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MDND: Welcome July 2013

Jane Akre

Jane Akre

July 2, 2013 ~ Welcome.  I’m Jane Akre, the Editor of MDND.

There is a lot of stuff brewing this month. C.R. Bard, a mesh maker, will face off against Donna and Don Cisson in a federal court in West Virginia. This is the first of four bellwether cases, as they are called, in this court where thousands of cases from six manufacturers have been consolidated. With Judge Joseph R. Goodwin presiding, the thought is that they will move through the system much more readily than if they are heard individually.   It’s difficult to believe there are about 24,000 cases filed in this case alone and still there is very little media coverage.

Speaking of which- Bloomberg News did a great story on some of the court documents filed. If you haven’t read it please do – what’s most damning is the evidence that the company understood the polypropylene resin (plastic) that surgical mesh is made of was not supposed to be implanted in people.  Instead, the company apparently created a dummy company to serve as a third party to purchase the mesh raw material.  It will be interesting to see how that information is handled in court.

Bard Implants Knowing Not Fit For Humans

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-26/bard-used-mesh-plastic-found-unfit-for-humans-by-supplier.html

Some American Medical Systems cases have recently been resolved through a settlement. Though we don’t know how many (estimates are 1,600) Endo Health Solutions Inc. has agreed to pay $54.5 million to settle product liability lawsuits over the AMS Perigee, Apogee and Elevate transvaginal mesh implants. AMS was purchased by Endo Health Solutions in 2011.

July marks the two year anniversary of the strongly-worded caution by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about transvaginal mesh.  Please see it here.

http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm262435.htm

“The FDA is issuing this update to inform you that serious complications associated with surgical mesh for transvaginal repair of POP are not rare. This is a change from what the FDA previously reported on Oct. 20, 2008. Furthermore, it is not clear that transvaginal POP repair with mesh is more effective than traditional non-mesh repair in all patients with POP and it may expose patients to greater risk. This Safety Communication provides updated recommendations for health care providers and patients and updates the FDA’s activities involving surgical mesh for the transvaginal repair of POP.

The FDA continues to evaluate the effects of using surgical mesh to repair SUI and   will  communicate these findings at a later date.”

So here we are two years later and the FDA has not issued any update on mesh for stress urinary incontinence (SUI) but many of you have had the same sorts of complications – mesh erosion, infection, pain etc.

Please visit the MDND Facebook page where I will hopefully cover much of the Bard trial as well as have a day’s wrap up under legal on this site. And please pass MDND onto your friends. That helps it to percolate in the search engines. Friends of MDND also have valuable information from a patient and first-person perspective.

Putting a Face on Adverse Events continues to be the goal of MDND.

Advertisers and contributors welcome!  Seriously!!  Here is what drives me personally, and please Stay well ~  Jane A.

journalism is

11 Comments

  1. George says:

    Hello Jane,

    Thank you for keeping us all up to date with the legal battles about mesh use.

    Seems like with each trial and corresponding media coverage more of the dangers of these plastic “bullets” are disclosed. Lets hope more MDs and material scientists come clean and speak the truth as these critical trials proceed. With luck a jury will finally understand that the mesh material is the culprit.

    G

  2. Jody Mortenson says:

    I can not believe that women will accept AMS settlement for such a low amount. The $55 million for 1600 woman will be approximately $35,000 and that is before the lawyer fees

    • Jane Akre says:

      Just FYI that number of 1,600 is not official.

      • dawn says:

        $35,000.00……wow, if those numbers are eventually shown to be accurate, talk about a slap in the face to all victims. That award does not even cover half the costs for my UCLA MESH removal surgery. These manufacturers owe us a future. You used us as test subjects. Our health is unknown now from the rampage of your so called great products.

  3. Jeff says:

    Hi Jane, Linda and I would like to thank you for covering our trial in New Jersey and also the trial about to start in the Bard cases. We want to wish Donna and Don Cisson the best and to tell them to stay strong throughout the trial. It will take a lot of strength and courage to sit across from the people responsible for your pain and suffering, so stay focused and you will do great. Once again good luck and our family will keep you in our prayers.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Thank you Jeff and Linda. I hope your case resolves soon…..the waiting is not fair.. .like adding injury to insult. It would be great if you could be there in the Cisson courtroom,,, the judge invites everyone…He said he is very much into transparency in these proceedings.

  4. Jaque says:

    Hi,

    I just want to say about just one of. The horrendous things recently happening to me on top of my health, and body and life being ruined by mesh at a massive financial cost to me, but while trying to gather up money for medical help in Calafornia, I had a car crash, not my fault a witness statement too, the insurance company AXA, yes let’s name them, will not repair my car for a miserable £2.200 even though the insurance is fully comprehensive, this happened in May, and they are supposed to offer a curtesy car, they haven’t done, it’s now July and unbeknown to me have decided to write off my car, my life line which had adjustable seats, we all know how important that is, it’s an expensive top of the range car, Well anyway they also do medical insurance, so beware fellow mesh sufferers. I am now without a car and live 2 miles from supermarkets, the nearest transport is over a one mile walk

    As far as newspapers are concerned I have contacted a few in my country, they are not interested unless it goes to court, but there is no chance of that in my country.

    What a disgrace all of this is and the worse thing is it is still being done to other women as I write all of this, it’ reminds me of what the German Natzies did the the Jews in the Second World War.

  5. Mary Pat says:

    Dear Jane and Fellow Mesh Sisters,

    For those of us whose bodies and lives have been ravaged by mesh, as we suffer through our journeys, I see common denominators amongst us. First and foremost, we desperately want to understand what the mesh has done and continues to do to our bodies and our overall health. Next, we desperately seek relief from doctors and medical practitioners who are compassionate and skilled at helping mesh victims. More than anything, we collectively desire is to warn the world of the danger of mesh. Knowing the mutilation, first hand, we want to STOP them from implanting mesh in others. For us, the damage is done. Even those who have portions of the mesh removed (it is never completely removed, as we all know), continue to suffer with the aftermath of the mesh and mesh removal surgeries. We are living with permanent nerve damage, lymphedema, scarring, myo-facial pain syndrome, structural damage, muscle spasms, debilitating chronic pain, stress incontinence, psychological/emotional suffering, loss of consortium, dysparenia, depression, and we live with never ending grief over the loss of our health, bodies and lives as we once knew them before mesh. Many of us have developed PTSD from the mesh related trauma.

    Thanks to Jane and her website and her continued efforts, mesh victims have a place where we can unite. We can share information about symptoms, diagnoses, treatments and prognoses. We can learn from one another and we can support one another.

    Mesh victims present a new ailment, a new medical condition that most doctors don’t understand and don’t know how to treat. Our friends and families are even more confused by our suffering. Jane has provided a factual and legitimate resource that we can direct doctors, friends, and families to when they get that “glazed over” look on their face, because they simply don’t understand what we are dealing with. I recently saw a new physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor issues. Although she is very intelligent and highly skilled, she was not aware of the vast amount of suffering that mesh has caused. I directed her to Jane’s website. At my next visit, my PT had a much clearer picture of mesh related problems and it fueled her desire to learn more.

    Jane – YOU have truly given mesh victims a face, a voice, a safe place to unite, a place of reference, a place of comfort where we can support one another and a place of knowledge. You bring truth to light. YOU have pulled mesh victims out from under the rug that the media and pharma companies have swept us under. YOU have shown us that we are not alone. We THANK YOU! YOU really are our HERO!

    So mesh sisters, let’s all give Jane our thanks and our continued support! Even though we are all buried alive in medical bills, let’s contribute what we can to keep Jane going! Without Jane we would feel very alone, we wouldn’t know how the trials develop (God knows the news certainly wouldn’t report on it. They might lose their biggest sponsors. Pharma companies pay millions of dollars to air commercials on TV networks so we don’t have to wonder why TV networks won’t report on mesh trials or mesh problems. Greed trumps truth!)

    Jane – I think I speak for all mesh victims and their families – THANK YOU and keep up the good work! Don’t stop! We need you! The world needs you! Someday, I hope to meet you in person. You are a remarkable woman!

    • Betty says:

      Hi Mary,

      I couldn’t agree with you more. I also shared Jane’s site with my PT. She found it very valuable and is dumbfounded on why any Dr. would continue to use this product (for lack of a better word). I have been diagnosed with pelvic floor disorder PFD (probably a commonality among mesh patients). Along with pudendal and obturator nerve damage. I also have many other issues from this “gold standard”. Your letter was quite eloquent. Thank you for writing it. I hope together we can keep Jane going until the “roof blows off” and major networks are required to let the news out.

  6. Jane Akre says:

    Betty and Mary- Thank you. It means a lot. I do not want money from mesh-injured women who are having trouble with finances on top of their pain. No way. Don’t give it another thought.

    However- there is something you can do. When I went to this trial I felt like the ant at the family picnic. One lawyer told me he thought I was a lawyer referral service. Ouch! Apparently he didn’t real the About Us page and the fact that I practice ethical journalism. The only other reporter there, part-time, from Bloomberg told me they don’t partner with “bloggers.” He couldn’t have shown me more disdain. Ouch again. I told him to do some checking before he came to that conclusion. Donna’s attorney stood in between me and he so I couldn’t take a picture on a public street. Really, I said. This is a public street and I’m here on my own dime. I took the picture anyway. He glared.. if looks could kill.

    So I’d ask you to urge your law firms, your rich cousins, anyone to send a “gift” to the Paypal account. They can do that. One law firm flew its crew into Charleston in a private plane. There is a lot of money in mesh and they will have a lot more when the end is here.

    At the very least, show us all some RESPECT as these cases make their way through the courts. No one is the eyes and ears for the women… “Putting a Face on Adverse Events” was the goal and I still believe in it. Thank you again… it means a lot.

    • Mary Pat says:

      Hey Everybody,

      I just sent this to Dr. Phil. How about all you mesh sisters, and the men who stand by them, send him a request, too?

      Let’s unite, and start writing letters, e-mails, etc……… We need to organize some WOMAN power. If women, (and their loved ones who are watching them suffer) all over the world unite, we can support Jane in her work and we can be the squeaky wheel that will change the direction of mesh implants!

      Dr. Phil, I am a victim of transvaginal mesh. To understand the situation, please look at this website:

      medicalmeshnewsdesk.com On this site, you can read about women who have been injured and you will get a good picture of our personal journeys.

      Jane Akre’s website has provided a meeting place for mesh victims. She is also our eyes and ears at the mesh trials. News channels will not report on mesh, probably because their commercials are funded heavily by pharmaceutical companies.

      Women have been and continue to be mutilated by mesh. As victims, more than anything, we want to stop the mutilation of other women.

      Will you take up our cause? Jane Akre is our Erin Brokovich. Will you enjoin with Jane and the mesh victims to help get the word out? Please? Mesh victims from all over the world are following Jane’s website. You could air a show with mesh victims from U.S, Canada, U.K., New Zealand, Australia, Scotland…..

      The FDA, the pharmaceutical companies, and the news media have done everything possible to sweep us under the rug. Please help bring the truth to light?

      I hope to hear back from you. Thank you for your consideration.

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