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Hello December – Mesh Year Ending Up Under the Bus

marler-blog-under-the-busDecember 1, 2016 ~ Welcome to Mesh Medical Device News Desk, your news resource for what is going on in the world of pelvic mesh and lately, hernia mesh.

The year has gone quickly, and now as we end it with our annual emphasis on excessive holiday spending and billionaires who can’t spend enough in their lifetimes, so I can’t help but think about money.

I’d like to wrap up the year by sharing some opinions from me, your editor, a non lawyer who has observed many different facets of this mesh mess over five years of coverage.

Trial lawyers like to see themselves as defenders of the little guy, the Atticus Finches of the world, and many commit to doing just that – righting wrongs usually committed by corporate giants who are unaccountable for their actions. Put profits before people, at any cost.

Atticus Finch and Tom Robinson, To Kill a Mockingbird, WikiCommons

Atticus Finch and Tom Robinson, To Kill a Mockingbird, WikiCommons

But the world of Mass Torts has brought out the law firms who work mass number of clients brought through referral services and a proliferation of late night ads “Injured by transvaginal mesh? Operators are standing by.”

Few of these firms actually ever expected to do the heavy lifting necessary to work up these cases for trial. It takes many flights and millions of dollars, a team of workers and deep pockets, to do justice to discovering the real story to present to a jury.

Instead, some firms thought there would be a few bellwether cases tried in the federal court in Charleston, WV and the settlement dollars would flow.  That was the theory. There was no way they planned on working up 1,000 clients for trial.

As readers now know, while AMS threw in the towel early and began settling cases (in the process avoiding discovery into how it brought its pelvic mesh to the market), the larger companies have been holdouts.

As a result, the settlement dollars they are offering are largely disappointing and law firms fail to hold their feet to the fire. Many of you call MND to complain. To make matters worse, some law firms present settlement documents with no dollar amount and no information on case costs that will be subtracted from the mesh injured women.  Sign it they say, without her knowing what she is signing.

Mesh in place might receive a nuisance settlement of maybe $5,000 dollars. You don’t have any problems, take the money and have a nice Christmas.

Mesh Pain by Jade R.

Mesh Pain by Jade R.

But what about tomorrow?  Say in six months you begin to have complications, repeat infections, and nerve pain shooting down your leg.

Sorry, your case is closed. You cannot have a second bite of the apple AND you have likely signed a contract with a nondisclosure clause, so you cannot go public with your dilemma.  So much for pain and suffering.

Now we are hearing ads that the deadline for mesh settlement is upon us and you must file and settle now!

The only deadlines are between the manufacturers and the law firms.  Although it may not sound like it, the client is in the driver’s seat.  The law firm doesn’t get its 40% if you, the client, don’t agree to a settlement.

Instead, many women are seeking new counsel.

This should not be construed as legal advice but common sense – Ask your lawyer if he or she will continue to represent you if you do not accept the settlement?  Will you be discharged as a client? Being discharged could be the best thing that happened. If you are fired as a client, you are a free agent to seek the services of another law firm who will take your case seriously.

Remember that even a trial does not guarantee a win. Some truly injured women have lost their cases before a jury and get nothing. The law firm gets nothing either and does not recoup its costs. It’s a crap shoot. Anyone who promises you otherwise should be met
with skepticism.

Jane Akre

Jane Akre

Please choose a legal firm with care. As the dust settles in the new year, there will be fewer law firms willing to take on transvaginal mesh cases as the mass tort mass numbers guys leave to chase the newest, shiniest mass tort.

For those of you who have received a substantial settlement, and there are some of you, I wish you the best of healing and health ahead knowing that no amount of money will ever replace your health.

I’m truly sorry for your loss.

Your Editor,

 

Jane Akre

Mesh News Desk

21 Comments

  1. Kitty says:

    Nice article Jane and so true. In the beginning….sometimes over 10 years…a swollen toe..so obtuse..then the pain and then the loss of balance. How the hell did the peroneal nerve become damaged that you kept falling and couldn’t walk?

  2. Anon says:

    There are some great law firms out there fighting for their clients, quietly.

  3. Kath Sansom says:

    Thank you for all you do to keep everybody informed on the latest mesh issues.
    As admin of Sling The Mesh in the UK both myself and all of the members are extremely grateful
    x

    • Jane Akre says:

      We appreciate what you do in the UK Kath! Perhaps there is some opportunity to create a global awareness connection!!??

  4. Tammy says:

    Thanks Jane for being on our side. I don’t think the lawyers are on the clients side. This settlement that they are offering is a joke. I’ve have 2 surgeries and I’m going to have to have more, and the nerve pain that I have in my left leg, is unbearable. Johnson & Johnson wants to give me pennies, and my lawyer is telling me to take it, that’s the only offer I’m going to get. I’m so disappointed in my lawyer. He was suppose to have my best interest, but he’s just thinking about his wallet.

  5. jan says:

    Yes thank you Jane
    I have been waiting 9yrs now still nothing
    Not even a glance of hope from my attorneys office other than could be another 10yrs.. still dealing with thus will fir the rest if my life like others
    I now have 5 separate bacteria from my bladder. . Over 100 thousand colonies. .antibiotics not working.
    Needing another surgery but insurance is refusing for an out of state doctor. . They would much rather me loose my bladder. .last surgery he could not retrieve the mesh from around the bladder to risky for my doctor. . But insurance does not care
    Boston scientific does not care.. WOW the bodies we are now trapped in because of these manufacturers
    And I am getting so depressed that I cry every minute of the day
    Such an injustice
    They should be In prison

    • Jane Akre says:

      So sorry for what has happened to you Jan….. reckless disregard for another human being that results in their injury is certainly a punishable crime.

      • Annamarie says:

        I had this same thing happen to me, insurance did not want to pay out of network doctor out of state. I call every gyno/uro on my insurance list. I keep notes on each doctor I called, no one would see me. Then I found a doctor Moore in Atlanta GA. who would see me. I went to him, made payment arrangements and when my insurance refused to pay because out of network I brought out my notes and filed an appeal. I won the case and insurance paid what they would have paid an in network doctor. It took me about 4 to 6 months for insurance to pay the bill. You have to fight for payment and keep records. None of their doctors would see me so I had to go out of network for medical treatment. Good luck. Sending blessings and prayers your way.

        • Jane Akre says:

          Congratulations Annamarie! would you mind sending me your letter and we could edit it so it takes out any reference to you, but serves as a guide for others who want/need to do the same thing?

  6. Still Standing says:

    Nine year plus the promise of 10″years to come is ridiculous. It would be hard tomfugure our what to do in this case. Have your attornies settled with other clients who have different Defendents?

    I would like to make a suggestion for your bladder issue. I had constant utis until my docotr suffested D-manosse, a supplement you can by online or in vitamin shops. It is a complex sugar that prevents bacteria from attaching to the bladder wall. I have been taking it for one year and no UTIs and I was having them back to back for years. Give it a try. I have beend amazed at how effective it is.

    .

  7. Shannon says:

    Just had to give up my dream job and succumb to the disability that this mesh removal has left, I now live in a wheelchair no more nurse I also thank you for your dedication to our cause many blessings Jane !

  8. Samuel says:

    Jane,
    Thank you for all you, research and write about the Mesh cases. I recently heard that Ethicon/ JNJ
    did settle a bunch of cases but I cant find any articles about that. Do you have any info? Thank you

  9. tici says:

    Jane it’s been ten years since my original surgery. After that horrific mess I ended with four surgeries and loss of an organ.My Lawyers would not settle without asking me they are let it go like a savings account. My stress and debt is to the point I have no idea who to trust. I call them one time a Month with no results. it has been five years with this firm.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Don’t quite understand, they are not giving you any money but a savings account? That doesnt sound right… please explain further… thank you and i”m sorry

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