Mesh Lawyer: How To Handle Legal Counsel In TVM & Hernia Cases

/Mesh Lawyer: How To Handle Legal Counsel In TVM & Hernia Cases
Mesh Lawyer: How To Handle Legal Counsel In TVM & Hernia Cases 2018-09-01T16:56:48+00:00

Is your law firm responsive to your questions pertaining to your pelvic mesh lawsuit?  Do they return your calls?  Have you received your settlement?  These are questions that plague mesh plaintiffs across the country.

Mesh Attorneys: Working With Lawyers As You Pursue Justice

We hope you find some of the answers on this page, where your editor has compiled all of her in-depth articles on dealing with attorneys. Bad and good: it’s all here.

To jump straight to your question, click on one of the links below:

Can You Change Your Law Firm?

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, January 5, 2018  ~ This story was originally posted on September 26, 2017 but has been revised as time passes. Since so many people ask, “Can you change law firms if you are unhappy with your representation?,” get your retainer agreement out and look at the fine print.

Scales of Justice, WikiCommons

That’s a good place to start. 

This article is being reposted because so many of you call MND and complain about your law firm and the lackluster settlement dollars being offered to mesh injured plaintiffs.   

I’m Not Happy With My Representation. What’s Next?

When you research whether you can leave your law firm, most references are for attorneys. At least once in a career, a lawyer may want to change firms.

But what if you, the client, are not happy with your representation and want to shop for another law firm to take your case?

Is that allowed?

Federal courthouse, Charleston, WV

Taking The Team Approach Seriously

In an ideal world, you and your law firm form a “team” based on mutual trust and respect. That means you must provide the law firm with the information it asks for and stay in touch if you move.

You need to be honest. If you already have signed with a law firm, you can’t expect to sign with another. If you’ve had a bankruptcy, tell the firm.  Also, you must always be reachable.

In turn, the law firm should be able to answer your questions and have someone appointed to be your liaison. This should be a paralegal, or someone familiar with the law. 

Check out the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct here.

Does Your Firm Follow Through?

Your law firm must provide you with your case number and where your case is filed so you can look it up and verify that it actually has been filed. In some cases, a law firm did NOT file your case. They, and ultimately you, save the $450 filing fee, but what does that get you?  In line for settlement only and the defense knows that.  Your case is not being worked up for trial.   A case worked for trial indicates resources were put into the merits of the case, one that counsel was prepared to present to a jury.

As readers know, those trials have resulted in multi-million dollar verdicts, with very few exceptions.

How Does A Legal Referral Service Work?

Is your case with a trial lawyer? Many 800 numbers led the unsuspecting injured plaintiff to a legal referral center that sells or “refers” your case to another firm for a set amount or percentage.

Since one has to be a lawyer to head a legal referral service, you may think you signed up with a law firm (and you did) but they may have had no intention of keeping the case.  Unless you know that, you may waste precious time asking the referral service for an update on your case.

Ask the person at the end of the 800 number if they are a legal referral service and if not, who are the trial lawyers who will handle your case.  You should be able to tell if you are getting a truthful answer.

Warning Sign: Compensation Promises

Some plaintiffs were promised they had a “million dollar case” when they signed up. That is a red flag. No one knows the value of a case. Based on that premise, you were charged 40% legal fees.  Is that customary for a settlement phase only? Not really.

Protecting Your Interests

You might want to structure an agreement that differentiates a percentage for settlement from trial preparation since they are very different skills, such as 33 and one-third % for the first $100,000 and 25% for the second, something like that.  The language in the retainer agreement will prevail so the agreement you sign is a contract and very important.  (This is not legal advice, just consumer advice.)

Mesh News Desk has heard from plaintiffs who only find out years later that the initial referral firm no longer has their case.

This is a formula for disaster. As a client you have not kept up your end of the deal either!

Communication Is Key

No communication can mean that cases fall by the wayside and the plaintiff forgets about it and goes on with their life. That’s what happened in the recent story Women Who Are Missing, about women who had their cases dismissed by the court when both sides failed to communicate with each other.

Is changing law firms even allowed?   Remember – Your case belongs to you.

WikiCommons, Scott Steiner

Read the fine print of your firm’s retainer agreement. That may contain language that will guide you if you are not happy with your current representation.

What Happens When Your Attorney Wants To Break Up

If the law firm wants to end the relationship, the replaced lawyer will file a notice of withdrawal with the court.  They must return your original files and papers and property and refund any unused retainer.

Make sure you do not get into a battle over paying them before your files are turned over to the next firm.

Jury in Huskey trial, Akre

Know The Rules

The American Bar Association’s Model Rule 1.16(d) (here) says your firm must surrender papers and property as soon as the representation is terminated.  There may be a similar rule established by your state bar association.

If the firm is owed fees, it will file a lien on whatever award you eventually receive from either a jury award or a settlement.

How Much Do You Owe Your Attorney?

Make sure the fees and costs are “reasonable” and not excessive. Ask for an invoice with details on the expenditure in your case.

If you never receive anything in a settlement, do you still owe that law firm something?   It’s in the fine print.

Changing Attorneys Is A MAJOR Decision

Give careful thought to firing your attorney.  Are you on the eve of trial?  Has the firm communicated with you but your real frustration is with the industry you are suing?

Understand that opting out with your law firm and trying to take a case forward with a new law firm will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s a risk many firms are not willing to take.

Temper Your Expectations

What are you expectations and are they realistic? That is the million dollar question when it comes to mesh litigation because the dollars being offered by the mesh industry do not consider a lifetime of pain and medical care, loss of consortium, lost wages, non-revision mesh-related medical care or pain and suffering.

So what is realistic?

Ask yourself – is this firm acting in a professional manner and do they still have your trust?

A sit down meeting to air your grievances may answer your questions. ###

LEARN MORE:

From Martindale-Hubbell, How to fire your attorney here.

Subrogation: How Hard Is It To Get Your Settlement Money?

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

What Is Subrogation In A Mesh Settlement?

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.

Attorneys Take Huge Cut, But Are They Worth It?

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?

Where Does All The Money Go?

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.

How To Check Up On Your Attorney’s Conduct

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.

Keeping A Law Firm Honest

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!

The Mesh Rush: Handling Attorney Solicitations

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.

Your Own Editor, Harassed By Mesh-Related Calls

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.

Rampant Solicitation Undermines Real Survivors

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.

There Are NO Promises In Litigation

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.

Don’t Believe The Sales Pitch

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.

Attorney Referrals

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.

Lawyers To Mesh Plaintiffs – Settle Or Be Dropped!

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, August 15, 2017 ~ Mesh News Desk is hearing from countless women who are being threatened with no option but to settle their transvaginal mesh case, even when the numbers do not come close to being a reasonable settlement for what she has endured.

Art by Jade R.

Some of that is due to the nature of this litigation, negotiate with the defendant mesh makers to move cases through the court rather than making whole the individual, as a trial is more likely to do, understanding that mesh injuries are often permanent.

MND finds that lawyers threatening to drop their clients may be in violation of their ethical obligations.

Settle Or Be Dropped!

According to a January 10, 2017 order (Ethicon Jan 10 2017), by Judge Joseph Goodwin, who is overseeing the mesh litigation in his federal court in Charleston, WV, more than 100 lawsuits filed against Ethicon have been put on the inactive list.

The reason  – the plaintiff (and her representatives) and Ethicon “have agreed to a settlement model with regard to Ethicon.”

This did not necessarily mean that the plaintiff agreed to the settlement. Her law firm might have agreed in principal to settle. Then it is up to her law firm to convince the client to accept the terms the defendant is offering.

Judge Joseph Goodwin

The mesh manufacturers generally demand 95% of the group agree to an amount being offered. If there is agreement, Judge Goodwin said the Plaintiffs and Ethicon “may submit an agreed order of dismissal with prejudice on or before July 1, 2017.”  An August ruling extended that deadline to October 1, 2017. Ethicon Doc #4401 here. 

That means the case is over and cannot be resubmitted.

What If The Mesh-Injured Says No To The Settlement?

But what if the mesh-injured plaintiff doesn’t agree to the settlement dollars?  After insurance and Medicare is paid, medical bills and any loans, the 5% common benefit fund and a bit withheld for later – some of those checks are pretty lean. MND has even seen settlement checks under $2,000.

The Court will hold a hearing to determine the appropriate action.  One of the avenues would be to reinstate the claim to the active docket of the multidistrict litigation (MDL)  for good cause.

“Good cause includes, but is not limited to, a plaintiff’s refusal or inability to consummate settlement.  Such motion must be accompanied by an affidavit from plaintiff explaining such refusal or inability.”

Judge Goodwin said the counsel for plaintiffs and defendants were supposed to provide quarterly reports to clients as progress was being made in the case.

Law Firm Threatens Client

One plaintiff on the list of 126 plaintiffs, we’ll call her “Suzy,” tells MND she received no updates. She did, however, receive calls telling her her only option was to settle for the amount offered or the law firm would drop her case.

She does not want to settle for the amount she is being offered. Suzy is catastrophically injured and will need a lifetime of care due to damage from her Ethicon pelvic mesh implant.  A number of clients have also complained that their law firm gave them a June 30th date to accept or reject the settlement offers.

Some plaintiffs tell MND they refused the settlement offer.  What then?  MND reached out to Suzy’s law firm but did not receive a response.

Elizabeth Burch, U GA Law professor

Drop The Client, Mesh Maker Says

It is not widely known, but at least one mesh manufacturer is heavily influencing how plaintiffs’ firms treat their clients.

In one confidential settlement agreement, obtained by MND,  the push to drop the client is stipulated by the defendant mesh manufacturer.

It says the plaintiffs’ lawyer agrees “to take all necessary steps to disengage and withdraw from the representation of any Claimant who declines a settlement offer under this Master Settlement Agreement or who fails to provide an executed Release.”

A Violation Of Legal Ethics?

This is in direct conflict with the model rules of professional conduct.  The right to settle or not remains firmly with the client!

Forcing a lawyer representing the mesh injured runs afoul of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2 (a), which requires lawyers to abide by their client’s decision.

Elizabeth Burch, a law professor at the University of Georgia tells MND, 

“As I’ve written in the past, it’s my opinion that withdrawal provisions are unethical.  The limited mesh settlements that I’ve examined all contain mandatory recommendation and withdrawal provisions, which require the attorney to recommend the deal to all of her clients and to then withdraw from those who refuse.”

Professor Burch continues, “Lawyers may withdraw for no reason at all if it won’t have a materially adverse effect on the client’s interests.  But in circumstances like these, it becomes very hard to find replacement counsel.  Finally, according to rule 5.6(b), lawyers can’t participate in making an agreement that restricts the lawyer’s right to practice as part of settling a client’s case.”

Defense Says Disengage

As if suggesting the plaintiffs’ lawyer force a settlement even when it may not be in the clients’ best interest wasn’t enough, one mesh maker goes even further to dictate how lawyers represent their clients.

On page 42 of one Master Settlement, it admits it cannot tell those lawyers how to practice law, but as part of the agreement it requires law firms to agree, “that they have no present intent to solicit or represent new clients for the purpose of bringing Claims against (the mesh maker) in connection with (the mesh maker’s) Mesh Products or (the mesh makers) Mesh Product Injuries.”

The documents dictate plaintiff’s firms will agree that they will not actively solicit prospective mesh clients through the media including television, radio or websites, either directly or indirectly.

Consent Versus Closure

Professor Howard Erichson, Fordam Law

Professor Howard Erichson, at Fordham, has written a good bit on the ethics of agreements like this.

Published in the Cornell Law Review, Consent versus Closure  (here), Erichson asks “if a lawyer wishes to withdraw from a client who declines a recommended settlement, may the lawyer terminate the relationship?”

Erichson notes Rule 1.16(b) says yes, the lawyer can, “if the withdrawal will have no material adverse effect on the interests of the client.”

For example, in the Vioxx litigation, an injured client searching for a replacement lawyer wouldn’t find one because all of the firms agreed to get out of Vioxx litigation.  Obviously then, it would present a hardship to the client/plaintiff.

But a law firm can withdraw if the client insists on taking an action that the law firm disagrees with, if the action will burden the lawyer financially, and if there is any other good cause for withdrawal, such as a fundamental disagreement.

Bottom Line: Clients, Not Lawyers, Are In Charge

However, it bears repeating that the client is in charge and it ultimately is his or her decision whether to accept or reject a settlement.   

The general rule is that the lawyer may not withdraw because the client refuses to settle.

The client may fire his/her lawyer, but according to Erichman, “Cases overwhelmingly reject the idea that a lawyer may fire a client for declining a settlement against the lawyer’s advice.” P.287

“The lawyer may not burden the client’s ability to make settlement decision by structuring the representation agreement so as to allow the lawyer to withdraw, or to ratchet up the cost of representation, if the client refused an offer of settlement.”

Clock, WikiCommons

Statute Of Limitations

There is an additional complication if the law firms drops a case.

In some litigation,  Mesh News Desk has learned that a complaint was never filed in her case, not even a short form as a placeholder.

Unless there is a tolling agreement, the statute of limitations continues, according to a lawyer handling mesh claims.

Under that circumstance, the injured plaintiff will never be able to find another law firm because her statute of limitations may have expired.

Law Firms Remaining In TVM Litigation

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, April 18, 2017 ~ Many of the large Mass Tort law firms are no longer taking transvaginal mesh cases (TVM).  

While many law firms are pursuing the coated hernia mesh cases, fewer are remaining in transvaginal mesh litigation.

Litigated since  the early 2000’s, TVM has gone through many changes, from forming a mass tort and MDL in Charleston, WV to a few bellwether cases to test legal theories. Even fewer settlements have been offered.

To date, four cases that have gone through trial have settled after exhausting the  appeals process.

Which Law Firms Remain In TVM Litigation?

Many of the law firms that form the executive committees in the multidistrict litigation are moving away from transvaginal mesh litigation.

Though the following list is not complete, it represents the law firms that remain in transvaginal mesh litigation. Please let us know if your firm is continuing to take these cases. Many are not but continue to work to settle the cases they have.

Some of the few left include:

Sheila Bossier
Bossier & Assoc.

 

Adam Slater, Feb. 2013

Adam Slater – Mazie Slater, Katz & Freeman, Roseland, NJ
http://mskf.net/
Trying Coloplast, Ethicon, Boston Scientific, Bard, AMS

 

Sheila Bossier- Bossier & Associates, Jackson, Mississippi
http://profiles.superlawyers.com/mississippi/jackson/lawyer/sheila-m-bossier/bcce2f88-7ff9-483b-9eef-d4e390262b64.html

 

Steve, Amber Mostyn

Steve & Amber Mostyn – Mostyn Law Firm, Houston, TX
https://mostynlaw.com/
Ethicon, Boston Scientific, Bard, Cook, Caldera

 

Aylstock,Witkin, Kreis, & Overholtz

Bryan Aylstock – Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz, Pensacola, FL
http://www.awkolaw.com/

 

Joe Saunders – Saunders & Walker, Pinellas Park, FL
http://www.saunderslawyers.com/
Taking AMS, Boston Scientific and C.R. Bard

 

Kline Specter – Philadelphia, PA
http://www.klinespecter.com/

Aylstock is focusing on Ethicon; Mostyn on Boston Scientific, Bard, Ethicon, Cook and Caldera; Saunders is taking AMS, Boston Scientific and Bard cases.

Firms that are no longer taking TVM cases are Blasingame Burch Garrard Ashley;  Matthews & Associates, and Fleming, Nolen & Jez, among others.

Transvaginal Mesh Law Firm Called A “Mass Tort Warehouse”

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, January 5, 2017 ~  This story originally ran November 24, 2015, and details the ugly underbelly of the business side of law. The story arises from a lawsuit filed by a former employee whose job it was to obtain millions in litigation financing. Never underestimate the influence of money over law.

akinmears advertisingIf you ever called an 800 number advertised on late night television to pursue a possible product liability claim, this might be where that call leads you.

The ugly underbelly of the business of law is exposed in a recently filed lawsuit by a former employee who says he wasn’t paid for his work obtaining millions in litigation financing.

The lawsuit reveals the quest to aggregate clients who become no more than “commodities,” including transvaginal mesh claims filed by thousands of women.

Firms Trade Cases On Open Market

In the lawsuit, filed by 30-year-old Amir Shenaq in Harris County District Court, Texas, the former financier claims Houston high-volume law firm, AkinMears, owes him more than $4.2 million in commissions for securing funding for the firm.  Shenaq says he raised $100 million from a hedge fund that provides dollars to purchase thousands of claims from other law firms.

The lawsuits are then bundled and traded among attorneys like home mortgages, reports Bloomberg here.michelle mears

The complaint, (Case No. 2015-57942), which was sealed, reinforces the idea that all of these cases are just bargaining chips to be run down an assembly line.

“AkinMears is not run like a traditional plaintiff’s law office, and the Firm’s lawyers do not do the types of things that regular trial lawyers do,” like meet clients, file pleadings and motions, attend depositions “or, heaven forbid, try a lawsuit,” Shenaq claims in his suit. “The firm charges 40% for its services which do not include the mundane chores of actually practicing law,” the suit claims

After lowering the interest on monies borrowed by the firm from 24% to 16% interest, Mr. Akin bought a fifth interest in a Phenom 300 corporate jet for $1.5 million, according to the Forbes story here.

Profiting At The Expense Of Plaintiffs?

amThe firm, AkinMears, run by Truett Akin IV and Michelle Mears, uses television and Internet ads to recruit clients who they sign to litigation.

Mr. Shenaq calls the firm a “glorified claims processing center,” because it spent thousands on television ads to run up the numbers of potential clients. Others clients have taken Lipitor, have hip implants or the asbestos-exposure disease, mesothelioma.

Shenaq was also reportedly negotiating arrangements with a Dallas lawyer affiliated with four firms calling themselves Alpha Law. Dallas lawyer, Mazin Sbati, was affiliated with the group which had close to 14,000 transvaginal mesh cases.

Lawsuit Reveals “Warehouse” Law Firm’s Business Model

AkinMears reportedly purchased the cases for $45 million along with another 160 mesh cases. The cases cost about $3,000 each but yielded attorneys’ fees of $15,000. Bloomberg reports it’s not clear where these cases stand or which Defendant mesh makers they name.

The firm hoped to gain anywhere from $130 million to $200 million in profit from the transvaginal mesh lawsuits.

AkinMears initially wanted the complaint sealed because it revealed the business model:

“Borrow as much money as possible; (ii) buy as many television ads and/or faceless clients as possible; (iii) wait on real lawyers somewhere to establish liability against somebody for something; (iv) use those faceless clients to borrow even more money or buy even more cases; (v) hire attorneys to settle the cases for whatever they can get; (vi) take a plump 40% of the settlement from the thousands and thousands of people its lawyers never met or had any interest in meeting; and (vii) lather, rinse, and repeat.”

When it came time to pay commissions, Shenaq was fired. “Akin and Mears didn’t pay Shenaq for one reason and one reason only, he says: “They didn’t pay him because they didn’t feel like it.”

Out-Of-Control Advertising Dilutes Viable Mesh Cases

The Alpha group is said to be behind much of the lawyer advertising that has diluted the pool of valid transvaginal mesh cases adding many who just have a mesh in place.

AkinMears says it has clients involved in power morcellator, testosterone, Xarelto, Mirena, and Risperdal cases, among others. #

Learn More:

Here is the lawsuit, Shenaq v. Akin, petition has been temporarily sealed in October. Case No. 2015-57942

http://www.texaslawyer.com/id=1202739910841/ExEmployee-of-AkinMears-Sues-Firm-Alleges-Millions-Owed?mcode=0&curindex=0&curpage=ALL

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2015/10/20/lawsuit-details-how-law-firms-borrow-and-pay-millions/

http://setexasrecord.com/stories/510642299-mass-tort-warehouse-fires-fund-officer-to-avoid-paying-him-millions-for-acquiring-14-000-mesh-claims-suit-alleges

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-22/inside-massive-injury-lawsuits-clients-get-traded-like-commodities-for-big-money

NYT, October 22, 2015, Should You Be Allowed to Invest in a Lawsuit?

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/25/magazine/should-you-be-allowed-to-invest-in-a-lawsuit.html?_r=1

Litigation and Trial Blog, Maxwell Kennerly

http://www.litigationandtrial.com/2015/11/articles/product-liability-2/lucrative-mass-torts-scam/

Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Steve Mostyn Dies

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, November 16, 2017 ~ It is with great sadness that Mesh Medical Device News Desk passes on the news of the death of plaintiffs’ mesh attorney Steve Mostyn.

His wife, Amber, has issued a statement that the death was the result of a sudden onset of mental health issues.  She encourages anyone fighting mental health problems to contact the suicide hotlines.

“If you or a loved one are thinking about suicide, or experiencing a health crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline right now. The lifeline’s number is 1-800-273-8255.”

Steve, Amber Mostyn

Mostyn, 46, leaves behind his law partner and wife, Amber Mostyn, and two children, ages 10 and 16. Steve was a devoted father who never missed their sporting activities, reports CBS News.

Mostyn Led Charge Against Defective Mesh

His Houston-based law firm is a leading personal injury firm that has jumped into the pelvic mesh debacle, particularly leading the way in racketeering claims against mesh maker, Boston Scientific, filing a racketeering class action lawsuit (here) against Boston Scientific on behalf of Teresa Stevens of West Virginia.

Based on documents obtained in discovery from Boston Scientific, company emails show executives knew and intentionally smuggled into the U.S. allegedly substandard polypropylene resin from a known Chinese counterfeiter when the U.S. supplier said it would cease providing the raw polypropylene materials to make mesh implants.

Amber Mostyn wrote to the FDA in April 2016, (here) , looking for federal help to restrain Boston Scientific (BSC) from selling mesh implants made from the allegedly counterfeit Chinese mesh.

“FDA’s proposal to allow BSC to test its own product for equivalency is flawed at its core and stands in stark contrast to statements by the FDA, statues enacted by Congress, and the public policies behind them. The FDA’s initial inquiry should be whether the raw material being used by BSC is counterfeit in violation of the Trademark Counterfeiting Act. If it is, the product should be recalled immediately.” 

The FDA instead turned the question of substandard mesh made from counterfeit materials over to BSC to investigate itself.  The Mostyn law firm produced a video on the issue here. 

Steve Mostyn on 60 Minutes

True Advocate Fought For Sandy Survivors

Mostyn also appeared on 60 Minutes fighting for people who lost their homes after Hurricane Sandy, particularly fighting the insurance companies that didn’t want to pay for the damages.

See the script here. The video requires you log into CBS 60 Minutes.

He was known to be a fierce fighter in court and to fund political candidates who oppose the movement called “tort reform” that curtails an individuals right to a courtroom to resolve grievances.

Big Asbestos, Pharma and Tobacco are behind the tort reform movement, and receive backing through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Read more about that on PR Watch here. 

Last year, your editor contributed stories on the mesh debacle for the Mostyn Perspectives website. Read a MND story on the Chinese mesh issue on Mostyn Perspectives  here.

“An Incredible Advocate & Fighter”

While I never met the Mostyns, Scottish reporter Marion Scott did when the couple flew to Scotland to testify to the government about the mesh issue.

Marion Scott, Reporter of the Year 2015

Tonight she says,Totally distraught to hear this. Steve flew to Scotland with his lovely wife and daughter because he wanted to raise awareness of the mesh scandal. He was an incredible advocate and fighter. He lit up the place. Lovely man. So sorry for Amber and the kids.” 

While many personal injury law firms talk the talk, the Mostyns truly helped many of you behind the scenes putting their efforts into digging up the long buried evidence that would be needed to support mesh survivors during their long journey.
Rest in Peace Steve and prayers to the Mostyn family.

LEARN MORE

Stevens v Boston Scientific Timeline, Mostyn Law
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/spa/fyz6uchpeseeeqz/Exports/

Mostyn Law Court Documents, Citizen Petition
https://vaginalmeshclassaction.com/exhibits/


Boston Scientific Smoking Gun emails, Mostyn Law

https://vaginalmeshclassaction.com/toxic-resin-boston-scientific/


Mesh News Desk, Jan. 15, 2016 – RICO Suit Accused Boston Scientific of Fraud in Smuggling Defective Pelvic Mesh from China
https://www.meshmedicaldevicenewsdesk.com/class-action-lawsuit-accuses-boston-scientific-of-obtaining-defective-mesh-from-china/