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Hard Lessons Learned from Mesh Settlements

Jane Akre, editor MND

Jane Akre, editor MND

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, April 27, 2016~
The following is an Op-Ed written by your editor who has covered the pelvic mesh issues for more than five years.  I am not a doctor or a lawyer and am not providing any professional advice. 

I am sharing observations of the evolution of mesh settlements and how, in many cases, they are not in any way coming close to making an injured woman whole.

In the vast majority of cases, law firms are walking away with settlement monies than their injured clients.  

After waiting many months, American Medical Systems (AMS) is beginning to pay out a promised $1.6 billion settlement to resolve about 25,000 product liability cases filed by women who alleged they were permanently injured by the company’s pelvic mesh.  See background story here.AMS logo

On September 30, 2014, American Medical Systems, a division of Endo International, announced the master settlement which was designed to resolve substantially all of its remaining U.S. vaginal mesh litigation.  As AMS was the first mesh manufacturer to agree to settlements, some women are now receiving their offers in writing.

Remember, AMS settlement required around 90 percent participation so oddly, the injured women plaintiffs held some power over the settlement at that time, whether they knew it or not.

The contract you signed with your law firm contains the details. It should be understood, preferably before it is signed.  If you wait until after you sign it, the news may not be welcome.

Did you file for bankruptcy?   Do you get disability?  Did you take out a loan?  Do you owe a hospital or doctor?

Unfortunately, what women are now finding is that the firm can go back into past bankruptcies, even if they are a dozen years old, to satisfy creditors.   In that case, a woman with a $30,000 settlement gives half to her law firm (40% plus expenses)  and $10,000 to the creditors and is left with $5,000.  Some injured women are left with nothing.

Whatever the fine print says will prevail. Those entities will have to be paid before a mesh-injured woman receives her settlement. Your attorney or the Special Master may be able to negotiate downward any outstanding debt.

When you receive your check is another question.  Women call me screaming they do not have their money. Again, the language of the contract will prevail.

Does it say payout will be in a “reasonable time”  or some other wiggly language?  “Reasonable” means nothing while language that says “payout in the form of an overnighted check must be received by plaintiff within 30 days of signature of this settlement agreement otherwise it is null and void” is much stronger language, which you may or may not have the option to add to your contract.

Your attorney should be able to advise you on this option.Woman statute wiki commons victor nicolas courtesy

 

The Mesh Rush

How did you find your law firm?  Were you solicited over the phone?  Some people were solicited by phone calls from strangers who knew their personal information.

Even your editor was called relentlessly about my “bladder surgery.”  (I never had any).  When questioned about who they are, you get a vague answer such as a friend told them you recently had bladder surgery.   How they obtain personal data protected by HIPPA (federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is unknown.

For example, your editor received numerous calls from “Glenn” from “Medical Health Center.”  Here is his number  305-809-8875.

Caller, On Hold Webstore

Caller, On Hold Webstore

Glenn said I could receive “medical compensation.”  Clearly it was from a boiler room with many voices in the background. “We can proceed with your medical compensation for the bladder surgery you had,” he said. (*Note- I had no bladder surgery).   The calls are relentless. See a Bloomberg story here.

Johnson & Johnson filed a complaint with the federal court in Charleston WV where multidistrict litigation is consolidated charging “unscrupulous groups and individuals” are fraudulently soliciting women to sue even if they have no problems. Some of that type of solicitation has tainted the validity of mesh-injured claims in the eyes of the public.  I was told by a doctor that women were looking for a “payday” and that’s what the mesh mess was all about.

Some women are told by a law firm that is soliciting their business they have a million dollar case and there are no worries. Anyone experienced in legal matters will tell you that promises such as these are a red flag. No one can tell you whether you will win your case. They certainly have no way of knowing what it is worth.

Such promises should be a red flag, just like a guy in a boiler room named Glenn.

The reality for many women is their “million dollar case” ends up in a payout of about $5,000 or even less. That is not enough for necessary surgeries in the future or to replace an income lost due to disability from pelvic mesh. Signing the agreement means it cannot be disclosed and you are forever foreclosed from filing any additional action against this manufacturer.

Many law firms solicited cases then passed them on to another firm for a “fee.” At one time, early in litigation, a mesh case was reported to be worth about $3,000.  That fee is generally paid out of the 40% you owe your law firm.

Many women have no idea that their case was actually passed on to another firm.   That may explain why the original firm has no answers for you when you  call.

To add insult to injury, once a settlement is signed there appears to be a long delay in actually issuing a check.

 

Jurors, Hopnews

Jurors, Hopnews

 

The Fine Print

Multidistrict Litigation is supposed to streamline the process and avoid redundancy.  One firm can rely on the discovery received by another so they do not have to reinvent the wheel, theoretically reducing billable hours and saving the client the cost of working up her case.   But that may not be what’s happening in real time.

What the AMS settlements are showing is that law firm frequently charged 40% for their services.  Some even added expenses to that 40%.  However, many firms did not specifically work up a case for trial.

However, other law firms spent in excess of $1 million to work up an individual case for trial.  This is the true definition of gambling.  There are no assurances you will win a case. If you lose at trial, so does your law firm.

Common sense dictates if a lawsuit is won, that firm should expect to be repaid for the investment it made in your case.

Dollar sign Scott Steiner, WikiCommons

Dollar sign Scott Steiner, WikiCommons

 

Medicaid, Bankruptcy, Liens

Those outstanding debts will be subtracted from your settlement dollars.   One woman tells MND after Medicaid and her lawyer were paid, she got absolutely nothing. Another woman reports the law firm went back into a 12-year-old bankruptcy to satisfy creditors.

Those interest accruing loans will also have to be paid back as well.   A $3,000 loan just to get by, can amount to $15,000 by settlement day.

Another interesting note, government benefits may be affected by accepting a settlement.  Medicaid and disability could adjust downward without a Special Needs Trust, see story here. 

To add insult to injury, many law firms will not take your call or will rush you off the phone. Some have paralegals who make promises that cannot be kept such as giving you a time you will receive your check that does not come true. #

 

159 Comments

  1. Becky says:

    I say we get on national tv…and BLAST,all these company’s & lawyers….I know I have been misrepresented,I was told mine was an MDL case….Now there saying it’s not….It was never discussed with me…..And,I have and will not give up my “FREEDOM OF SPEECH”…..Its my right!!!!! What are they going to do put me in jail??? That have already put me in a very lonely place……

    • Antoinette says:

      I experienced ongoing traumatic pains from the Mesh device as well as regular embarassments from incontinence of bowel and bladder, hernia, infections, scarring and more. Each time I visited the doctor I repeated my issues of pain and other symptoms not aware that the doctor was “Not documenting accurately all my complaints”. And the exam stated nothing wrong. My repeated visits were downplayed to look like something else. I was solicited by phone for this lawsuit so I am not sure if or how many people sold my information. I was told “I” could not talk to anyone about this. I am very concerned that I have been duped. I was put in the lowest tier in this settlement because I did not my injuries were not that bad!!!! I was told I had to go back if I wanted to get in a higher tier. No mention of pursuing any other companies involved in the suit was told to me. The settlement is so small (under 10K) and has to be divided for lawyers that I had a very hard time even thinking of how something this life changing could be spoken of as compensation. I cannot do much of anything with it. I was told that this was it for me. The lawyers cannot do anything else. I haven’t received any money at this date. It just wreaks of corruption. I have to prove my injuries by going back to the medical institution which hid truth from me in the beginning and then covered up by deny or minimizing my injuries. I read the doctor report and remember saying the opposite of what was documented. I do not get clear answers when I call but am told to be patient and wait. The confidentiality seems to have worked against me. It doesn’t make sense to me to chance seeing another doctor. So I’ve suffered over and over not knowing where to turn or if there were any other options for me. How does one prove injuries without going to doctors? And if you’ve had enough bad experiences such as this one, going to just one more doctor because all aren’t the same to prove the extent of injury adds insult to injury, too. It looks to me that one hand washes the other. What are the options now? Too much deceptions and no checks and balances.

      • Jane Akre says:

        Where are you located…there may be understanding docs in your area….write me janeakre@meshnewsdeak.com

      • Dora P says:

        Wow, my story is almost identical. Can we not sign the settlements and get new lawyers? Can we class action suit the lawyers for not representing us well? It is not likr we slipped on s property and broke our leg… we have lost the normal use of a body part.. and half of a relationship and have todeal with daily pain and not just there.

        They should have based these off of all of our dr notes of how its affected our lives to determine % not our age and just hoe many removal attempts. That is crazy. Some women were so PTSD they didnt get a repair ànd they are just being celebet and on lifetime of pain meds.

      • Katherine says:

        I just got the class action suit settlement JOKE”” It took me over 7 years to find a dr that even knew what was wrong with me.Only to find out that the law firm decided to sighn off one month earlier after said date they would not consider any other complaints of enjury. Look up pudendal nerve nurgaliga or pudendal nerve entraptment. This is not only brutal it is not a known disorder by most any drs .I had to figure this out on my owne. many hrs and years of looking up the symptoms i have 13 drs later all i heard was lets try this…this never worked.how ever thank God i now have a dr that can hopefully healp me.

        • Katherine says:

          OH… ps the DR. that diagnosed me, said this IS caused by the MESH…………

        • bonnie says:

          I had a spaglian hernia surgery in Nov 2014. Started having lower stomach pain along with groin pain to the point of pain down my leg. The scar tisdue was quite osinful. In Feb 2016 my appendix flared. I had it removed. Shortly after I was bleefing. I now have an ulcer in the fold if my stomavh. Whenever I eat. Do any kind of activity the psin starts. My bowels explodes from 2 to 20 times per dsy. When I eat my lower stomach aches. Thankfully mt gastrointestinal doctor retired and I found a great one. My primary dud nothing g do I am going to start seeing another one. I discovered through Google that scar tissue can adhere to the organ and intestines . Once that happens the appendix gets inflamed than ulcers begins. My gastrointestinal doctor sent me for a cat scan
          today with contrast from the bottom of lungs to the top of thighs to see if the pancreas or kidneys are also in trouble.. when a doctor removed the appendix he went through the left side over the mesh. Hope he didn’t break it. Also. I went to urgent care last month because if the flu. The doctor took a urine sample and said I had a urinary tract infection. I told him I didnt. I was given antibotics. When I went for another urine test it said I had mixed contamination. . I looked on my chart and reviewed all my tests all urine tests going back a year showed ideation and my primary never told me. If you have a doctor where you can review your tests please sign up. I will keep you updated on my cat scan. We must protect our bodies and do our own research and find a great gastrointestinal doctor who cares about your pain and sends you for tests.

      • Lisarenee says:

        I am sitting reading the stories and in some ways I feel lucky compared to the other women that have commented as far as lawyers go I actually did not find my lawyers my father did due to an on tv he saw he took the number down and gave it to me after my 2nd revision surgery., physically and emotionally my life has been a nightmare. My nightmare 6 months after the sling was put in. When I had the 1st revision surgery. I have had a total of 8 revision surgeries and I have an appointment with my Dr on tuesday to discuss another revision or total removal of sling because it has broke through the vagnial wall again, and from what I have been told the removal is more complicated then the revisions and has a longer recovery time.physically I have a lot of bladder infections,my bladder leaks so bad that I go through a bag of 54 pads for moderate to heavy leakage.and getting worse I am in constant pain especially during intercourse.my marriage is suffering because the itermacy is all but gone because of the physical pain and my husband was scratched a couple times intercourse and there is so much scar tissue that the sensation is almost gone. So as much as we love each we get stressed and snap at each we have become like friends that are living together and helping each raise a 16 year old boy with austism, who because of the austism and other disabilities he is mentally on a 5 year old level mentally and emotionally. So he thinks that we hate each and that it’s his fault. As far as lawyers I got really lucky they kept in constant contact with me by calling or emailing me with updates and what was going on with the lawsuit and when I had questions they always called me back or had lawyer speak with me, and used layman terms so I could understand and even though we can’t disclose exact figures but mine seems more reasonable then the others even though no amount of money can replace the parts of my life are missing or make things better. On March 4 a received settlement package offering me a settlement of close to $97000.00 and after there fees money that Medicare wanted for reimbursement for they paid for the other surgeries which was capped at $5000.00 and money that was set for additional surgeries that may be needed after all of that money was taken out I was going to get just shy of $50000.00 the paper work gives the exact break down of what percentage went where they also told me what social security could and couldn’t do and which benefits could and couldn’t do because when first talked with the lawyer he ask if I was on any kind of financial benefit programs and which ones could do what and with Vermont state and the federal government this is what they can do where I live if you are on SSI which is state funded and based on needs they take your benefits away and depending on the settlement amount they tell you when you can reapply I am on SSD which is federally funded and based on the amount of years and amount of money you paid into the program which is the program my income comes from they can’t take those benefits because I worked until 2006 when I had a heart attack and found out that there is a defect in my heart that caused the heart attack and it made it so my drs decided I was permentally totally disabled they also take food stamps Medicaid away.I received check on March 9th so less then a week later i called social security to see what I had to do they told me I had 3 months to do a spend down so I had $2000.00 or least in my checking account because when you are on SSD you are only allowed to have $2000.00 or less cash on hand so I have to bring them all my receipts to prove I don’t hidden in someone’s account or something like that

        • Jill says:

          Who is your lawyer? I have had one surgery done and I’m still in horrible pain everday. I have Lupus it was diagnosed 1yr after my mesh was put in. I really think that my Lupus stems from the mesh. Is anyone else just extremely tired and have NO ENERGY?

          • Jane Akre says:

            Please check the profile of Hope Pagano ( use the search bar) she too developed Lupus spoon after her mesh implant.

          • Angie says:

            I have Lupus too. I just don’t think it’s fair after 4 surgeries to accept a settlement that does not reflect the pain and surgeries I have had. I have not had documents notarized and am holding out hoping something more can be done. Just seems very unfair to be down for six weeks each surgery. Not to mention the UTI’s, accidental bed wetting (never had that before) actually not just the bed, but the carpet too! Very humiliating:(. I just don’t think the offers are what those of us have suffered deserve. Where is Erin Brockavich when we need her?

          • Diana says:

            Hello Jill,

            My mom just got her settlement offer and she is to return it by August 24th. She will end up getting 10,000 or less once all fees are taken. She also had a bankruptcy 3 years ago so now I think I might say don’t send anything. My mom has 2 mesh implanted as the doctor forgot to remove the first one and placed the second one over the first. To make things worst she has been complaining of feeling weak and with no energy. I mentioned to the Johnson Attorneys that she might not sign as that amount will not cover future expenses or surgeries. I need some guidance as my mom does not speak english and I am the person helping her through all this. She does not want to sue the doctor for his negligence and I don’t know what else to do. HELP

          • Jane Akre says:

            Diana, I’m sorry your mothers offer is so pathetic. There is no other way to say it. The decision to forever sign away her right to ever again pursue an action is entirely her own…..some people want it over, Some say No! We can talk further
            ………

          • Anita F says:

            I have excruciating pain in my bladder area. I have to Cath myself two times a day. The pain is so bad it feels like it comes from the core of my being. I can’t have sex because it’s to pain and I bleed for days and now I have tremors and bladder infections. I have no energy, I am sure it’s from the mesh. I have tremors and jerks now bad.Now I have already signed I wish I could sue the Dri do because I would but I signed the final paper work for 45k which they say after it is ran through some system I will end up with about 25k and after they see past medical bills none of course had to do any thing with the mesh many of these messages say you could end up with nothing. They should have told me that on the first place I would not have wasted my time. I am a Veteran and looked forward to buying a traitor to live in I have never owned a home and I cant do that now. I am sick over this. Can’t I do some thing??

          • Jane Akre says:

            I’m sorry. If you signed to accept the $45k, I’m not sure there is any further negotiation that will be entertained. Best to do that prior to signing. But you could always ask Ask for the law firm to pay the 5% common benefit fund, not take it out of your percentage….

    • Trina G says:

      I agree with you! I’M so MAD right now I’m ready. I doubt I’m ever gonna get my money anyway, seems like their doing everything to keep it! I mean is this legal? I signed the settlement almost a year ago!

      • Missy says:

        If you signed your settlement over a year ago… have you still not received your money??

      • Leigh says:

        It’s almost been a year since I signed my paperwork. I got a low offer, too. AFTER I got my offer and signed it, I found out that they didn’t even bother to subpoena my doctors that I saw after my surgery, including a Uro-Gynecologist that said my pelvic mesh was causing my pain and some serious issues. He also said that I would have to have the mesh removed in the near future. This is relevant, important information!! I’ve been given the run around for years and the attorney who is supposedly over my case now said they did what was in my “best interest” and that they didn’t think I would get a settlement, had it gone to trial. I am so angry and I’ve been in tremendous pain. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I haven’t gotten my check yet, but I am going to see what my legal options are after I receive it. Now the attorney is saying that I’m only getting half of the original settlement and the original amount was absurd to begin with. It threw me into a severe depression and I continue to go to doctors and try to get help. I’m going to go to yet another doc and see if they can help. I moved back to Dallas 3 years ago, so I am “making the rounds” of docs here, in hopes that someone can finally help me. The doc that told me that I needed my mesh removed was in Charlotte, so I’m not going to be seeing him again, unfortunately. I’d like to add that he told me all of this 10 months after my mesh surgery. He told me that my surgeon messed up the placement of the mesh in the first place. So I guess I should go after the surgeon, too. I’m not a greedy person, but I’ve been duped, too.

        • Jane Akre says:

          Dr Philippe Zimmern is in Dallas. Have you signed your settlement agreement then? Did you get a dollar amount before signing? No you don’t get a settlement if you go to trial, you get a jury award or not! It certainly is easier for the law firm not to go to trial.

    • Connie says:

      I agree they need to be put on blast this is an outrage and should be dealt with just like payday loans.they target lower income woman and makes millions off us.this is not cool something must be done. I’m totally disabled from this mesh situation and there offer was an insult and has made me feel less than.my hubby left me due to being incontinent ect. I cant work. How can we put a stop this is criminal activity in our judicial system

  2. dee says:

    I was told that I can refuse the offer if I feel it is not a fair one, is this true? Do I still get to continue a suit against the company?

    • Jane Akre says:

      Yes, you can continue if you refuse ( unless you are Caldera) IF you have a lawyer to take your case. Many attnys threaten to drop their clients if they don’t settle. Make sure you know before you fire your attny.

      • Still standing says:

        Jane, I have a question about the settlement dollars being seized by bankruptcy or Medicaid leins. Is it because these dollars are considered actual damages instead of punitive damages? If the settlement money is to reimburse the plaintiff for care received for mesh complications, would it stand to reason that since Medicaid paid for that care, they should be paid back? I do know that states are more aggressive in recouping Medicaid dollars from estates. But, how is that different from Medicare or private health insurance other than Medicaid being a program based on income and need? I dont know much about bankruptcy filings either,but arent there some debts that are not erased by declaring bankruptcy? Its next to impossible to reasonably figure these things out. So complicated. You provide such a valuable service by putting all this stuff in laymen’s terms.

        Just an FYI, women who are considering firing their attorney, please get clarification about what you will owe to the original law firm. They may have in your contract a clause where you have to pay them for their costs on your case before they release your files and , if not, they will more than likely place a lein on your future settlement dollars. You Just need to be fully informed about changing your attorney in the middle of your case.

        • Jane Akre says:

          Absolutely get clarification. I talked to a woman yesterday who was told AFTER she signed that some liens would have to be satisfied. That sounds too much like preying on the nativity of folks who are not lawyers. Shame on that law firm. I do not know the answers to your questions about how to protect your assets only that some can be dismissed by the special master and negotiated down by your law firm. A 12 year old bankruptcy has surely been resolved… Here is a story on special needs trust. If the govt determines your “need” has changed because you got a settlement, it will likely effect your settlement. I will ask about the other….. thank you. Smart questions.
          https://www.meshmedicaldevicenewsdesk.com/expecting-a-mesh-settlement-will-a-special-needs-trust-work-for-you/

          • Robin says:

            First of all, Thank you, Jane, for all that you do for the mesh-injured community. I enjoy reading your site, but honestly, I more appreciate the fact that readers have a forum to discuss issues, concerns, and experiences. I have a couple of things to add, that might help answer some questions…

            If the bankruptcy was filed while a woman was experiencing mesh injuries or after signing up with an attorney, the mesh suit can be considered an asset. Thus, money received/awarded related to the lawsuit can be viewed by the bankruptcy court as an asset. If the bankruptcy was discharged before the settlement, and the lawsuit wasn’t reported, the bankruptcy court can sometimes re-open the case to re-consider the settlement proceeds. The little rules and nuances make these situations pretty complicated, and the treatment seems to vary from court to court and judge to judge.

            On the subject of Medicaid and Medicare, law firms are oftentimes required to report settlements or awards – BY LAW. If they aren’t reported, and potential liens aren’t resolved or negotiated, then both the law firm and the Plaintiff can face a LOT of trouble down the road. Even some private insurance companies are attempting to assert liens on settlements. Different states have different laws regarding who is legally entitled to assert a lien, and under which circumstances, but to ignore the liens in a mis-guided attempt to get money to a plaintiff faster can lead to collections actions and lawsuits down the road. Most law firm contracts should say something about the law firm having a responsibility to resolve any liens that arise out of the action; however, this can sometimes be lost in all the legalese. Especially where the government is concerned, it’s pretty dangerous to try to skip that step…

            It’s not unusual for firms to refer cases or to create joint management procedures to represent clients in mass-torts. These cases go on for years, require millions and millions of dollars in expenses (filing fees, obtaining medical records, travel for hearings and depositions, copying, printing, keeping the lights on and the phones ringing, etc…) and manpower to even get to the point where bellwethers can be worked up. Expert witnesses charge a lot of money, and it’s not unusual for even implanters/explanters to charge thousands of dollars to appear for a deposition. Mass torts are expensive, but the research and trials that are carried out benefit EVERYONE. Even if a case is not a bellwether trial, the fact that research, experts, and evidence has been used in trial tells the defendant what they might face if they choose not to settle. One expert witness can benefit tens of thousands of cases. The typical contingency fee does not change, no matter how many attorneys join forces (you could start with one attorney, but he refers you to a law firm with fifteen attorneys – the contingency doesn’t change. It gets split between the law firms). Attorneys join forces to survive the years and years of not getting paid. They join forces to consolidate evidence and make sure that every client has access to the same resources. Should the one woman going to trial be responsible for the entire cost of the litigation, even though that evidence is the same exact evidence being used to settle cases? Should a case that never goes to trial not have to pay any of it? Should the law firms just charge their clients as they go (even though that would leave thousands of women – no longer able to work – without representation) so they don’t have to join forces with other offices?

            The system is far, far from perfect, but hundreds of attorneys, paralegals, legal assistants, and other professionals are working day in and day out to make sure that some modicum of justice can come out of this terrible manipulation of the medical field.

            Will anyone ever receive enough to make the pain, surgeries, and heartache worth it? No.

            Will anyone ever receive enough to give a life back? Probably not.

            Will any company ever admit that they did anything wrong? Don’t kid yourself.

            Still, to do nothing, to say nothing, is to curse another woman down the line to the same fate. The system is not perfect, but it’s the only one we have, and we have to work within this system to try to make these companies understand that what they’ve done is wrong.

            Some plaintiffs hate their law firms. Some have a hard time getting information, while others feel like the amount of money they’re being offered isn’t enough. As a member of the legal community that has been working on these cases every single day for five years, I am truly sorry that some are having these issues. It’s not right. The attorneys are working for you. That all being said, most attorneys and paralegals are doing the best with what they have. Only so many calls can be made in a day, and only so much information is available at any given time. No one wants a client to be unhappy or unsatisfied with what’s going on with her case. The reality is, a lot of things are out of the law firms’ control – liens, timetables set by the judge, who gets picked as bellwethers, when the defendant decides to give up and settle already. Trust me, I wish I could control that. Even so, we’re pushing as hard as we can, every single day, to make sure that the light at the end of the tunnel keeps getting bigger.

          • Jane Akre says:

            Thank you for this information. It is very helpful to many. I’ve seen how hard lawyers work to get to trial….. it is amazing and grueling and extremely stressful. Not to mention expensive. Every trial the expense of an expert is brought up. I have respect for most trial attorneys…..One of the reasons I encourage everyone to sit in one of these trials….

          • Britt b says:

            I signed my settlement offer sept 20 2016. Was told be here in nov then dec ow nothing no one will help me. What can I do. My wife is very ill needs surgery she can’t I’ll I can take off two weeks..

        • Dora P says:

          Omfg. If this is true then they have really screwed us over and we should sue the lawyers.

          • elaine says:

            I’m in the same boat. I signed settlement papers with Bard in August of 2016. initially i was told to expect a check within 30 days. Then I was told by December. Now its almost Feb 2017 and still nothing. I’m not even sure how to expect payment, whether it’ll be a random check in the mail or whether my attorneys office will contact me. This is ridiculous and no-one seems to know wth is going on.

          • Lore says:

            This is true with how much lawyers are getting from out settlement. I may end up with 1000 dollars if im lucky,. and still have blood in my urine and pain that no doctor wants to touch due to this settlement

    • CallieG. says:

      Idk why attorneys fees don’t come after medical bills are paid, why should an attorney come up on the cost of surgery?
      Now attorney’s fees an attorney usually only charges the full 40% if you go to trial, if you only talked to a paralegal ask to review your billable hours and while on this case they are gonna if a settlement was reached take the 40 since so many get a piece of it, but make sure the expensives are true.
      As for any loans Etc? Aren’t those contingent on a settlement with AMS? Did they settle? Isk who you gory our info from but they really should of thought of the group as a whole bad xxxxx up! just saying ZIp Zip it! Seriously whose going to break confidentiality??? The attorney a better not!

      • Robin says:

        If you got a pre-settlement loan, you’ve given permission (similar to an auth for health records) for the law firm to divulge case status and amounts of settlement.

        Also, if you’ve gotten a loan and don’t pay it, they can and will do everything legally possible to come after you, and add their legal fees on top of it.

        • Callie says:

          Hi Robin, you’re correct if by chance you are still with the firm that signed off on your loan, but isn’t there also a clause Jin those loans that you not enter into a class action? And it was to be paid out of money from a law suit against the manufacture no? I could swear I saw somewhere on this board that the manufacture had all its cases dropped ??!
          Are you telling me they would allow the injured parties to suffer financially but the manufacturer gets to walk away without so as having to admit they hurt you all at all?? That seems awful haven’t the women who had this done to them been through enough?

          • Robin says:

            Callie,

            Each loan company has its own contract, so there’s really no blanket rules – other than, they are taking a risk that your case will make some kind of money. Settlement or jury award doesn’t usually matter.

            Unfortunately, walking away without admitting any liability is pretty much the definition of a settlement. No company – even if they lose a million civil cases – will admit that they did anything wrong.

          • Jane Akre says:

            And you often cannot even say you received a settlement. Certainly not the amount…. Yes standard operating procedure for sure.

    • Dora P says:

      If they dont feel you have more than 50% chance of winning, they will no longer take you on contingency. (Fee after win).

      That is why i want to know if we can start over with a new lawyer if we get dropped after refusing to settle.

      Whomever came up with the amt these companies had to set aside to divide amongst us GROSSLY underestimated what it is worth to consantly sit with a fork in your hooha, and not be able to make love to anyone ever again, just lay there and take it and medicate later and be in bed for days after in so much pain…and the guilt it causes our partners… and our families having to watch us be in constant pain in back/hips like we are in our 80s already.

      …yeah if we all have to live likr this forever and be cutbup every year while drs try 2 find missing peices in our privates…. we deserve to live comfortably in the REST of our lives… oe at least be given enough to keep up therapies and treatments to attempt to be more comfortable.

    • Betty D says:

      My lawsuit was passed on to another firm. What I had 5 surgerys and now mesh is. Eroided and coming through my stoma.
      This my advise for what is worth everyone should go back to their files put a list together and put all names of the firm and lawyers name and get it out to national TV and ,that is my plan keep their name out there may take time. I will start my next week
      All lawyers keep passing this on and another gets paid well here mine. You will see me out soon.

  3. Ann says:

    My original law firm passed me on to another. Do I have to pay for this?

    All of this is kind of confusing to me. My case is with Johnson and Johnson. Are they negotiating with law firms?

    • Jane Akre says:

      Anything done is being done behind the scenes. That is a good question for your law firm. They owe you that explanation. Remember, you are the client and are in the driver’s seat….

  4. Flo says:

    Please let keep me updated. I have file a claim through Fitts attorney in Houston Texas, I live in San Antonio, Texas. Keep getting no information available at this time.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Has your case been passed to another law firm? As the client, you have the right to know that in my opinion! At the very least, they have an obligation to speak to you, the client….. at the very least!!!

    • Cheryl says:

      Hi
      I have the attorney Fitts also, out of Houston. They passed my information off to another Firm, which I just found out today. I sent original paperwork for claim 2 years ago.
      Jane Thank you for all your help

  5. RB says:

    Hello my wife was told we would hear something on April.(Ethicon) When will the actual trail start? I’m thinking of going to our local TV station.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Has your wife’s case been filed with the court? State or federal? Do you have a case number so you can check it? Are you scheduled for trial? So many questions. If you have a law firm, you should consult first before going to the media… generally they do not want the publicity, just in case something is said that would hurt her case. You know?

      • RB says:

        I do. 😉 we do have a case number. I have contacted our attorney and said they were “starting groups” in April. I want to be a voice for my wife as well as for all the men, whose life’s are over as well. My wife has had 2 revisions,they “forgot” stitches on my wife TWICE. ???? I love my wife and I will be heard. I thank you for the wonderful page my friend. Note was told April would be the first phase

        • Jane Akre says:

          I wish the best for you. I’d love to talk to you about the stress on a marriage and how much men have to bear when married to a pelvic mesh women… if you want.

        • Still Standing says:

          More important than a case number, has your wife’s case been worked up to be trial ready? This has to happen long before the trial. This would include your wife’s and your depositions, as well as depositions from the implant physician, treating physician, any other doctors who treated her, mental health practitioners, and possibly any people you listed as your case witnesses..those are friends or family who can testify to your injuries. These understandably take months to get done…and, they are very costly to your case. So, ask your lawyer if, or when, your case will be worked up for trial. Some cases will never be worked up, but will be grouped in a settlement negotiation.

          • Ray says:

            They had told us that it’s not in a class action. There are 18 counts against JJ and Ethicom

          • Jane Akre says:

            It’s multidistrict litigation,,,, consolidating similar cases like a class action BUT people are awarded according to their degree of injury. Go to the search bar and put in MDL. You will learn a lot.

          • vicki k says:

            This Mesh Case Has Been Going On For 7 Yrs. I hired An Attorney Out Of Chicago 7 yrs. ago. They Passed It On To A Law Firm In South Carolina. I Received A Settlement Agreement Of Substantial Amount a Year Ago Just To Find They Passed It Along To A group That Is Suppose To Settle Liens With Medicare And Medicaid. I Don’t Understand Any Of This! Why Don’t They Just Settle This? How Long Is This Going To Take To Get A Dime? I Had The Reconstructive Surgery I’ve Never Had So Much Pain And So Many Infections Before In My Life! Life As I Know It Is Over! I Will Never Be The Same Incontinent And The Pain I Go Thru Daily Is A Forever Thing That Will Never Go Away. Do They Ever Settle? They Get 40% Yet They Keep Taking My Part Away! What Can Be Done To Get The Monies Owed? Reasonable Amount Of Time Means Nothing! They Say Don’t Borrow Against Money Coming. Ok, How Long Does It Take To Get A Dime?

        • Still Standing says:

          Did they forget stitches, or did she have suture erosion? Most of the stitches used are permanent (not removed,)or they are eventually absorbed by the body. However, I had two suture erosions but they were taken care of in my doctors office. There are a range of opinions in the medical community about what type of suture material is best

          • Ray says:

            After the mesh removel I felt something scratching my penis.2 months after.. They forgot 2 stitches the 2nd time then had yo go back a 3rd time because of “scratching” me. I have long fingers and there’s stil some holding the uterus to the back of the vaginal walls. Very painful for my wife and feels like “sandpaper” to me. Smmfh. I want to look the jury in the eye and ask them if they would like to experience that with the woman they fell in love with.

          • Jane Akre says:

            I love that you are standing by your wife. Many men do not.

          • R says:

            My wife is my world. I wish I could take her pains away..I try. Thank you.

          • Joy R says:

            I’m so glad you’re standing with your wife. My husband did not & didn’t even try to understand the real pain, therefore a marriage of 20 yrs gone. This says a lot about you as a husband & a lot about your marriage. I applaud you & your wife!

  6. Jamie says:

    sorry, this is unbelievable I cannot believe that this is me here, I emensly am so dissapointed about my offer as it is large,? but heres the but….. I was given a ultimatium that strips me of 40% , 34 to the higher power & 6% to the special master! I convieniently called & was re*called after the mesh info couldn’t tell me nothing, the main unit called me and said I will get a gross encompessed looking package of 56 pages and I need to go over each one on top of the 40% she said there was a break down of other bills ??? I swear to christ are they insane ! I am not on medicaid, I have been refused , I got my first surgery on private insurance I paid into 11yrs ago, when I woke up with this mesh mess without my authORIZtion. No one told me but they were paid through private insurance, out of my pocket 7yrs on the job 3 revison surgeries private & 1 that was also paid on contracted insurance EVEN if it is the ACA they accepted it. contracted means paid what they give and they accept … what is wrong with these people !!!
    Why should I not be paid for accessive medical they want to slap on me that is not my FAULT when it was authorized ! I also asked if I was entitled to decline as I thought it was my right and I WAS TOLD well if you do u will just sit there, possibly not have another chance to get anything and I’m not on disability and will never get it but I’ll be damned that any other medical affiliates get this that damaged me. The one dr that helped me deserves it no one else and I was told 3 weeks for the documents this is all AMS & exactly what this article said is all happening to me because in the special master letter I re read it and did say that any medical outstanding liens against you will be recinded through your settlement I was confident I had none and I’ll never have enough to continue for life medical I have been refused by the state of florida for medical treatment as they had me enrolled in a group private policy for a year & three months which should of been dis-enrolled in 2015 of feb this has been a emotional rollorcoaster. I’m indignent and this is crap between the constant interruption of my life from all these complications who are these lawyers to determine the amount of money they should get from me when I’m the sick one and I was contacted by Greg in the basement too because of that my number was on a list too I rambled through quite a few to all these women who passed away and I called and said is that what your’re waiting for here you all transparent hurry up and wait cuz we are waitng for you to wait for nothing and thanks for nothing like

    • Still Standing says:

      Ok, Jamie. It must be terribly upsetting to be blindsided by the terms of your settlement. Hopefully, with my input and comments from others who have been through the settlement part can help you understand what is going on. First, do you have a copy of the contract you signed with the law firm that is representing you? If not, contact them tomorrow and ask them to send you a copy for your records. 40% is a pretty standard attorney fee for product liability lawsuits and that appears to be what you have been charged. If your case went to court, there may be a different scale, but since you have been offered settlement without a trial, this is not out of the ordinary. What gets confusing is the additional fees that are charged against your case. The 6% appears to be the fee for the common fund of the MDL. That is for shared discovery, shared expert witnesses, all of those court expenses that, if you were alone in this suit, you would have to pay 100% of them. So now, you are looking at about 60% of your award. The case expenses you are being charged for are filing fees, travel, other expenses that your individual case has incurred. Had your case been worked up for trial, but not actually tried, you could be looking at case costs in the thousands of dollars. This is additional to your attorney’s 40% fee. The 40% is their profit. For example, say you received a $100,000 settlement. The attorney would get $40,000. But, it could be possible that your individuals case costs are $30,000 or even more. (Mine were closer to $100,000) depending on the settlement amount and the length of time that it takes to resolve your case. Unless your attorney has a guaranteed percentage, they could end up with very little money, or even lose money on your case. So, yes, you will have a breakdown of your case costs when you get your packet. Please dont hesitate to go over each one and contact your firm for clarification. They owe you that explanation until you are satisfied with their answer.

      Now, for the medical liens against your settlement. This can be all over the place. Im not sure how the ACA insurance handles settlement liens, but if you received help with or government subsidized premiums, then they are going to want the money that they paid for your care back and there are legal parameters set up for this. Private insurance companies are a little complicated , too. There are about a dozen state that have anti-subrogation laws, which means that if you are insured in the state by a private insurance company, they cannot attach a lien on your settlement. The reason is basically what you stated, that insurance companies share pooled risk with all the people they insure and they are not then able to go back and get more money from you since they agreed to a contracted amount. Since I dont know where you live, I cant advise about your state, but you can google anti-subrogation states and they will pop up.

      Now, a final comment on firing your lawyer and going to trial in your state. Think about it carefully, because once you make a decision, you cant go back and change it. First, any other lawyer you hire will have a similar fee for taking your case. If you do get remanded back to your state, you will still have to pay your current attorney out of your eventual settlement. Your current attorney may or may not release your case records without being paid first. They may charge you for making copies of your records. That policy should be stated clearly in your original contract. Trials are costly and while you could get a big judgment, you could also lose and get absolutely nothing. If you do win in court, the defendant will certainly appeal, which will cost more of your money and be several years down the road before appeals are exhausted. Settlements cant be appealed, so if you sign the settlement documents, you will eventually get your money. They will hold out around 25% to pay any liens. You will get any of that money that is left after liens are paid.

      So, going back to the $100,000 example, out of your $60,000, lets say you have case costs of $10,000,(low end) which leaves you with $50,000. They will hold 25% of your 100,000 for lien searches so you should get a check for $25,000. Say your lien payments are another $10,000 then you would get another $15,000 as your case is closed out. It is surprising to see how $100,000 can get whittled down to $40,000, but it is the way the system is set up.

      So, Jamie, I hope that this post helps you figure out your settlement questions. It is hard to figure out all this stuff. I was lucky and had an attorney friend who helped explain things when all the legal terms made my head spin. You have a big decision to make. Give it careful thought. No one can tell you what way is best for YOU. We all must weigh the facts balanced with our unique needs.

      • Jamie says:

        Hello Still.Iknew & understood what the fee was from jump street, I also saw that these lien searches are as I stated that I’m truly confident that i did my research before hand that I had no medical liens, like I stated no medicaid,no disabilty,no loans no outstanding medical bills, why should Aca goverment or not be paid back when the law is in place for you to have it when I WAS working and they take pre-exsisting conditions for one and they only paid them 5.000 dollars any way and the total procedure was 57,OOO as I called to ask & no outstanding medical bills are in place doesnt mean anything i understand per say but as you said i will look up anti subrogation i live in florida not so good ! Jane said I might ask my present lawyer to take it to my state court >

    • Robin says:

      Jamie,

      I’m so sorry for everything you’ve been through. Faulty medical devices have ruined so many lives. No patient asks for it, and no patient can ever truly regain what he or she has lost as a result of injuries. To make matters worse, the law and government programs, supposedly set up to protect the public from such injuries, actually hinder the process of recovering and preventing them from happening in other cases. It’s not fair at all to the people who have been hurt, nor is it fair to their families and friends, who must watch it all, helpless.

      Still Standing makes some very good points. Thank you for your input!

      The thing about declining a settlement is that, if you do decline it and instead, choose to take your case to state court, there are so many hoops to jump through. Most of the time, you will have to find another attorney who will take up the cases, who is registered to practice in your own state. The mass-tort law firms usually have attorneys registered to practice in just a few states, and to try a case would require an attorney who understood all of the nuances of your state’s product liability, negligence, and trial rules and regulations. The fact that MDL courts have been set up for these cases can make it a very long process to bring an individual case to trial, too. A lot of Judges will wait until the MDLs are wrapped up to put individual cases on their dockets, in the hopes that the case can be resolved without court intervention.

      If you do take your case to state court, after you’ve waiting for the MDLs to wrap up, and you finally get to start working the individual case up, you and your attorney will be faced with a whole new slew of hoops to jump through.

      Every state has different laws, and oftentimes, when an MDL is set up in a certain state, that’s because attorneys believe that the laws and rules of that state lean more towards the Plaintiff’s side. Some states are tilted heavily towards defending corporations. For proof of this, one need look no further than Statute of Limitations laws. Some friendlier states have “discovery rules,” which means that the time-limit a plaintiff has to file a case doesn’t start until he or she actually discovers what is causing the problems. Other corporation-friendly states do not have discovery rules. At least one state I know of gives plaintiffs one year from the date of implant, whether or not she even had injuries at that time. Is it fair that a woman in one state has a much better chance of winning than she would in another state? No, it’s ridiculous, and frankly I believe it to be borderline unconstitutional denial of one’s right to due process. Still, the reality is that, depending on your state, you may or may not be set up to lose before you even start.

      Other points to consider include:
      -the amount of time the case will take (since you’ll essentially be starting fresh with a Judge who is probably not familiar with the intricacies of mesh litigation);
      -the amount of money working up a case, which can very easily top 100k. Your state may or may not require the defendant to cover legal-costs;
      -The risk to you. Some state law actually require the Plaintiff to cover the defendant’s legal costs if she refuses a settlement, and then receives an award lower than the offered settlement, or no award at all. For example, if you were offered $50,000 as a settlement, but a jury only awarded you $25,000 at the end of the case, you could be responsible to cover the defendant’s legal costs. Again, this is not fair, and it needs to be changed, but it’s something you should be warned of before you make a decision.
      -Even if you are successful in your lawsuit, the defendant can appeal the verdict for years and years. It could take over five years to receive any funds, assuming that the verdict doesn’t get overturned. If that happens, you could end up doing the whole trial over again.

      Before you make a decision, please try to research or speak with an attorney in your state who can explain what exactly you might be up against. It’s not fair that one should have to consider this decision so thoroughly, just to go to trial – as is her right. In a just and perfect world, each and every woman would have her day in a court with fair laws and non-political rules.

      This is not that world. The reality is that the court systems are often tilted towards the corporations who bring in money, and not for the people who pay taxes, go to work, live, love, and endure every single day.

      It’s not a decision to be taken lightly, but in the end, you are the only one who can decide what decision is right for you.

      • Jane Akre says:

        Thank you. When we sued Fox News and it was overturnd on appeal, they wanted $1.7 million from my ex and myself to cover their legal fees….A smart judge saw through that and reduced the amount…. but still it hurt.

        • Still Standing says:

          Holy cow, Jane. I googled your name this weekend after I saw your $1.75 post. You have your own Wikipedia entry. I chuckled where they said you were a “former” journalist. They dont know you are doing your finest journalistic work right here. It may not get you a Pulitzer, but the stories you cover on this site are worth Pulitzers stacked thousands of women high.

          • Jane Akre says:

            I laughed at that too…… how can one be a former journalist? Not in my DNA. How does one update wikipedia?

      • KittytheKat says:

        I have to ask – why do (we) plaintiffs have to pay our legal fees and not the offending mesh manufacturers? if we “win”, by forcing the company to settle, why do WE have to pay our own legal fees?

        • Jane Akre says:

          You know that is a very good point. In Florida it’s loser pays… if you lose litigation you have to pay the other side’s legal fees….(designed to discourage lawsuits no?) Thank you for bringing that up.. Anyone have an answer?

          • Still Standing says:

            Well, we pay our legal fees because we make the decision to file a lawsuit. The company has no control over who files. We have to prove our case..the defendant does not have to “prove” anything actually. This prevents frivolous lawsuits, such as the guy who is suing Starbucks because he thinks they put too much ice in their ICED coffee. Even if Starbucks settles the claim as the road of least resistence, do you think they should have to pay his legal fees? When a company settles, it is with the understanding that they do not accept any blame, they acknowledge no fault. There is no declared winner with a settlement. I assume that is why the terms of the agreement are confidential.

          • Jane Akre says:

            Frivolous lawsuits have been shown to be largely a myth because there are measures in place to stop them. First, what law firm, if it is reputable, wants to be associated with something that is outrageous, second, a judge will dismiss at the first opportunity. Having said that, the McDonalds coffee case carried the myth of being frivolous until you looked at the facts of the case as the jury did. She was seriously injured and McDonalds had 700 such reports of injury before but arrogantly kept selling scalding hot coffee, knowing the downside…. Still that doesn’t stop tort reformers from citing it as an example…… (Yes, there are law firms who don’t care about their integrity or reputation). Dont know about the Starbucks iced coffee case.

  7. Jamie says:

    sorry but this continues can they do this to me is this a Real I cannot phatom how all this time i did not hear nothing was asked nothing and now i’m told something I do not like and you sign you cannot open anything up anywhere its over !!!! why judge goodwin this is insane in the membrane 1.6 billion and women are paying lawyers that did not go to trial ??? why can’t I fire my lawyer and go to trial in my state court ?

    • Jane Akre says:

      You may be able to. Ask your present law firm if they would like to file your case in your state and try it there.

    • Robin says:

      Jamie,

      I can imagine you’re frustrated, and your voice speaks for hundreds, if not thousands, of other women wondering the same thing.

      Please read my comment above. You may be able to go to state court, but please, don’t make the decision lightly. Don’t let frustration and anger guide you in this. It’s so important, and the decision you make now could have an effect on your life for years and years to come.

      You are the injured party. You have to decide what is best for you. In order to make the best decision you can, please try to find out what you’ll be up against in your state. It’s also important to consider your manufacturer. Is it a company that has billions of dollars to throw at defending the case? Or is it a company that, at least on paper, has very few assets to defend – or pay judgment?

      Just like a patient making a medical decision, weighing the risks and the benefits, Plaintiffs have to make an informed decision about what to do with their claims.

  8. Still Standing says:

    Robin, thank you so much for the information. I appreciate that you took the time to post here. It was good to hear your point of view. I actually was very pleased with my representation. They informed me , followed up, took my calls, you know, what they were supposed to do. I just cant believe how some women have been ignored by their attorney. Just to emphasize one of your comments, several of my physicians who gave deposition charged, are you ready for this, $1500.00 per HOUR. This is not just the time they were deposed, but hours and hours for “chart review” prior to the deposition. That is a lot of money by any standard, $250/MINUTE, so it just shows how shared expert testimony can save individual cases a great deal of money. Amazing how they are allowder to set their fees, but it is what it is. There is just so much work that takes place behind the scenes. Thats for showing up,and doing what you can do. It matters.

    • Still standing says:

      Sorry for the error above, I obviously left out the zeros. $250 a minute would be quite nice for the one making it. It should have been $25.00/minute, which is still a respectable sum of money. I wouldnt take a pass on it.

      • Robin says:

        Still Standing, I’ve read so many of your comments, and you are truly a lighthouse, trying to guide everyone through the treacherous legalese. I am happy to offer what insight I can. Especially now, when there are so many questions and so many complaints. I think it’s so important for people like you to present different angles and perspectives.

        • Still Standing says:

          Thanks for the input, Robin. I have to say that I can look at these things from a current perspective, but one I did not
          always have. I was taken under by all the mesh complications as we all are either most of the time or even some of the time. I learned from practicing mindfulness to look at what was going on as a third person, an observer, not judging myself, being just aware of what is going on in the present. It takes the high emotions out of the awareness. Ive tried to differentiate between the legal part of my mesh and the personal struggle with it. It doesnt work all the time, but bringing attention to the present moment, which is the only moment we actually have, reduces ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. Being able to seperate these two different aspects of the mesh is part of my coping mechanism. The legal part I dont have any control over, so I have focused personally in doing what I need to do to make each day matter and one that eases the suffering of others as well as myself. I think we need all the coping tools we can find and especially share with each other. Our lives are no less valuable today than they were the day before the mesh.

  9. Robin says:

    Can you tell me what this means.If a persons name is listed in MDL 2327 with a group of plaintiffs , in that same MDL2327 it lists the same person saying they are severed from civil action.Not really sure what this means .if you could explain I would appreciate it.

    • Robin says:

      Robin (names are going to start getting confusing!)

      Being severed could mean that the law firm filed a group of plaintiffs on a single petition, but the court required that each case be filed individually. Sometimes, law firms file a group petition because it costs a few hundred dollars to file a single case. The court frowns upon this, and the Judge ruled early-on in the process that, if a law firm has done so, the plaintiff listed first on the petition will stay, but all of the other plaintiffs have to be filed separately within a certain amount of time.

      Sometimes, the court will also list “terminated” if a plaintiff has two lawsuits, or lawsuits were filed under a different name (like if a case was filed for Deborah Doe and then another case was filed for Debbie Doe). Since each plaintiff gets one lawsuit, the court will usually terminate the second case.

      A case may also show that a party has been terminated if the lawsuit or part of a lawsuit has been dismissed, such as if a plaintiff and her husband divorce, and the husband no longer wishes to be involved in the case, or if a defendant was named, but had nothing to do with the case.

      If your particular case shows up that way, it’s best to speak with your attorney or his/her paralegal to find out the exact reason.

  10. Joanne says:

    I’m so upset… With the amount . I set at home and cried…. I’ve been so sick over this settlement with American medical systems.
    That the end of the day the The lawyers are getting richer and medical system doesn’t care. But the justice system doesn’t care also. We’re just nothing to anyone . I had 4 surgery and fell like shit and not getting better.

    • Still Standing says:

      Jolene, I care and many others care. We cannot let the companies put a dollar value on our worth. Do you need to talk to someone? I will be glad to listen.

    • Robin says:

      Joanne,

      I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through. Even though no amount of money will ever make things “right,” it’s unfortunate that your settlement doesn’t line up with your expectations. The thing with this litigation is that there are so many women that have been injured, that even though the companies settle for a large amount, the amount is split between thousands of plaintiffs.

      It’s almost like the plaintiffs are getting screwed because the company injured so many of them.

      On another note, please make sure that all of your injuries were accounted for. Paralegals and attorneys are human, and every so often, something can be missed.

      I do hope that you find some peace in the future. These products don’t just injure the pelvis – they injure the entire body and mind. I wish you hadn’t had to go through it at all, but since you have, I am sending positive energy and thoughts your way.

  11. bsklang says:

    I have only posted on this site one time in the past…but have found many comments extremely helpful. As you all know this process is as much of a roller coaster as the surgeries and recoveries that go along with them. I guess I would like to direct my question to Jane, Still Standing and Robin. As we near a potential end to our legal process. I have not received a letter breaking down all the fees associated with a settlement offer. However I see the 6% for the common fund being discussed. In conversation with our lawyer they stated a 5% steering comity payment. Is this one in the same? Or does can I expect the 6% to appear on top of this? We are trying to brace ourselves for what will be in the letter so we are no caught by surprise. We have been hoping for many years for more ups on this roller coaster than downs. So far that has not been the case…so we are just trying to stay educated.

    • Robin says:

      bsklang,

      You should double-check with your firm, but I believe the steering committee and the common benefit fund are two separate entities.

      The steering committee is a group of plaintiff attorneys selected to “take the reigns” of litigation cases. Otherwise, there would be thousands of plaintiff attorneys trying to squeeze into the courtroom, and no one would get anywhere. The steering committee is also usually made up of the firms who have hired the experts, done the research, sifted through (literally) millions of pages of documents, and spent countless hours and dollars on figuring out EXACTLY what has gone wrong with these products.

      The common benefit fund (as I understand it) reimburses some of the costs to plaintiff firms, for working up cases. This helps the smaller firms from going under when they have to wait five or six years for a settlement or verdict to come up.

      If anyone else can clarify further, please do!

    • Still Standing says:

      Well, welcome bsklang…this isnt a club you wanted to be in, but at least there are others here who know where you are coming from. I am certainly not the legal authority by a long shot, but I can tell you my personal experience. There is a 6% MDL fund. This may be a breakdown of 5% for MDL and 1% steering committee, can’t remember exactly. It depends on how your individual law firm handles this payment. Some charge the client the 6%. My firm payed 5% and charged me 1%. So, I dont think it will be the same across the board. i think you are smart to be prepared in advance. it will help you thoughtfully formulate the questions that you will have….and have a right to ask. Dont hesitate to get clarification until you are satisfied. And dont let them get away with not responding in a timely way. I only know my firm and there has never been more than 24 hours between the time I would leave a message or send an email. I assumed that was an industry standard, but from what I read here, that is not the case. You should receive the breakdown of fees along with the settlement package. There may be some surprises there since you cant calculate your individaul case costs unless the attorney has provided a you a running tally. However, I would never sign the settlement agreement letter without knowing the other fees that have been charged against your case. I am hoping that the roller coaster ride will be on the way up with your offer and that you will be able to put the legal part behind you and focus on what is most important, your physical and emotional healing. Sending prayers for you.

      • bsklang says:

        Thank you both for your reply. You are right…not a club you would stand in line to join. It will be interesting to see everything in writing and spelled out. Again this is a great place to realize you are not alone.

        • Still Standing says:

          Just one more thing, they will hold back 25% of your total award, before attorney fees are taken out, ex. You get $100,000, attorney gets their $40,000, the most you would get in the initial check would be $35,000. However, it wont be that because of the common fund charges, etc, and other case costs. You should expect something north of $30,000 especially if your case was not worked up to be trial ready. The other $25,000 will be held until your special master does a complete lien search..t that could be bills your insurance paid for post mesh care and they might want their money back, medicare or medicaid will definitely want to recoup their money, and there could be some debts to doctors or hospitals. The special master will take care of negotiating payment. Anything you have left from that will be yours.

          • PJustwondering says:

            Still standing you seem to be very knowledgeable as far as all these fees go. I have received partial settlement in January and was told by my attorney in March that all was clear with subrogation etc. it is now almost July and still nothing has been sent to me from the holdback funds for liens. I didnt have any liens and was told that the amount negotiated was accepted by my medical insurance company. I have been corresponding with the attorneys but feel like I’m getting the run a round as they are quite short and curt when I ask where the balance of my funds are. Does it really take more than six months to get the balance of my settlement. The papers were signed in November. Feel free to call if you want to discuss further. Thanks 919 641-4642

  12. Flo says:

    Do we have to pay income tax on the settlement we get? Before or after the
    attorney fees?

  13. LAURIE says:

    Can someone help me. We are not supposed to talk exact numbers, so I will throw out $240,000 … but then I only got 22% in my check that should be here in a few weeks. But they held back $60,000 let’s just say for a lien. I have Blue Cross Blue Shiield in Michigan. Will I end up owing more ? Or can they only come back at the lein. All hospitals were informed and accepted their pmt fees. So i guess I don’t know they deserve anything. No liens, all deductibles paid. Should i get something back? I have had four surgeries and as and my relationship with my husband isn’t as good as it could be as we are not as intimate as we could be.

    • K White says:

      given that 22% of 240K is ~$60K – where did the other (let’s say) 78% – go?
      78% of 240K is ~$187,200.

      very interested in the hypothetical numbers being paid out for the same reasons all the rest of us are, thanks!

  14. K White says:

    PS I don’t think you should pay for insured procedures bc you have paid for the insurance. The insurance pays the agreed-upon amount to the hospital, so you should not be responsible for any other hospital costs. that’s between the hospital and the insurance company, not between the hospital and you.

    as for liens, however, if you (or anyone) had your procedures under medicaid or disability, for example, or had any other liens regarding your surgeries or other care, they will want to retrieve those costs.

  15. PJustwondering says:

    Laurie, can you please read my comment from June 24th and give me some feedback. I’m still waiting on funds that were held for liens of which I only had one (insurance company). That negotiated amount was supposed to be settled several months ago and yet my funds are still being held. This whole process is somewhat ridiculous especially since we the clients are getting the short end of the monies.

  16. Barb says:

    2 years later and I am mostly in a wheelchair now. The pain never ends and my life has been destroyed.

  17. Patricia says:

    I signed my settlement papers on April 29, 2016, which I rushed back to the attornies office. I am disabled but not from “the mesh” issue I have. I am on Medicare & Medicaid, so my re-vision surgery , those guys can get 25% of my award? I found out that another law firm handled the award..my attorney tells me that they can not tell me how long this process will take. I do not have any bankruptsy either. Are they attornies just pulling me along by telling me they don’t know?

  18. Rita says:

    The medical community and Lawyers ate the only ones making money the victims like me after 10 years of this mess it’s all been a joke on the victims

  19. Elaine says:

    I signed my settlement papers in early August for an insulting amount even though my files show I was injured, but I never had revision surgery because of the cost. I have yet to see a dime. Even my attorneys don’t know when these checks will be sent from the so called settlement company. It’s ridiculous. When I call the settlement company the customer service reps put me on hold pretending they’re looking into something then come back and say there’s no timeframe for when checks will be mailed. I did have bankruptcy but it appears to have been discharged and closed.

    • Jane Akre says:

      I’m so sorry, it’s exhausting just hearing these stories over and over….. For their 40% you deserve to have some answers….I’m sorry you didn’t have revision surgery but that could be a blessing if you had gone to the wrong person and been injured more…..Who is making interest from these settlement dollars that belong in your hands?

  20. Jenster says:

    I found a lawyer online and sent in info, I had been told several years ago that my mesh wasn’t included because it is porcine, so I didn’t check into it again until recently when a lot of people kinda pushed me to give it another go. I’ve had 4-5 surgeries attempting to fix bleeding and pain, and the last surgery (4 surgeons and 5 years later) pulled a hunk of mesh and stitches out that was causing lesions and bleeding from my vaginal wall. I didn’t even know my issues were related to the sling until this last surgery….nobody could figure out what was causing it all. So, I sent all of my surgical reports to this lawyers office and I got a call today that they’ve mailed me an “intake packet”. Now, I’m in the Detroit area and this lawyer is in California. Since I haven’t signed anything yet, should I try to find a more local attorney? Or did I “agree” to anything when I sent this place my records? (I honestly didn’t think I had a claim because of what I was told years ago.) Also, I had a bankruptcy a few years ago…there were no medical related bills in it. I’ve had private insurance through employers for every surgery or procedure. Will anything I’m offered still go towards that? (I assumed that since it was all done and closed that that was it.) I’m not getting all excited about receiving a ton of money or anything, but I do want to be sure I’m being represented adequately and hoping that this won’t drag on for years. (I had an AMS sling put in in 2007.) Any advice?

  21. June says:

    I think we have had enough.My mesh has caused me so much pain and suffering.Have not received a penny also we are going in to debt because of the mesh do the lawyers or mesh company’s give a dam I tnink NOT????????let’s go on TV and talk about what we have and are still going throu.

    • Thentherewere6 says:

      I would love to go on tv and tell what I have been through. We should also name the dr’s! The dr that put the mesh in me had no business doing so. I even asked him if he had done this type of mesh, he said, “Yes, hundreds of times.” The dr that removed part of the mesh told me that whoever put it in had no clue what they were doing! I have received two offers, but was told not to talk about it. They do not want us getting together on this matter!

  22. Barbara T says:

    I got some of my settlement, now because I had a medicaid # back when I had the surgery they put a medical lien and held over $3000.00 of my claim since June. Nobody from County government paid for my surgery and a place called Shapiro Settlement Solutions is still waiting for 2 letters to prove it since June. This is not fair!!!!!

  23. Dave A says:

    My mother was given a figure of $9,000.00. Of that, we thought we would be receiving about $5,400 – 5,800. I just got a letter and it is under $1,600.00. How the hell does this all figure to be fair? That’s about 17% of the settlement that she will be getting…

    • Jane Akre says:

      Does she have mesh in placee with medical management? Is that all her violation is worth. I know what I’d say……

  24. Cher says:

    AMS case. Four years of legal b.s. So far. No answers from law firm. I finally received some $ in May, but withheld amount still has not shown up. The law firm is now a joke, since they have their money already. I need a third surgery and I swear that there were funds withheld for my “class” of injury in case we needed additional surgeries. But law firm says no? They got 40% right off the top and still charged for postage, phone calls, etc. the whole thing stinks and none of us want to go in public and bash the attorneys by claiming how much our diapers cost, the cost of doing laundry every day due to accidents, etc.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Cher- You are right that women do not want to bash their attorneys but I’m hear far too much every day about funds withheld coupled with no communication. This is not professional behavior…. anyone else? Let’s start an open letter on Your Turn about this treatment….

  25. KIMBERLY L says:

    I want to say I have legal representation. I had my first surgery in 2009 at 48 years of age. My life as I knew it was over. I was in retail management. I would return to the doctor and complain with the horrible pain I was experiencing. My husband said my first words in recovery after my surgery was” there is something wrong, this is way too tight”. The bleeding began, the pain continued. The doctor said it was in my mind, about the pain meds . His putting me down telling me I was crazy went on and on. I finally found another physician. Her first word’s were ” who did this to you?”. She couldn’t give me an exam. For a year and a half I was carrying 40 Cc ‘ s of urine around daily. My bladder never emptied. Still doesn’t! Three surgeries later. Finally removal of as much mesh as they could. A wonderful physician at Yale. I thank God for him. I haven’t had intercourse with my husband since an attempt in 2010. I am 100% disabled, the pain is horrible. I self cath so my bladder and kidneys empty. I suffer horribly from constant kidney stones. My bowels do not work properly. My husband has left me twice. The medical debt continues. Catheters are very expensive. I was offered a choice of surgery for a device that will help me void my bladder and bowels that do not work as well from the nerve damage. I need two devices , yet insurance doesn’t cover one! If I get the devices at all they will require battery replacement surgeries every year and a half! AMS thought my loss of life was worth less than 200 thousand! I will still need to self cath when the surgeries are done! I am humiliated because I need pain management. Drug tested like a drug addict. The mental and physical pain goes on and on! There are days that I don’t think I can do this another day. The infections! Yet I get up and carry on. We were their Guinea pigs. Human testing on us! What is that worth for all of our lives destroyed in the prime of our lives? Children grown, we should be enjoying our lives not wondering how we are going to pay for the thousands of dollars in medications and medical supplies we never needed before our bodies were destroyed by a product that was never tested!

    • Cara says:

      Can you please tell me the doctor at Yale who removed your mesh?I have mesh erosion and am thinking of having it removed.I already have had one revision, suffered from gangrene and almost died, had an emergency debridement of my rectum, suffer worse urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence and no more making love with my husband. I just found out my case will get me 5 grand or under because it was Caldera.Unreal…

  26. Joanne A says:

    I was left with NOTHING!!!

    I had to file a BK three years after my sling surgery. Mind you..I had to out of pocket nothing for my surgery so my BK wasn’t related to surgery expenses. It was because of a relationship gone bad and I was left with the bills.

    My BK was discharged and closed! When the trustee was notified of my settlement, they reopened the BK. The trustee took over $3,000 and then the creditors took the rest.

    I scoured the paperwork I signed and it never once asked or advised if a client had field BK that the funds go back to the trustee. It only mentioned unpaid medical bills relating to the surgery. In my opinion, this is fraud because this wasn’t disclosed.

    Everyone has their hand in someone else’s pot. This is truly a scam so the lawyers get richer and we should be able to get our money!

  27. Nancy says:

    Received settlement closing statement. When they receive my paper work, they say it will take within 60 days to receive my check. It’s been 5 months since I accepted the settlement with Bard.

    • frustrated in mo says:

      I also signed settlement papers with Bard in August 3rd 2016. I’ve not received payment nor word on when or how to expect payment . calls and emails to my attorneys go unanswered

  28. Kat says:

    How can I find out what is really going on with my settlement that was settled last June 16,2016 for $11.75 millon with Caldera T_Sling bladder mesh class action law suite ?

    • Maura J says:

      There is an Order (Final) at Calderaclaims.com. All the legal docs are there. Number 40 something as the final schedule. September 20th checks are to be issued, but my firm is jerking me around – just as recently as today. I was told offer letters were going out this month. Now they are not. The pot is 11.5 less some amongst 2700 claimants. There are three tiers. I was told checks will go out end of year – but I have no idea what tier I’m in or what the offer to me is. I get what I get (or dont get). It may be nothing.

  29. Vic says:

    This is so Infomative. I had my mesh and sling in 2010. It took longer to heal, Then for the next two years they kept clipping what they said was a stitch-just like the gentleman previously mentioned- he could feel it. Then at one point a piece of mesh came out. My gyno suggested hysterectomy- the actual doctor wanted to do revision. Life got in way ( both parents I’ll and Passed) and I’ve ignored. Painful intetcourse now – but I had reached out to a law firm as I was seeing ads on TV. They were relentless calling and I assumed since I wasn’t in the amount of pain that so many suffered I would not be eligible- they started calling again and since I am feeling some pain – and finally made appt for a gyno urologist that I will see in April, that I’d take the call. I did that last Thursday. She sent me the forms to sign which I have not yet. And u keep ignoring the constant phone calls until I can take time to read (on vacation). But my husband said contingencies are negotiable. 40% is too much. I likely won’t sign at all. With the little amount that so many have received who have been through far worst than me – I see I’m likely a canidate to be passed around. I don’t have time for that bs. The mesh and sling have completely failed. I have to pee constantly and bed over to be sure I empty. I can feel the mesh just passed at the entrance of my va jj

    • Jane Akre says:

      Vic- Let me know if you’d like to talk further,, perhaps a doctor referral. There are only a few law firms taking new cases, many have since gone on to new actions. You might want to pursue a case in New Jersey if you are there, depending on the type of mesh you have. Ethicon/Gynecare/ J&J, also the Philadelphia Court is very active with cases.

  30. Karen says:

    I am very disheartened to read all of the posts on here. However, I guess I am not alone in this horrible process.

    I would appreciate any clarifications regarding the withholding of my settlement. I have been told by the Mesh representatives that my case has been reviewed and now is waiting to check on any prior bills, liens etc. That was approximately 8 months ago.

    Is the prior bills, liens etc. just related to the MESH surgery? My surgery was covered by my private insurance (not state insurance).

    I am not expecting much, but anything would sure be helpful in my decision to look into having another surgery to fix the problem.

  31. Worried says:

    Im new I just got a settelment offer and it isnt even ner enough to pay the med bills my lawyers had me borrow the money to have the second surgery and I would like a new lawyer my lawyers say to sign and then they will go back and file an other claim but the paper im reading says this is it i cant have no more and there will not be able to file from here on out

  32. Cheryl says:

    So after reading this, Is there any firm that is good? I do not have pelvic mesh but I have hernia mesh that has been a nightmare. I am afraid to sign with any now.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Talk to 2 firms…,get the best terms you can, make sure you are not signing with a firm that will refer your case but will file it!!!

  33. Stephrenia says:

    Has anyone heard of any payment dates for the AMS temporary holdback funds?

  34. Sandy says:

    I was offered a settlement that was appalling to me so I asked for a review. I explained that my Dr. was aware of all my issues but apparently he never wrote them in my file. They offered me $3400. The lawyer (whom I never heard from in years) told me when I called and cried to him about how disgusted I was with the offer that if I didnt take the offer there would likely never be a chance to go after the company again for damages as they wouldnt have anything left. I reluctantly agreed and just got settlement papers saying out of $3400 im getting $174. I am so appalled that on top of the 40% there was $1800 in fees. I had signed papers saying I could never sue that company again. If I refuse the settlement can I get out of this joke of a class action suit even though I originally agreed to the $3400. I feel they ripped me off.

  35. Brenda P says:

    Dear Ms Akre, Can you recommend someone I can use to avoid what happened to all these women?
    I am receiving documents-to-sign or a phone-call almost every day. I bet I have 10 sets of the same paperwork.
    My gut has kept me from signing even though I would like to proceed with a trustworthy law firm. The forms I am receiving have the same wording as Sandy’s: 40% plus an undisclosed amount of fees. I am so thankful I found this website.
    But for the grace of God, there go I.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Brenda- I will write you privately…..you dont say if you are hernia or transvaginal mesh.

      • TC says:

        Jane,
        Thank you so much for this informative website and for taking your time responding to questions. I had hernia surgery with porcine mesh and got internal staphylococcus that nearly killed me. 5 surgeries later, it was all removed, I am blessed to be alive, but I cannot participate in activities like I used to and I have a lot of trouble with eating & pain. I sought a local attorney when I was first well enough to look into it, but they said the statute of limitations was up. My surgery was in 2013. I would be interested in a reputable law firm too, as I feel adhesions and pain are going to require action at some point. God bless you.

        • Jane Akre says:

          You should ask the community for a referral as this is not a legal referral site….. It also depends on your manufacturer. You might check the recent article about the dwindling number of law firms still involved with transvaginal mesh. There is an advertisement and a slider bar ad that points you in the direction of a lawyer, but that is strictly advertising and not a referral service associated with this site…..In other words, I can’t vouch for them. As you probably know, many of the hernia meshes are not being litigated, only Physiomesh and C-Qur and perhaps 3D Max. So first find out your type of mesh, the manufacturer, the size of it etc…. then start asking around. Google etc. Do NOT let the law firms access your medical records because it will take months and you have a statute of limitation that is ticking down… just my opinion as a non lawyer. Be proactive and take charge of your records! Keep the originals and do not part with them, only send copies.

  36. Cheri says:

    AMS case with two surgeries. Again, lawyer does not call or mail me with any info. Has been a YEAR since I got part of my pitiful settlement but still no remainder of payment. The attorneys handling our cases are the worst ever, they took 40% and still charged me for every stamp, every fax, etc. they all have their money, so they do not care about their clients. I called and wrote to the WV MDL judge with no response. I know that I also remember seeing that there was supposed to be funds set aside for possible future surgeries, but now the law firm says no. What can be done to have us help ourselves?

  37. Kim Nisbet says:

    I know this article is over a year ago, but I am just having problems with my mesh now, 7 years after my surgery in November 2010, All these stories sound like going through hell!! I have never filed a lawsuit yet. I’m actually reading all these things because I was actually looking to see if anyone has had no problems right after but instead many years later. I haven’t seen anything like that, Everyone seems to have had things happen within a year or so and for me it’s so many years later.

  38. Kim N says:

    Thank you very much for the information Jane. I appreciate it.

  39. Barbara says:

    I am writing in response to Kim Nesbit’s comment. I had my Pelvic Mesh Lawsuit for a few years. I had the Mesh put in and had no complications until after signing the settlement. Being that I had not needed a secondary surgery, I was quoted a very low amount and also it was quoted in the paperwork, once I signed I also could not sue again. Like I said now I have developed the complications of my Bladder has dropped again and my Mesh is partially dropped. The Dr. has said he will do surgery again and cut the Mesh and then reattach it, has anyone ever heard of that. I thought that the mesh always needs to be removed. I also am Bleeding or having a real constant drainage, and when I last saw the Dr. all he kept saying is “Its not Cancer”, that sure made me feel like he doesn’t care. When I started this lawsuit, I had never filed a lawsuit before. Like Kim a lot of my symptoms had never been documented by the Dr’s office, so I never divulged everything to the lawyer and I also feel like I am going to receive the short end of the stick. But I assume that it is too late for me also since all the paperwork was signed and returned. Ladies just don’t get pressured into signing any legal documents until you are satisfied, I was pressured and given a deadline and I gave in, my lawyer also made it sound that if I did not accept the low settlement amount that the next time it was presented it may not be any amount at all. By the way Kim I had my original surgery in 2013 so it has been almost four years for me since the implant. Good Luck To Everyone. I wish that there was a way we all could get another chance or different lawyers who probably would have gotten everyone a larger settlement. That is for all of the one’s who received a little or no settlement at all, I know exactly how you feel and my Heart go’s out to each and every one of you. I was inexperienced at dealing with any type of lawsuit like this. so Ladies don’t you make the same mistake.

  40. Ros says:

    I have had three Surgeries and they wanted me to have another which most likely lead to another, I experience pain every day of my life it has killed my sex life totally and the bladder leakage still happens. The mesh itself was never taken out and the doctors have no ideal what happened to it, its in my body somewhere but the doctors seem to not be worried about it all. where is this mesh???? I got my Mesh settlement papers I got 7thousand out of 58 Thousand who in the heck figured this its crazy!!!! I am pissed !

    • Jane Akre says:

      Sounds like your law firm collected more money than you did. Is this a done deal? Any chance to not settle? If you want a doctor recommendation let me know where you live and your insurance status? You should not have to have repeated surgeries and no one knows where the mesh is. That doesnt sound right. write janeakre@meshnewsdesk.com

  41. Maura J says:

    I am one of 2700 Caldera T-Sling implant claimaints. This started in 2012. I saw a firm on TV – not knowing there were issues with the sling, but knowing since a week after my implant I could not pee without straining, manipulating my bladder and leaning way forward. The stream was weak. My doctor said “that’s normal”. In hindsight I should have sued the urologist for putting the implant in too tightly, however it seemed everyone was going after hte manufacturer for a faulty product. Fast forward two surgeries and many bladder studies later. (They couldnt take out the implant, the mesh was embedded with tissued surrounding it. They clipped at one side to try to relieve the pressure, and took out scar tissue. I had follow up procedures, and a partial hysterectomy which included repairing my rectum wall which had eroded. My initial law firm passed me on to Aylstock Witkin Kreis and Overholtz in Pensacola FL. My case was tolled. There was no drawn out court appearances. They waited. For four years. This was a small manufacturer. Worth 13 million. They wanted to stay in business and not go bankruptcy. (In fact they came up with a new sling and are still implanting mesh in women to this day). They are still paying employees. Anyway, I recently we’re finally at the timeline in the final Order that says checks are to be issued 9/20. A few weeks ago I called my law firm mesh department who said you’ll be getting an offer letter. When you get it you’ll call us with your acceptance or rejection. I had taken an advance – well advances – from a law cash place early on because Penn State Milton Hershey would not do my surgeries unless I paid up front – (I was self employed and no insurance). Law Cash graciously advanced me the money. Four years later they said they know these things dont always work out and they have a work-out department to negotiate down the interest and fees. Today I called my law firm to see the status of those offer letters, and funny thing is before today the receptionist would ask who I wanted to talk to and put me right through to the caldera mesh implant department where there were dozens of paralegals and assistants to help you. Now when you call? The receptionist says she is the implant department and really knows nothing. Today I was told there will be no offer letters and checks will be issued at the end of the year. I was not consulted about what tier I am in or what the settlement amount is. They did not call law cash and negotiate down my debt. They call me rude and talk down to me and put me off and do not answer questions and dont like me asking them. I called my original attorney who said to call back and get answers. I did and they stopped talking to me. They dont want to put another cent in to this case because they are getting almost nothing. Question. Doesn’t a class action attorney have to let the claimant know their tier and what their portion is before a check is sent?

    • Jane Akre says:

      One would think so unless they have something to hide. That doesn’t create a good working arrangement does it? Thank you for your complete narrative of your experience.

  42. marie w says:

    you will never get money attorneys are taking your money that’s why they want reply

  43. Rebecca G says:

    I just received my settlement letter stating that there would be $$$$ for my offer. I guess my question is, in the ppwk they are stating that attorneys fees and filing costs are all associated with this offer. does that mean these costs are deducted from the offer?

    • Jane Akre says:

      Hell yes. !! so many costs deducted it will make your head spin. Have the law firm pay the 5% common benefit fund…..otherwise they will attach it to your costs.

    • Sal says:

      Hello, I came across this website looking for answers, myself….I can clearly see that these lawyers are getting all of the money. I just received my closing statement; out of $9,000 I will be getting $730.80…..then I received another settlement closing statement the next day and says out of $9,000 I will be getting $1430.80….I am totally not happy for sure after the 5 year wait…..and yes there is one particular large amount taken out for for case expenses plus the attorney’s fees and the court-ordered MDL assessment of 5% and the list goes on. This to me is totally not fair at all….when we are the ones who went through all of the pain and suffering. I would like to ask is there anybody that can assist with these lawyers not taking most of settlement monies? It is ridiculous!

      • Sal says:

        It’s me again. I forgot to mention; I assume the first closing statement wasn’t correct, so I received second closing statement that added $700 taking out one of the fees. Really? Who does that?

      • Jane Akre says:

        Did you agree to those amounts? Please think about it…. if you sign you are forever closed to any future litigation for your pelvic mesh. Did you have loans? Why did they take so much?

        • Completely anonymous says:

          Hello Jane, the following is the Summary received, I haven’t signed it as of yet. The first summary I received is the exact same except for the Case Expenses were on the first summary was ($3,333.20), the cost was lowered on the second summary I had received. The first summary was dated Septxxxx 2017 where as the second is dated Septxxxx 2017. There is no indication being revised. Honestly, are the law firms really allowed to take all of this money from us who have went through the actual pain and suffering?

          Settlement Ledger Summary is as follows;
          Gross Settlement Allocation Amount ($7,000.00)
          Court-ordered MDL Assessment (5% of gross) ($350.00)
          Attorneys’ Fees ($2,660.00)
          Case Expenses ($2,633.20)
          Medical Lien(s), holdback and fees ($260.00)
          Case Advances $0.00
          Total MDL, Attorneys’ Fees, Expenses, Medical Liens, Fees and Case Advances ($5,903.20)
          Net Due to Claimant of Settlement Allocation Amount $1,096.80

          Gross Administrative Cost Amount ($2,000.00)
          Court-Ordered MDL Assessment (5% of gross) ($100.00)
          Attorneys’ Fees ($760.00)
          Settlement Administration Expenses ($806.00)
          Total MDL, Attorneys’ Fees, and Settlement Administration Expenses ($1,666.00)
          Net Due to Clainmant of Administrative Cost Amount $334.00
          Total Net Due Claimant of Settlement and Administrative Allocation Amouts $1430.80

          • Jane Akre says:

            Geez- Total violation of your contract to reveal it but really, will $1,430.80 make much difference in your life? I hope you don’t sign it. Does a law firm not feel some shame in taking more money than you?

          • Salina says:

            It is obvious they don’t care that I receive very little of the settlement. I would like to ask though, is there anybody that one can complain to about how the law firms are ripping us off?

          • Jane Akre says:

            Two suggestions- You could contact the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, Google it. YOu can also contact the bar association in the state where you law firm is located.

  44. Rebecca says:

    I just received my settlement letter stating that there would be $$$$ for my offer. I guess my question is, in the ppwk they are stating that attorneys fees and filing costs are all associated with this offer. does that mean these costs are deducted from the offer?

    • Jane Akre says:

      I’m not an attorney but the short answer is yes…. Your lawyer should have explained what is deducted from your settlement dollars. Depending on the retainer agreement you signed with your law firm, they take 33.3 to 40% from the settlement… Then they try to add expenses in some cases and a 5% common benefit fund, which goes to fund the lawyers who did the heavy lifting in terms of research. You might say that you want them to cover their own expenses since 40% is an unusually large percentage to take. Also ask your law firm to pay most if not all of the 5% common benefit fund since it is their cost of doing business. Additional loans, Medicare or Medicaid can also be deducted. In the end some people end up with very little.

      It may not seem like it but before you sign to agree to the settlement, you are in the drivers seat. The only way the firm is paid is if you sign on. They want to be paid. Anyone with additional information or a different perspective, especially lawyers, please feel free to add your POV here.

  45. MeMyself says:

    This is so sad, I am waiting for about 6.5 years and nothing. Signed my settlement on Jan 2017 and not a word of my lawyers since then.

  46. shirley s says:

    I just received my settlement papers kind of a joke, made me feel like the pain I’ve gone thru doesn’t matter…. After filing in 2011 or 2012 can’t remember now it’s been so long this is all they offer. I want to know if I accept this offer if I have problems with it in the future will my health insurance pay for it?

    • Jane Akre says:

      Shirley- that is an excellent question. Common sense dictates if you continue to pay the premium AND there is no exclusion for pre-existing conditions then yes, they would pay. But common sense does not always intersect with insurance issues. So important that we have coverage for everyone that not not exclude preexisting conditions… pay attention to what is going on in D.C. I’m sorry that your settlement just adds insult to injury. Really, lunch money. If you can negotiate down that 5% common benefit fee, please do so. let your law firm pay the bulk of it. AND unless you were worked up for trial 33.3% is a good plenty for settlement efforts, in my non-legal opinion.

  47. Gotscrewed says:

    I got my offer in Nov 2016. $37,000 was the min amount. I got my check Aug 2017. $5,600.
    I wear my bladder on the out side. There is a hole in my belly that is constantly in pain. I stink all the time. My bag breaks loose and I pre all over myself from all day, not just one normal bladder full. I live every minute in major pain and my Dr and Hospital have labeled me a med seeker. I don’t ask for meds. I ask them to find the source.
    I was insulted. 5600 is a joke. When they mailed the check, she said she was looking at it and it was $17,000. Nope 5600. My son told me to or greatful.
    I’m to tired to go on right now. I wish I could post pics of.

  48. BS says:

    Getting screwed it was my belief based on th name of the company. Mayo I was fooled into believing it was the Mayo Clinic who often selects patients to perform free procedures in order to discover problems

  49. paulette says:

    hello I am setting here reading all these poor people have to say ive been there I all so have had surgery and going through a ruff time all so no sex in 5 years cause my bladder is hanging out again and I stink like piss so I have no desire any more now look it is ashame we are going through the suffering and the lawyers are setting around and trying to pay ins. companys hell we paid our ins every month and that is what ins is for to use it bankrupt in less you bankrupt on the surgery what has this settlement got to do with what you did in your past that’s why we let the lawyers tell our personal surgery to all these drs .now we only get a little I cant see it I might be a country girl with little education but if I get screwed on this I am going to do some calling if I have to talk to trump! I will some how get some one to lesson to me and if I were some of you people if you feel it ant right speak up.

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