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Melody Mullins Missing Mesh-Injured Plaintiff Found!

Melody Mullins

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, March 29, 2017 ~ Melody Mullins was one of nine mesh-injured women who had fallen through the cracks in their mesh-related litigation.

“This is Melody Mullins”

The voice was firm and no nonsense.  Melody Mullins had been found.

Mullins, 37 of Columbus, Ohio is one of nine women who were litigants in transvaginal mesh litigation filed in federal court in West Virginia.

Missing Isdal Woman, Wikicommons

In each case, lawyers lost track of their client. Eventually after a series of returned certified letters and no response to phone calls, their cases were dropped.

That left the women as Pro Se litigants (without a lawyer) in their fight against medical device giant C.R. Bard.

Mesh News Desk wondered what could have happened with these women who were all implanted with Bard transvaginal meshes. Could they really have fallen through the cracks?

Here is the MND story on the missing women.

Another mesh litigant, Candice Rizzuto, reached out to help with her skills and her business Colorado Investigative Resource Services.

“She was a tough egg to crack. Mullins moved around so much and her numbers changed a lot. She’s engaged and changed her name so a lot of things come into play. It’s not easy.”

 

MORE ON MULLINS

Mullins’ scars

Mullins case was filed in the federal court in West Virginia on June 5, 2013 by Doug Kreis of Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz law firm of Pensacola, Florida.

Mullins blames her law firm.

“My lawyer was a joke,” she says. “I’d send back papers and they never received it. I walked away. I was tired of playing that game.   What do you do if he says he didn’t receive the paperwork?”

Besides, she adds, her email has never changed.

Mullins admits she moved from her last address, the last address the law firm had.  She never received the last certified letter announcing an upcoming mandatory settlement conference in January.

Previously she had received, signed and returned a retainer agreement and authorization to pull medical records.

Kreis tells MND, “Please note: Though I cannot speak as to any current or former clients’ specific circumstances, all litigants must follow court mandated procedures and deadlines.  Though rare for our firm, there are instances where – irrespective of our efforts – patients do not comply, resulting in potential negative consequences including dismissal of their claims. We want all of our clients to be compensated appropriately.”

Uretex TO2, Bandas

In her complaint, Mullins claims she was injured from the Bard Uretex TO3, Transobturator Urethral Support system implanted in October 2006 at Ohio State University Hospital.

Now Mullins is dangerously close to having her case dismissed. She and eight other women have been fined $1,000 for failing to appear at that settlement conference with defendant C.R. Bard.

In sanctioning the group, Judge Goodwin writes of, “The need to deter this sort of noncompliance.” He is referring to a failure to engage in good faith negotiations with the Defendants.

Judge Joseph Goodwin

“While I am cognizant of the difficulties that are presented by a plaintiff not being represented by counsel, those difficulties do not excuse the plaintiff herself from her obligation to pursue her case actively,” Judge Goodwin writes in his response February 13, 2017.

Now Mullins is mad.  She tells MND she knew nothing about the court date and says since she is disabled she can’t travel at all.

Why didn’t her lawyer show up on her behalf, she asks.

“What can I say, it makes me feel like I was a nobody.  I didn’t know I had a court date.  I feel like they dropped the ball.”

Like most litigants, she could use the settlement dollars.

In July 2013, Mullins had a major surgery after the pelvic mesh cut her ureter and perforated her kidney. She was hospitalized for one week.

Mullins says she is disabled, she can no longer work as a home health aide.  She’s had a series of surgeries on a broken ankle. Her hernia mesh has been fixed three times now.

Melody Mullins last address

Migraine headaches plague her and she is on Social Security disability.  Her rent is $895 a month but her check is $799 and she has to support a young daughter.

MND reached out to her law firm and will add an update if and when it is received.

Ms. Rizzuto is helping find the other missing women.

Kristina Ann Riddle of Indianapolis, has been located but does not return phone calls.

After leaving several messages for Riddle and her daughter, a woman claiming to be her daughter called and shouted, “Stop calling me.”  ###

 

23 Comments

  1. Suzanne Mc says:

    While I’m certainly glad that Melody was found unharmed, and I totally understand her feeling as though she has got the run-a-round…(my case has been filed for nearly 7 years) I do think it was her responsibility to make sure that her lawyers office had her updated information when she moved. How were they supposed to make her aware of a court date, if she did not inform them that she had moved? 🙁

    My heart aches for her, but I do feel she had some responsibility here.

    • Kitty says:

      OMG. Thank you jane and company. This is outrageous. This is just as I thought ie my previous post. I am so upset for her I can hardly control myself.

  2. Barbara says:

    So sorry she has had to go thru this all its not right!
    I hope she gets Justice.

  3. Barbara says:

    What does anyone’s criminal record have to do with injurys except to
    Not think there worth as much?
    I feel sad that with all this pain her story is told with wrongs in her past!
    Why not just the story of the mesh and her mesh injuries?
    Referring to Kristina Ann Riddle to.

    • Jane Akre says:

      You bring up a good point…. It’s always good to consider whether revealing everything is part of the story or does harm to the person. Is it relevant? There were many more elements to her criminal background, which is part of the public record, I didn’t include here in fairness to her, but which might provide context as to why someone would make become unreachable, as her record indicates. I’m open to any other point of view. I’ve left multiple messages to get her point of view, ….. so is it relevant? It’s a judgment call.

      • Kitty says:

        If this continues I think we should all come out of the closet. This is disturbing to actually see and read her story.

      • Sheryl says:

        I can honestly see both sides; however, I can’t help but have more compassion for the victim because I can totally relate. When someone has suffered severe, life-altering injuries and attempts to seek medical help and/or justice, many often don’t hear from their attorney’s office but once every few years. You often end up fighting for yourself…you end up being the one who makes the calls for records and to follow-up; often never receiving a call back. Your entire life has had to change. You may have had to give up the career you worked so hard to achieve…the career where you invested many hours going to college, studying 10pm-1am each night because you had small children, etc. Not to mention the cost of your education that you still have had to pay for. Yet often, we victims are the ones who have to make the calls just to keep informed about their own case and/or because we are trying to keep our medical information up-to-date because no one asks you about what’s going on and you may have had several surgeries, etc. Many, many of us have felt the same horrible frustration from being made to feel we aren’t even a part of our own case…at least our voice isn’t. It can be made to feel like a business arrangement where everyone else jumps in and reaps the benefit of your pain..all while receiving greater financial gain than we will. Granted, much of this may be due to the fact that there are thousands of cases…yet…to victims…we are still individuals (and families) who deserve complete and proper justice. Our lives can be ruined yet these companies continue to purchase other businesses and profit greatly…so why shouldn’t they take responsibility for the acts that have been wrongly committed to the victims whose lives they have ruined? The government should have had a “safe haven” for victims where they could go and not be victimized and taken advantage by others who are trying to gain so much from their situation. Lawsuits in these mass numbers were supposed to be cheaper for victims in regard to obtaining legal representation…I mean, many lawyers don’t even know the victim’s name, much less their story….but sure seems like their fee % is just as great as any individual case….so really, who does benefit most from we the victims? It sure isn’t the victims, nor the families who have had to watch the suffering, who have feared losing their wife or mother…much less who now have to take care of them because that they are debilitated!!!

  4. Pam says:

    Just as I thought. Melody dropped the ball with her responsibility of getting paperwork returned and keeping in touch with the law firm. If I’m notified that my bill didn’t get received or paid, and then my electricity was shut off. Whose at fault? Me!!

    I do however feel for her circumstances with the injuries pertaining to MESH!! But, I can see many cases being dismissed and the Manufacturer getting off the hook due to the times delays that’ll work in their favor. It’s up to us Injured Victims to NOT allow that to happen.

    We can only hope and pray that atleast 99% of the MESH Injured are being responsible litigants to NOT destroy the validity of the cases handed to the BIG PHARMA.

    • Kitty says:

      Sorry…don’t buy that. She had an e mail. Her attorney is now the attorney for “white men” who have been damaged by hernia mesh. Why did they drop her?…..no skin off their teeth.

      • Jane Akre says:

        The previous story shows they sent her certified mail a couple of times. After awhile the amount of time invested in one client doesn’t make sense…. but in the future, I’d home they hire the investigator I used… she is awesome!

        • Charle Nutt says:

          @ Jane, Who did you use as your investigator to help find Melody? Can you forward their contact information? I have a deadbeat ex-husband (who isn’t paying child support) I’d like to find.

          • Jane Akre says:

            Please use Candice Rizzuto Colorado Investigative Resource Services also known as COIRS 970-686-5668 or cell 303-503-0813

  5. Anon says:

    Let’s stop the blame game and help our Mesh sister. It is painfully obvious to me that Melody and the other eight needs our validation, encouragement and a ton of help. Please reach out to help her.

    • Kitty says:

      If the attorneys’ are fighting for justice and believe that TOT causes injuries…and Melody confided with them on the stinken dirty shame that she endured..they should be concerned. “Where is Melody..did she pass?” $$$

  6. Toni says:

    This whole thing is a shame. I always believed in people in justice in the FDA our government doctors lawyers our freedom. I have come to the conclusion that no one should be trusted. I am so jaded. I have always been a trusting person. I have such a hard time anymore believing in anything or anyone. It’s a dog eat dog world out there. Do we really need to trash each other in order to survive . Have not all of us been through enough hell that we need to throw dirt at one another. Ok so strength is in numbers. But I can say with certainty I want us all to come together and shout from the rooftop the injustices that have been perpetraighted on us all. But hey we are all fighting our own personal battles. With this mesh a lot of us or most of us physical, mental, financially , emotionally. So traveling half way across the country all of us marching picketing and getting media attention has not and maybe won’t ever happen. In a perfect world we would not be in this shape. So ladies we really need to brainstorm on what everyone who is on here like me almost Dailey how we can get the truth and our stories out there. UNTIL we figure out how to expose this to mainstream we will all be railroaded and screwed over. Life has been tough. We need to stick together all the way.

  7. Anon says:

    This post is not about the rest of us, our stories, our families, our gchildren, how we feel about other specific matters……..it is about helping Ms. Melody.

  8. Lana Keeton says:

    This story should be taken down. How can anyone possibly judge Melody when you don’t even know her? She has a right to her life and her privacy. She did not come looking for us. But everyone sure jumped on her when Jane published the story. Number 1. $1000.00 fine against a Pro Se Plaintiff is outrageous. Number 2. The Pro Se Plaintiffs should have been allowed to appear telephonically OR the Defendants should have gone to HER HOUSE to settle with her. Number 3. Judge Goodwin has heard multiple cases at trial, ruled on thousands of pages of discovery, read thousands of pages of expert witness testimony from both sides. He knows the severity of the injuries from mesh and should show some mercy to Pro Se Plaintiffs. What a God awful world we live in.

    • Jane Akre says:

      And we should take the story down why???

    • Anon says:

      AMEN……….Ms. Keeton!

    • Kitty says:

      The points on her abdoman appear to be scars from draining absess’ It’s outrageous if her case might be thrown out. I think Jane Gave her and all of us a gift……bittersweet as it may be.

    • Anonymous says:

      I can understand trying to find this woman but I agree with Lana; why on earth would you post pictures of her home and stomache? She has been found, take them down, why shame her more? This is strange.

      When I first started reading here years ago via this site and facebook…I remember Miss Jane wondering why more were not speaking out loud and proud. I tried to warn that people should create a fake facebook page even and post anonymously;as it could bite people in the butt. Settlements come with gag orders, as well as when it comes down to it, every word can be used and twisted against people posting their full real names. I see now that Miss Jane has figured this out finally.

      While I appreciate Janes’s work I wonder why articles like these with someones personal pictures exists. The pictures may have been given but why post them now? She has been found!

      On another note: does anybody have any info. on what this means in the NJ courts-regarding mesh?

      http://www.njcourts.gov/mass-tort/pelvicmesh/calendar.html

      • Jane Akre says:

        She may have been found but she still does not have case before the court until someone figures out that a mistake was made and makes it right. That would be her law firm or another. Otherwise she is leaving potentially thousands of dollars on the table. That was the point of the story. She sent the pictures to Mesh News Desk with the knowledge a story was being produced so she signed off on doing the story. I don’t really understand why anyone would criticize getting women back into the MDL to get the little dollars they are due.

  9. Jane Akre says:

    Please keep comments civil toward one another. Thank you.

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