Free Case Evaluation
Connect
With Us

Is Your Lawyer Helping To Resolve Your Pelvic Mesh Lawsuit?

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, December 21, 2016~ Is your law firm responsive to your questions pertaining to your pelvic mesh lawsuit?  Do they return your calls?  Have you received your settlement?  

Recently “Suzy” called your editor with a concern ( she does not want her real name used because she is represented in pelvic mesh litigation).

She had received about $15,000 from a mesh lawsuit settlement with a major mesh manufacturer. That was in May.  Since then, her Midwest law firm promised more money was coming after “subrogation” and the other potential liens were explored and settled. That might include medical bills, Medicare, Medicaid etc.

Subrogation refers to the principle that someone who pays another person for damage caused by a third person, has a right to recover those payments from that third person who caused the damage; if the victim recovers an amount from the third person, the party who paid for the damage has a right to be paid back out of that recovery.  Subrogation would apply in the mesh cases as in any other case:  Third-party payers (Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurers) have and will assert a right to be reimbursed out of the victims’ recovery against the defendants. See more here.

Suzy says there are no other potential liens on her judgment which she figured she would eventually total $35,000, or half of her settlement amount.

Instead, she cannot get her calls returned. She had not heard a thing from the firm since May. She is beginning to wonder if there is any more money forthcoming or if “expenses” and “set aside funds” will drain the remainder.

It’s bad enough that the law firm is taking half of her $75,000. For what, she asks?  They filed a short form in her case and aside from mailing expenses and retrieving her medical records, have done nothing substantial to  push her case through the system.

Why then is the going rate for most of the lawsuits in the MDL 40%.  Wasn’t multidistrict litigation supposed to make less work for everyone? Was that 40% taken off the top and the law firm has been paid while she waits for her money?

Why are some injured clients paying 33 and one-third? Who is paying into the common benefits work done by a few law firms to be compensated by the fund? Doe she pay the 5% or the law firm?

To them she is just a number. No one at the law firm has taken an interest in her story. She doesn’t even know if they have all of her medical records.

These are excellent questions for the American Bar Association, which your editor will forward on.

Clients can ask their state Bar Associations what are the rules for dealing with a client. Is it professional conduct never to return a call?  Just how long can a law firm hold onto settlement dollars?  Is the money in a fund? If so, is it yielding interest and if so, who is receiving that interest?

Does a law firm have to account for its “expenses” in the case? Do those have to be “reasonable” expenses that show expenditures along the line of what you, the client, would spend? No private jets and first class to Europe tickets for two in the course of allegedly working up your case.

For the consumer – make sure your firm has ALL of your medical records and keep the originals for yourself.  Make sure your firm is up-to-date on ALL of your medical procedures and conditions.

Unfortunately, Suzy’s story is not an uncommon one. Your editor hears about this daily.

Please add your experiences here and your response from your state Bar Association. This story is in production!

 

 

62 Comments

  1. Intira says:

    My law firm refused to call or email me back . It has been 2 weeks since I contacted them regarding settlement acceptance form deadline. When I called the receptionist said my case mgr. received my email but refused to answer the phone. What should I do?

  2. Karla says:

    I’ve been questioning where I am? I was told there was a group 1, group 2, group 3…… I was told I was in group 2 because I had multiple surgeries but I also lost organs because of the mesh. Are you aware of the groups? If so, wouldn’t I fall into a higher bracket than group 2?

    • Still Standing says:

      Karla, you may be talking about different groups. Judge Goodwin ordered certain plaintiff cases to be worked up for trial in Wave 1, Wave 2, Wave 3, etc. They have nothing to do with how many surgeries you have had. Defense and plaintiff attorneys made those selections. Another grouping is in the tiers of injury that most of the settlements are based on. The tiers assign injury according to how many surgeries you have had. Tiers range from product in place, no medical management to 4+ surgeries. Generally, transvaginal mesh for POP has a higher settlement award than mesh for SUI. There is a difference in award across these tiers depending on the company that is settling and the attorney settling his/her clients. It is confusing to say the least.

    • Kitty says:

      This is the problem with the tiers. U lost organs
      and u are only in group2? I want to rip the organs out of a few people.

  3. nan says:

    i got a letter back in the summer saying that a settlement had been made and send in the return form stating my address well i did and haven’t heard another word from them since

  4. D g says:

    I think everyone in the suits are in the same boat. Same exact experiences. I dint believe anything my attorney tells me as most of our conversations she has me mixed up with someone else. Not very encouraging nor informative. Ive been told ‘just trust me’. I wanted to say ‘like I trusted the physician who put this in me? Or the physics ian who only had the skill to partially remove yet told me ‘ it’s all gone? This whole fiasco from the attorneys to the doctors and the pharmaceutical companies are making out big time financially on the biggest tragedy on women in decades. Where are women’s advocacy groups on this nightmare? Why hasn’t there been criminal charges filed for all the deceit and abuse to our health? This is a huge money making venture for everyone but the victim. Now I see they’ve moved on to hernia surgeries. Yet another money maker at patients expense!

  5. B R says:

    “This entire mesh situation is 1 of the most evilest situation of my life…”human torture”… and nobody is being represented correctly….this system is broken,shame on the mesh manufacturers,shame on C.r Bard,shame on the FDA,Shame on them attorneys…shame on any judge that lets them get away with human torture!”

    • Hannah says:

      I have no doubt the attorneys will take their 40% off the top to ensure they get what they consider their’s. I wish the court would rule that if attorneys haven’t done anything but mail things, they aren’t entitled to 40%. I thought my attorneys would have to go to West Virginia and fight for me or I would never have agreed to 40%. We should all petition the court to pay attorneys at certain levels depending on the efforts they put into a case!!!!

      • Still Standing says:

        Hannah, it is an assumption that the attorneys on the cases dont do much of anything. 40% can seem very high, but attorneys dont have anything concrete that they sell. They sell their time and expertise. For personal liability lawsuits, they go out on a limb and take the case on contingency. If you get money, they get paid. If you dont get or agree to a settlement they broker, then they get nothing. They still have to pay the rent, the phone bill, pay staff, keep the lights on, etc. If we had to pay an attorney their actual time on the case each month, most of us could not afford to bring a lawsuit. Generally, when you hire an attorney, they charge you an initial engagement retainer, $2500-$5000 average. This would spell out the terms of their billing fees. Attorney hourly fees are very high. A low average is $300, but that is just thier time. Most attorneys charge much more than $300. My personal attorney charges $368 and a $5000 engagement fee. They also bill out other staff such as paralegals, which are $100-$150/hour. They bill in increments of hours, so even a phone call or email correspondence with you will be billed. There would also be bills for any court filings, research on case law, letters written and sent, conversations with expert witnesses, depositions that are very costly. Negotiating with defendants could add very costly hours. These are just some examples of how they bill out time. If you had to pay upfront for these costs, you would be billed monthly. If you look at attorney time at $300/hr and paralegal time at $100 for say, 40hours, 20 attorney hours, 20 paralegal hours, your bill for that week would be $6000. Add this to your $2500 minimum engegement retainer fee, you have racked up $8500 for your first week. Then, if they have to file your case, respond to challenges filed by the defendant, fly somewhere to depose witnesses , this could balloon by literally 1000s of dollars. Now, this will not be that expensive every week, but there will be some activity every month or so. Now, think about how long these cases go on and it is easy to see how the costs mount. Would you risk $8500 to have your case just get started with no guarantee that you would get it back at some time? That is what our attorneys do. Some even have to borrow money in order to pay for their plaintiff cases. The potential payoff could be big, but they are putting THEIR financial skin in the game, not us. Im not defending those attorneys who disrespect their clients and apparently their are some unprofessional law firms that represent mesh women, , but I think it is important to step back and look at the complexity of these cases and the risks attorneys carry when they take our cases. Imagine if you took the above advice to call your attorney every day and it was on your dime. If they billed out increments of 15 min, 30 min, 45 min, and 60 mins hourly at $300/hr., you would be billed $1500 just for 15 minutes a day for 20 days just for what they would see as nuisance calls. I just think that we need to see things from other perspectives in order to keep our own perspective grounded in reality.

        • D says:

          Attorneys and our court system is a racket pure and simple. I’m willing to teltesent myself, if get better representation than what I’m getting . But courts won’t allow it, hence the racket.

  6. Lorena E says:

    My attorneys’ office has been awful. They never return my phone calls. When they submitted the paperwork for the final settlement they missed one surgery. 15 months later, I am still waiting for my settlement as an appeal had to be filed due to their error and they’re taking 40% of my settlement.

  7. Diva64 says:

    I called my attorneys office Monday after my car was repo . I mentioned to them that back in Oct they were in negotiations with xyz and said they were sending me out papers as well as papers from w.x.y co as well I have received nothing, and for the first time no call back. I understand that it is customary to repay an insurance company a portion of the expenses when there is a lawsuit, but since it seems Medicare and Medicaid may be the two biggest companies involved and the FDA failed us, basically using us as lab rats, why in God’s name would we pay the insurance company? And I finally after so many years get a competent doctor and they drop him from Medicare or he drops them right in the midst of my treatment. How do I owe the government anything for their screw up that ruined my health? They are as guilty as the Mesh Manufactures.

    • Jane Akre says:

      You make an excellent point. Insurance providers in some cases directed women to these surgeries, at the very least, they are compliant in paying for the surgery…yet you are expected to reimburse them. Will they be reimbursing you your years of insurance payments? Isn’t that why we have insurance, on the small chance we may need it? Most often you do not and the insurance company benefits, but on the off chance you do… they also want to collect on any award you receive. Doesn’t sound like much of a risk to them.

    • Kitty says:

      That is an excellent point Diva64

  8. Anon says:

    I thought that I was the only one having problems with my firm, sad…….our nightmare continues.
    The victim is being victimized by everyone.

  9. Kitty says:

    This is really disgusting news. Thanks for report Jane

  10. JB says:

    Had 2 mesh products implanted in 2010. Have tried to get compensation for this botched mess ever since. Nobody at first would take the case. These Drs tried to kill me with DaVinci and mesh (2). After trying 100+ lawyers; firing one firm getting run around from the one I have now; I will never get satisfaction from having my life ripped and torn with this fiasco. Will anyone ever help or listen???????????????Does other attornies ignore, not return calls or not keep their people informed as mine do? What happened to the old school lawyer who was YOUR VOICE?

  11. Margie says:

    My attorney Sent me a letter stating I had until Oct 31 2016 to get them all my records. I told them I was seeing my doctor again in November. I was informed that anything that happens after Oct 31 would not be considered and I should take the settlement that had been offered. I had to have surgery on Dec 5 to partially remove the mesh but I was told it is to late but send my records and they would send it to the medical team but I just need to sign the settlement because that is what my attorney thinks is best. I told them I was not settling and my attorneys office told me I would get nothing.

  12. Anon says:

    What if your firm is in a different state from where you live. How long can they hold on to settlement after you send in notarized papers if settlement. I was told they would get a list of people to pay first. If I was on it I would know.

    • Still Standing says:

      Anon, If you are part of the MDL, that is in federal court and there should be no difference in how settlement checks are issued if you live in a different state. I dont understand their comment about the list of those who get paid first. Once they deliver their percentage of clients, then all those who signed settlement documentation should be issued checks. Of course, I imagine that technically the attorneys get their pay first as their percentage is taken from the client’s gross settlement award. Im sure there is an ethical responsibility regarding settlement payments but maybe not a legal requirement. I will tell you that I received my checks about three months after signing the initial settlement documents. Check your MDL information, look for your lawfirm’s name and make sure that the judge has ordered that a settlement fund be established. This is located under orders.

  13. Kitty says:

    She should senf a registered letter and have them Sign: “Suzy..go to post office and send letter that requires a signature. You will then know if they are still in business. If they do respond within the time frame u give them..call the state bar.”

  14. gigi says:

    I was told by attorney who is in a different state that the amount held to pay for medicare and etc could be delayed up till November 2017. if I did not receive any funds by then, to contact them (my attorney) and they would look into it. Meantime there is no one for me to call or contact to get any additional information. I tried to contact the settlement alliance, I was told my firm is not listed with them and therefore they would not be able to give me any information.

    • Still Standing says:

      Something doesnt add up here. Once the settlement is approved by the court, your attorney gets 40% of the total amount, 25% of the gross is held back for lien payments ( insurance, hospital bills, etc., then you should receive an initial check for the balance minus case costs. For example, if you get $100, 000 gross, your attorney takes 40%, which is $40,000, then 25% is held back for liens ( $25,000) ,then you get a check for the balance minus case costs, which, in this case is$35,000 minus case costs. The only way I can think of why you are not getting an initial check is that your case has high amount of liens on the award. But, your attorney should at the least explain that to you. It can take up to a year to negotiate the lien payments with those who have claims to your award.

    • Anon says:

      Gigi contact your state Senator, Representatives, my contacting them expedited the disbursement of the remaining funds from my medical liens.

  15. Angry says:

    What really concerns me is this. I am reading women are agreeing to these kick in the face settlements all based on a tier. Let’s assume you are in tier one and the settlement is so low. HOW can anyone agree to that, as if one surgery wasn’t brutal and even after a revision your life will never be like it was prior to mesh. By agreeing to these settlements you are going to get NOTHING by the time everyone gets paid for YOUR pain. Ladies I know so many have lost everything and it is tempting. You lost everything so by standing strong, staying firm and fight these SOBS. What the hell do you have to lose at this point? Don’t give them a get out of jail card and a free pass.and for those who are not in communication with your law firm. Get on your phone EVERYDAY as if your life depends on it because guess what? IT DOES FIGHT FIGHT AND KEEP FIGHTING

  16. Anonymous says:

    Amen Angry I was offered a ridiculous amount and I told him no I haven’t heard from anybody in a while now but you know what sooner or later we will go to court if we have to I have nothing to lose at this point except a decent settlement from them I don’t care how many surgeries you had it’s where your life is at now in the damage that’s done how do you have to live your life now base Your settlement on that don’t lie don’t exaggerate tell the truth but don’t settle just because your attorney tell you that you have to because you don’t praying for all of you

    • Anon says:

      Angry, Anonymous……………….Thank You! These are the kinds of comments that we (the mesh victims) need to strengthen. Please…….. continue to fight for what you deserve.

      • Kitty says:

        I wonder if they consider surgeey for herniated lumbar disk. Spinal stenosis and other orthotic surgery due to sacral nerve damage including foot drop

      • Angry says:

        Sadly once you go through something like we have all been forced to live through and live with ,it changes who we once were. One thing this nightmare has tought me is to communicate from your heart. NO one can take that away. We all have been violated on so many levels by lie after lie, living through the worst pain and pretty much scared to death. Anonymous, I read these comments and my heart hurts for everyone posting them. Once you have been stripped of everything you once were, lost about everything you ever had and in the end realising our justice system just don’t get it, it’s the altimate slap in the face. BUT no one can take away our soul and fight to not let them take it!

    • Still Standing says:

      The ugly truth here is if you were already offered a ridiculously low settlement, most attorneys will not risk the thousands and thousands of dollars that they would have to put up to take your case to trial with no guarantee that they will get their money back. Trials as complex as mesh lawsuits can go into several hundred thousand dollars and there has to be extremely compelling and ironclad evidence that all of your medical conditions resulted exclusively from mesh. We can see the cause-effect since we have gone through it and experience it daily but it is much harder to prove that in court. Defense will put up all the evidence they can get to put doubt in the jurors minds about you. Expert plaintiff witnesses can cost thousands of dollars a day. Your attorney has to figure the award potential of your case and determine if it is worth a serious investment of their time and funds. Trials are very time intensive, so if they are putting in big hunks of time into your trial they cant bill out for other legal work to keep the doors open. They also have to factor in the length of time they will have to be involved before a payout. Appeals can take years and they receive no money during this time, too. Look at your attorney-client contract. They may have spelled out reasons that they can sever your working agreement. Not accepting their settlement recommendations is probably one of those reasons. No, it doesnt seem fair, but it is the reality of what is happening in the world of mesh litigation.

      • Jane Akre says:

        But the truth is most law firms are not equipped to handle these cases unless they have already worked them up for trial. They would have to partner with another firm that has taken a case to court, so less $ for them. I can’t imagine a law firm, that has never tried a case, would start from ground zero…

        • Still Standing says:

          And, I wonder if an attorney who follows a client out of the MDL to pursue an individual lawsuit would be able to use the shared pre-trial discovery that was made in the MDL. If the plaintiff rejected settlement thus ending up not putting any money into the MDL, then why would they benefit from that shared expense discovery? I would like to know that answer.

          • Anon says:

            Why not? after all……….. the Bellwether cases served as example cases for all involved, the same defendant, same products, same discovery, same info, the only difference is the plaintiff.

        • Angry says:

          Very true Jane. But with these firms well aware of this, why take on so many client’s . To wearhouse us? All along knowing this would be the out come. Hold us untill years pass, then offer something that one just could not accept. Where is the justice? What ever happened to a right to a speedy trial. These offers put injured in a terrable position. These cases are NOT a class action or a one size fits all and that is exactly what is being shoved down out throats.

  17. Kitty says:

    In time transvaginal mesh will be an archaic method. Did the slaves get compensated?

  18. Curious says:

    Have only the persons who have had revision surgeries received compensation from the lawsuits that have been settled? Just curious, because the damage also resulted in urine retention (leading to other surgeries), infections, etc. Not to mention that risks were not explained to patients by the doctors. Are these not valid reasons for compensation, or are only those with the revision surgeries being compensated?

    • Still Standing says:

      Low amounts (tier1) have been offered in settlements for product in place, medical management only. These are in the $10,000 range. The rest of the tiers are based on number of surgeries. If your attorney can make a case that other surgeries were necessary as a direct result of your mesh, then those could put you in a higher tier. Multiple infections haven’t been considered in tier placement. Companies that settle would not include the risks not explained to patient by physician, because companies who settle do not acknowledge any wrongdoing on their part. It would be hard to mount a medical malpractice suit against the doctor for this, but it would be a totally separate lawsuit if you pursued it.

  19. Jan says:

    Imagine sending Blank Release forms with only the firm’s name on it not even my name and ask me to sign them? Who does this? Legal Documents! Not me! And when I asked that they be filled out properly. I haven’t heard a word or seen a paper.

  20. Still Standing says:

    I signed many of these types of releases and that did not bother me at all. They usually have a one year limitation. If you refuse to sign these, then every time your attorney needs a medical record, they will have to send you the specific document, wait for you to send it back, then send it to the provider and wait for their response. This could add hours of clerical work to the law firm and they could possibly charge your case for the additional time. It could also mean that they dont catch all the relevant records. Your lawfirm might contract with a medical records search company (mine did) that needs access to the signed release. Be aware that when you file a medical personal injury case, your health records are not protected since they are the basis of your suit. The defendants have a right to have access to all of them. At my deposition, the defendant attorney brought 12-15 file boxes full of my records back to my college medical exam when I was 18 and they questioned me about those decades-old records. You want to make sure that those who are fighting for you have all the records that the defendants have. Obstructing this process may not be in your best interest.

  21. Still Standing says:

    Here is the article that talks about when to file the case. Interesting legal point of view.

    https://www.robbrobb.com/NewsPressDetail.aspx?Id=12

  22. Sinking says:

    Received settlement offer. Felt i was classified wrong. Affidavit i sent to atty with 2 additional surgeries didn’t make it to the special master. Idk why i have atty in the first place..surgeries were after i hired them..told them prior to each..they had not obtained records..my records of visits with drs were deemed non tvm related for issues like incontinence, painful sex…etc…its like no one is listening…now facing pt..long term pain mngmt.. Took 2 months for therapy appt..dumb..just needed to vent..its not really about money to me…just need answers

    • Jane Akre says:

      Most people here, not all but many, feel they have been misclassified. So many of the surgeries and fixes you have had to endure are not being considered by the manufacturer even though it may be directly related to your initial mesh surgery. Your two additional surgeries might be part of a reconsideration by the special master. I’d want to know why they weren’t considered? I’m sorry,,, this can’t be easy for any of you… sort of like insult added to injury.

    • Still Standing says:

      Sinking, please keep your head above water. It is hard. Have you read your medical records? I ask this because treating physicians have been known to specify in patient records that you had pain or incontinence or whatever other presenting medical concern before mesh or what you are experiencing now is not mesh related. Im sure that many women have experienced this. Kind of a physicians circling the wagons to protect each other. It is possible that your attorney might have records, but there is no documentation in there that your issues are mesh related. Sometimes the actual visit is far different from the official record. You have a right to see your medical records. Request them and file a request to amend what you think is in error. The doctor does not have to change the notes necessarily, but your record will note your challenge. Bty your physician may charge you for copies, so ask before you have them copied. General policy is to send free between medical doctors but charge for other copies. We all need to be proactive when it comes to reading what the doctors put in our permanent files.

  23. Tami says:

    I never hear anything abt my lawsuit that’s been going on since 2011 when they tried removing my mesh. I have been through so much since I had mesh surgically implanted in 2009. My
    law firm in Florida thinks I deserve no updates, even yearly. I’m flying blind and feeling hopeless.

  24. dee says:

    I just talked with my law firm wanting to get my case number, and find out which class action case it was associated with. I was told that they haven’t filed yet because they are in negotiations trying to get it settled out of court. Is this the way it is supposed to happen or am I getting the run around.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Dont quite know
      Dee. The standard way is to file a case… but settlements have taken precedent. The case won’t be worked up for trial if it isn’t filed and the defendant knows that. I’m not an attorney so this question is best answered by a lawyer.

      • Still Standing says:

        This is a common practice. They try mediation first to see if something can be worked out financially. They put the defense on notice that you have retained them as counsel, but they do not have to show their hand. Once they file your case the defense has access to everything about you that your attorney has on file. So, arbitrating a settlement prior keeps the defense from knowing your specific medical history and also saves you money because you do not incur the case costs that start at filing a suit and mount as time goes by.

  25. Johna says:

    In July, 2016 I emailed my attorney to find out if there was an update. She advised they were in negation’s. I was in the lowest tier, I would not get very much money. For many years, I have had complications. How can anyone determine how much my pain is worth?

  26. Nameless says:

    This not filing my case has been going on for at least two years. I was one of those product in place categories until finally Ugh! They removed my cervix – mesh had balled up over it and the surgeon couldn’t identify it as a cervix until the path lab pulled it all apart and ID’d cervix. Removed my rectum – now have a permanent colostomy. Rectopexy failed. That mesh failed. Plus part of my vagina. Now I want to make sure the status changes. But from reading all this – I don’t know what chance there is. I’m rectumless forever. Pooping out of my abdomen. Rogue mesh all over the place. This is cute. While in hospital the surgeon had psychiatrists stop by my bed and do me with a major mental illness. They were there five minutes. Described me as disheveled. I was in a hospital bed without a newly excised rectum and a whole punched in my gut for a stoma. Overweight- I’m 145. Snide, sarcastic and underlying personality disorder. My immediate feeling was trying to legitimize instability in case if a suit. Talk about dirty playing. I hacve a shrink on the outside – so, screw them. All in a give minute interview. Slandered me and incorporated in hospital recirds via the computer. I only found out they did this because the visiting nurse left a copy out in the open in my home. He called the shrink in because I was crying. OMG he had just removed a fistful of mesh. Cut all my female parts to pieces and removed my rectum. He tried to avoid operating Gore three years but I wouldn’t go away. The pain was too much. The moral of this tale is watch everything you say to them. Everything. Because the docs are thinking defense even while they are appearing to help you. If I use that hospital or any that uses their patient portal system that psychiatric report is right there to read. I passed the comments by my shrink about being overweight and appearing disheveled. He just shrugged and admitted these were not common diagnostic criteria for a bedside eval. I had not washed in six days because the nursing staff never had the time to assist me to the shower. I was receiving heavy pain medication and in a lot of pain. I was afraid of falling. Who isn’t disheveled in a hospital bed after major surgery. They wrote it up to appear psychotic. Just be very careful. They are very threatened by us. And the longer we fight – the harder we fight – the more threatened they become. They may not address this directly – other than comments like we are after the money. They are not above character assassination. That opened my eyes – wide.

  27. Nameless says:

    Snide, sarcastic, overweight, labile affect, with underlying personality disorder. Given a history of severe pathology this case will most likely resolve poorly. That was the psychiatrists take in my five minute visit. Is that not a set up for a negative profile. Sorry for going on about this. I just think everyone should be aware that there is very little these guys will stop at to protect themselves. An older women alone makes an easy target for this kind of attack. If you are looking for empathy from the docs, manufacturers or lawyers you are setting yourself up for a dangerous outcome. This guy projected my surgical outcone would fail because I was emotionally unstable. This is a very dirty business.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

© 2016 - 2017 Mesh Newsdesk. All rights reserved.
This is a Sundown Legal Marketing law firm website.