over our cases for pretrial matters; the transferee court’s jurisdiction extends only that far– says the, United States Supreme Court. (Mandatory) remand at the conclusion of pre-trial proceedings See (523 U.S. 26, 34-35 (1998), also Section 1407(a) of Title 28 of the United States Code.

  10. Deborah s December 15, 2018 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    This latest “news” is unbelievable to me. Starting in 2008 I have endured 5 surgeries for mesh removal and repair/replacement of my private parts…now a never-ending immune system deterioration path – which is terrifying! Now a wife of platonic status only, further degradation, thanks to implanting defective mesh from 2 different manufacturers that punctured surrounding organs, shredded and infected previously intact organs and tissues….I will never be back to “normal”! And now on top of 40% compensation I paid to attorneys that lumped my case in with thousands more sufferers I read that they will split the 5% for their time and trouble? My settlement was so low it m7st have been a disappointment to lawyers that now demand more…my needs don’t matter, I was just a numbers game to them. Corruption or fair justice? Will we MDL cases remain just numbers while actual trial plaintiff’s can actually afford continual care instead of welfare like me?

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