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Restorative Justice Proposal for Transvaginal Mesh Harmed Women

Woman statute wiki commons victor nicolas courtesyRestorative Justice Proposal for Transvaginal Mesh Harmed Women

Proposed by Mesh Harmed Women

May 29th 2015

Nonie Wideman

Advocate for Mesh Harmed Women

PO Box 134, Rose Prairie BC, Canada, V0C2H0

Judge Joseph Goodwin

Charleston, WV federal courthouse

Charleston, WV federal courthouse

Honorable Joseph R. Goodwin, Judge

P.O. Box 2546

Charleston, WV 25329-2546

7009 Robert C. Byrd

United States Courthouse

300 Virginia Street E.

Charleston, WV 25301

Dear Judge Goodwin,

Transvaginal Mesh harmed women have been supporting each other through horrendous injuries, and tortuous surgeries to remove defective mesh products from their bodies for years. We have been supporting each other through social media sites. We have watched the mesh lawsuits wondering how justice would be served best for the thousands upon thousands of women worldwide, realizing the mesh products in their bodies are causing life altering and life threatening injuries.

  • We are dismayed when punitive awards get appealed and held up in constant battles.

  • We are dismayed when settlement offers do not cover the cost of full mesh removal surgeries, or adequately compensate for the damages to our bodies that we will likely sustain for the rest of our lives.

  • We are dismayed when women do not have choices to go to mesh removal specialists because the best doctors to remove mesh are not in some health insurance providers’ network.

  • We are dismayed when settlement amounts are for the most part linked to the number of surgeries a woman has had.

Gavel  500This dismay comes from researching outcomes of other women who have endured multiple partial mesh removals. Our consensus among a group of nearly one thousand women is that partial mesh removals are linked to more complications and unsatisfactory resolution of mesh complications. Women are waiting in painful situations for access to qualified full mesh removal surgeons to have all or as much mesh as possible removed in one surgery. There are no studies available to say that partial mesh removals are of more benefit than aggressive mesh removal when mesh is degrading, eroding and extruding, and causing systemic havoc in the process.  There is however, one full mesh removal surgeon from UCLA, who has definitively stated to at least one mesh injured woman that partial removals are the worst thing a woman can do.  He further stated that once the mesh is cut, it begins to leach toxins into the body, and that it also begins to crumble.  This doctor stated that when mesh begins to crumble, it is then like looking for shrapnel in the human body.   When asked whether the toxins would filter out of the body after seven years, the time it takes for our blood to completely filter itself, his response was no,  the toxins invade our organs and do not stay in the bloodstream.

It is not fair to equate the number of surgeries with the amount of compensation.

Women are afraid to have partial removals, afraid it will make it harder to remove all or as much mesh as possible, have opted not to have multiple surgeries.  Women waiting to get to qualified surgeons suffer just as much or more than those enduring multiple surgeries. We realize multiple surgeries are sometimes indicative of a higher level of injury, and this needs to be considered. However recognize that not all women with mesh complications are able to get degraded mesh removed in a timely manner because of financial situations and lack of access to mesh complication experts. We suspect the more surgeries we have, the more nerve damage we may incur.  Nerve damage often causes irreversible chronic pain.

May we respectfully suggest that in conjunction with punitive awards that get scooped up by states under tort reform, a restorative justice plan be put into place?

Prolene mesh

Prolene mesh

Instead of large fines for punitive damages, sometimes numbering in the millions, why not allow manufacturers a face-saving way to avoid paying the large punitive measures by agreeing to fund a non-profit foundation, established and maintained by mesh injured women, with representation from several countries, with at least 50-75% of the suggested punitive award being used for mesh removal surgeries and travel expenses for the mesh injured woman and one care taker, and reimbursing those that have already had their mesh removal surgeries for all out of pocket and travel expenses?  Women should be able to choose their surgeons based on research rather than the ones insurance providers allow. We are working to set up a foundation to help women with mesh excision surgeries and reconstruction surgeries post mesh removal.

This would be RESTORATIVE justice. Restoring women’s lives, by providing free mesh removal surgeries, by providing free access to chronic pain management centers of excellence, and free access to autoimmune specialists who recognize the understudied systemic responses of chronic inflammation caused by mesh complications. We want restorative justice, as well as compensation.

Where there is a will, there is a way. Many women might consider forgoing large compensation awards if they could have free access to centers of excellence to treat and manage mesh complications caused directly by POP mesh and SUI mesh products. Give them choices. Surely a group of intelligent lawyers with mesh injured women’s best interests at heart, under the guidance of a wise judge, can come up with a restorative justice plan proposal that is fair to women, and fair to the lawyers who have incurred costs providing representation to injured women. Brilliant minds will be gathered June 2nd. Please listen to our proposal. It would take very little effort for your legal teams to register a no profit foundation for the hundreds of thousands of mesh implanted women.

Scales of Justice

Scales of Justice

We want it named Women’s International Pelvic Mesh Removal Foundation.  If mesh manufacturers could pay for restorative mesh removal surgeries and treatments, pay for studies into the systemic effects of mesh complications rather than pay punitive damages, perhaps victims of mesh complications would feel justice is being served. It would be better served by involving mesh harmed patients heartfelt advice and opinions, unvarnished by legal jargon, into the restorative justice plan proposal.

Please hear us. Please respond. Justice delayed is justice denied.  Denied access to highly skilled doctors for any reason allows mesh complications to cascade and threaten life and quality of life.

Sincerely from mesh harmed women worldwide.

 Advocates, and mesh support leaders for mesh injured women in support of this letter are as follows:

 

              Suzanne McClain

  • I have been instrumental in educating victims of surgical mesh on how to obtain their medical records, and how to find the type of mesh implanted in them; I have advised mesh injured women how to file adverse events with the FDA since 2008; and I’ve assisted these women with finding doctors who are proficient in full mesh removal.
  • I have educated women on the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice in their respective states, and made recommendations regarding legal counsel.
  • I have performed years of research on surgical mesh, and penned many articles and letters about what damage can be done to the human body by polypropylene.
  • Mesh complication researcher/ specialty: history of mesh clearances by the FDA
  • I have tied over 60 surgical mesh devices cleared by the FDA under the 510K clearance program, (meaning no clinical trials were required) straight back to The ProteGen Sling. The ProteGen Sling was voluntarily removed from the market via letter from Boston Scientific to the FDA on January 22, 1999; the FDA formally removed the product from the market nearly two months later, on March 17, 1999.   My articles, covering approximately 35 of these devices can be found on CNN iReport at:
  • I am a mesh injured woman who has endured several mesh related surgeries; one to implant; three for removal; one for autologous (native tissue) repair. I have suffered excruciating pain as a result of mesh erosion, and work toward total removal of transvaginal mesh from the market.  I was uninformed of the danger; my goal is to make sure not one woman whose doctor recommends transvaginal mesh goes into this with their eyes closed.  The women who have already been down this path need a voice.  They need medical care, and they need justice.

 

                Joleen Chambers

Joleen would like to add; “I would personally extract from the manufacturers a full admission of product/material defect.  Settlements should not be paired with any required confidentiality clause because harmed women have lost enough without being forced to stay quiet about PREVENTABLE harm and delayed and minimal justice.”

  • FDA/CDRH-trained Patient Representative 9/2010
  • Leadership America Board Member
  • FAILED implant Device Alliance (FiDA) founder

JjrkCh    Twitter,  http://fida-advocate.blogspot.com

 

              Danyelle Robinson, Co-administrator of Medical Mesh – Outreach and Activism

Dear Judge Goodwin,

I just want to add that taxpayers are forced to pay for the lifelong care needed by many woman and men following implantation and removal of medical devices. Manufacturers make billions of dollars, yet pay pennies for problems they knew existed. Additionally what may be acceptable risks for life-saving surgeries can be excessive in relation to elective and cosmetic surgeries. Medical Implant patients are fast becoming a public health care crises as it looks like we are the epicenter of superbugs. Hold manufacturers accountable.

        Mrs. Aaron Horton/The Mesh Warrior Founder, The Mesh Warrior Foundation for the injured

        Dora De Wilde

  • A voice for hundreds of women who are hurt by the pelvic meshes.
  • Together with the Netherlands we represent more than 600 women.
  • meshedup.eu dora De Wilde Belgium
  • andmeshedup.eu Maria Smit Netherlands

Europe women are watching how those horrible operations will be stopped, we all hope that you  can make the difference!

                  

          Nonie Wideman

Sincerely, Ms. Nonie Wideman

 

 

61 Comments

  1. Suzanne McClain says:

    Thank you for posting this, Jane. I doubt any/most of the women who have been injured would have objections to finding a way to fund other women who have been injured, and who don’t have the necessary means to get to one of the few full mesh removal doctors in the United States.

    Frankly, many states have Tort Reform, which means that the states themselves capitalize on our injuries for awarded punitive damages. I personally would much prefer that if I were awarded punitive damages, that a good portion of this be set aside to help others in need.

    Again, thank you for posting.

    Best,

    Suzanne

    • Jane Akre says:

      Suzanne- thanks for proposing it and being such a great mesh researcher!!!

      • Suzanne McClain says:

        Jane,

        This was really Nonie’s baby, I just helped edit. This proposal has such an important message, and I hope that this can somehow be implemented. I think we all should all be concerned for our mesh sisters who are still awaiting full mesh removals. Many do not have insurance, or their insurance provider refuse to cover their out of network expenses. It is a damn disgrace, and if this is a way in which I might be able to do my part for them, (provided my lawsuit ever sees the light of day, and I am successful in my pursuit of justice) then I will be happy to fore-go a good portion of what is awarded to me in order to help others.

        Suzanne

  2. Debbie says:

    I am in PAIN!!!!!!!! PAIN does not show on an xray or ultrasound or mri!! I did research before i had this alien implanted.. and not two months later it started taking over my LIFE!! i wish we were making this up! i wish we were NOT suffering! i wish my zest for life was not SHOT to HELL!! PLEASE GOD. HELP US.

  3. suffering says:

    The tears won’t stop after reading this. I’m sad lost and afraid my removal is coming up. Thank u for posting

  4. Jane R. says:

    Please consider our wages and life long care. I could have surgery to remove the mesh.

    Two doctors have said it will not help with the pain and the damage done in my hip and back and surgery could produce more pain. I don’t have any idea what the future holds for me.

  5. Sarah says:

    I’m not sure I agree with this. I had to pay for all my surgeries I will live with constant discomfort but I’m hard working and I force myself to work and move on. We all know in our mesh sites we have been scammed by some individuals and their are manipulative people. I’ve been damaged I want my day in court. I’ve paid for my surgeries out of my pocket my family has suffered and went without. I want to be compensated for my loss. I want others to be compensated for their losses. Some of us have lost more than others we all need our cases to be evaluated!

    • Barb says:

      I agree with you Sarah! I don’t want to sound selfish but there are Doctor’s coming forward to even help with transportation, hotel reservations and lower surgery cost………….we will see more start to offer! Just by having these doctor’s that Jane has interviewed they really are starting to listen do more research, and have compassion. It has taken me 7 years to finally find the right surgeon to listen!! It’s really sad however that at times at least i know I have lost all faith in those who have degrees to help, listen, not judged, I actually had to be completely stern and said ENOUGH now you NEED TO LISTEN TO ME!! Advocating for yourself, we know our bodies, I’m scared shitless find out July 15 when I will be scheduled for a laproscopy and since my mesh erosion in my uterous can be seen they are going to cut away what they can see and since I have 2 devices she’s not sure what one has eroded. Who knows they may find places where mesh has eroded and may/may not be removed, I could wake up and be told they did a hysterectomy or they found something more serious that can’t be taken care of!!

    • Beth says:

      I do agree also with Barb and Sarah and think that we all need both punitive damages and also a financial foundation to help us recover. I don’t think one should have to preclude the other. Also, I don’t want the type of health care, I receive dictated or mandated by the court!!

      I think that would be true justice. I do not expect there to be true justice, as in the US the wealthy corporations tend to always win against the underdog, especially when our own government is turning a blind eye!! I hope I live to eat these words. The international community should do sanctions against our government for allowing the maiming of so many women around the world in the name of the almighty dollar.

      Maybe that would change things in our favor!!

      • Barb says:

        Also Beth we who are in an MDL we won’t be lucky enough to be awarded any compensation!! I’m upset with my Law firm on not having answeres to my questions which is high;y important! I was told there will be NO million dollar payout, even though AMS set 1,6$ billion aside If it all needs to be used then do so!! I’m thinking the highest pay will be $450 000 Whomever put the tiers up made all this ruckis for now reason@@ There will be complete hectic situation when settlements do start happening!! They also will be coming across issues that have never been seen before!! Between what liens people have medical banks charge cards borrowing monies to survive we woman will be lucky to walk with 20, 000 after fees!! We all need whatever very fair settement to not only survive in but also future medical cst!!

    • Barb says:

      Sarah, may I ask if you are presently in an MDL??? 24 states have a cap of 25%=75% of damages awarded in the courts. However if we are all on board in an MDL where the manufacturer’s have come to the table that will not effect us!! On the note of setting us some kind of fund and no we can’t sue to FDA however we can reach out to the media continuosly just maybe we can stir up some kind of pressure on these manufacturer’s and telling them the FDA did not approve nor were these devices properly tested. Ecen though these bellwether trial are supposed to set an example to manufacturer’s on what jurors are most likely to award to several woman with similar injuries I would hope that the Special Master in place would also consider our awards based on these cases!! I’ve been truly unhappy with my attorney firm as they are working on AMS clients to settle quickly I don’t have much confidence in the system that we will receive a FAIR settlement. The woman lucky to go to court are being awarded for past/future medical expenses, punitive damages, health issues related to the mesh. how it effects our partners/family, the mental, emotional, physical damage, permenant damage that WE have to live with, I’m going to find out July 15, 2015 when I will have my 3rd surgery, this time for erosion, and laproscopic. Do they truly understand the fear we have?? I don’t think it’s a fair deal that those with any type of government insurance that we should be the ones to reimberse. In a fairytale world wouldn’t it be great that the manufacturer’s should be the ones to be ordered to pay our insurance back?? since my attorney firm are working on putting our medical cases in categories I continuously ask what are the categories and what about permanent damages, they tell me it’s done by a point system but yet you have no idea?? Then steer me to someone who does know!!! What is fair to woman/men having their day in court being awarded huge settlements they will have plenty to pay all medical past/future, punitive damages are incredible, family/husbands/wives they are having money awarded as well, what about loss of intimacy?? Who is capable of putting money on such intimate issues, as long as we all have documentation from our Doctors and mine says I will never be 100% what do you do with that!!! So many question frustrating with no answere’s………………..These attorney’s are working for us so dear attorney’s whether in court or out treat us like one of your family members we know you would never settle for pennies and that’s exactly where all my mesh sista’s are also standing!! This could be one huge mess if these settlements are not going to provide us all with having some type of life we deserve!!! My heart goes out to those who have liens such as losing their homes, cars, health care!!! Bless us all………….

  6. I just pray that the Judge over these cases like mine too could know the living hell we are suffering from these defective devices that were used and destroying our bodies if the Judge and the manufacturers could know the pain that were have to try to live then maybe they would then would get our claims settled .They might get all of us a fair settlement to help us get the care we all need but we will never be well.

    Sincerely,

    Linda Karen Miller

  7. Jbroken says:

    FDA SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR IT TOO. CAN WE BRING A MASS TORT AGAINST THEM. ANY LAWYERS SEE THIS.

    • Barb says:

      I wish something could be done to the FDA as well, however I don’t believe that any attorney would even attempt to sue them!! How great that would be…………….they should be the ones who should reimburse Medicaid/Maincare/Medicare!! They should be shamed for letting these manufacturer’s just pass this Mesh right along with out proper testing!! I met 3 woman that I know who also have a case………..before all said and done there will be over 100, 000 woman. I wonder if we all should write Judge Goodwin tell him all our injuries, the emotional, mental and physical impact this has had and will continue!! These company’s are still making so much money today it won’t take them long to rebuild plus the money they have to pay out!! They made billions when they were forcing their products on the market and telling our doctors is was much more invasive, recovery time less then he old ways and less costly!! We have go to find away to get this out into the media on an everyday basis!! I’m going to contact every media outlet that was published when the brave woman went June 2nd! May we all ban together and take action, an injured woman is a scorned woman! God Bless you all, Mesh sistas

    • Suzanne McClain says:

      I totally agree JBROKEN, but if I am not mistaken, since the FDA is a government entity, we are not allowed to file suit against them. I believe they are every bit as culpable as the manufacturers because of how they allowed these products to be pushed through the system under the 510K process, and many times in less time than 90 days.

    • Donald Rainey says:

      I’m sorry to say but the FDA cannot be sued.Even if found at fault .

    • Bent says:

      The FDA is covered under Sovereign Immunity as it is a part of the Government so there is absolutely nothing that can be done to them.

      In the United States, the federal government has sovereign immunity and may not be sued unless it has waived its immunity or consented to suit.

  8. Jbroken says:

    Good job and a lot of thought. Been out of business an broke an just nearly surviving. But a great thought.

  9. Janis Urban says:

    Finally, an intelligent proposal that would enable women the care and choices they need now, supporting them financially with skilled surgeons and continued care for them throughout their lives

    for all mesh related problems. Brilliant, Thank you all!!!!!

  10. A special thanks to Suzanne for editing, supporting, and co-authoring….. we need to be a part of the bargaining and negotiating going on …not just lawyers representing individuals but women collectively speaking our perspective…. , on behalf of meshed harmed women’s groups supporting this letter thank you Jane for posting it !

  11. jenny says:

    Thank you Jane!

  12. Barb says:

    Personally I would think that we all would want punitive damages awarded to us, as far as our partners you have to be married in order to be considered. I personally think there needs to be a special needs trust set up by the manufacturer’s who used us as test humans and then that may become an issue, How much down the road would one be allowed to cover surgeries?? How many could we have? Maine does not have a CAP, I was told the cap only refers to someone going through the court system not MDL cases! I do feel bad for these woman who can’t get help, however for everyone who is suffering and still will suffer through our lives we do deserve punitive damages, cost for past/future medical cost, loss of intimacy, damages that are lifelong due to the defective devices. I feel that based on individual basis of injuries yes these cases are awarded on that information and ALL injuries sustained, infections, bleeding, organ prolapse, incontinence, cystitis, dropped bladder, not being able to drive, counseling, any medications, mesh erosion, how many devices we have, all test we have had to expose our selves too, scar tissue and so much more!!! I believe that our cases should be awarded money based on these lucky woman who have gone to court, based on their injuries and what the jurors are awarding!! However I just don’t see us in these MDL cases getting complete compensation that we so much do deserve! There will be no 1$ million dollar in an MDL case not going to court………so by the time our attorney’s take their share and paying back government health insurance we will not walk away with more then $50, 000!!! I’m at times just want to throw in the towel, we are the ones who suffer, living in fear, completely lost the woman we used to be! If we are not going to even be close to an amount of $ to pay for past/future medical we are all screwed and there will be several woman who because of their financial situation will jump to at least get something to help, even though my attorney states we don’t have to take the first offer that they can go back and negotiate for more, Like Dr. Walker said he treats his patients like his wife, compassion!! These attorney’s say if had a loved one have what we all do you can bet your bippy they would never settle for pennies, they would go for the million dollar pay-out!!!

  13. Getting Fed Up says:

    Personally I would love to go to a Autoimmune Specialist who would understand what’s really going on with us in our bodies as it’s hard enough to find a Dr to listen to you or you GYN to Admit he/she has put something in your body that has caused you harm.What scares me is will there be sites popping up all over the place with people running them with the lack of knowledge just to be in it for a fast buck or will this be thouralley thought through with mesh specialist running them even with mesh victims hired or volunteering there time at these clinics.As to have one clinic in one place it would be booked solid and hard to get into for years to come due to the fact it is so many of us in so much pain and distress due to partial removals and revision surgeries as clearly the pain never goes away it just gets worse.Thanks great topic

  14. Donald Rainey says:

    EXACTLY WHAT WAS DONE WITH THE ASBESTOS CASSES and it has not done a thing for the victims of all that. Ask yourself , do you trust the doctors or the company’s that make the mesh. Just like in the ASBESTOS cases they are trying to find a way to pacify the injured just long enough that the higher number will die off bringing down there out of pocket. And no harm to there company name. As what was said at the first of the above writing for most women haveing a doctor any doctor take out what he can and leave the rest for future op’s won’t do anything for the pain. All of these women should be paid for there injuries and the he’ll with saveing face of the company’s that made the mesh that they were told by the makers of the plastic NOT TO BE IMPLANTED INTO HUMANS.WITH THE ABOVE you must trust the Doctors the Mesh makers and more lawyers. They will all be making a lot of MONEY.AND THE VICTIMS GET…………0…….nothing but pain.

  15. stopmeshimplants says:

    Restorative justice practices are all about repairing the harm. We all know this alone will not take away the devastation we all face on a daily basis. I for one have had multiple mesh removals. Now I live a life of chronic pain. It could have been prevented if my first surgery had been with Dr. Raz and he could have removed all of my mesh instead of trying to retrieve the broken pieces. Imagine if this foundation would allow the next person to have total mesh removal without having to go the route I have gone with several surgeries and being left with mesh permanately. I am so appreciative of this suggestion and I thank both Nonie and Suzanne. This should have been part of the earliest conversations years ago. But no worries this complete well thought plan is on the table now. What are you going to do Judge Goodwin? I pray you will find a way to make this happen.

  16. When punitive awards such as over those over 50 million are handed out do you think the victim will see any of that money? Big pharma has the money to appeal, appeal and appeal till we are dead and gone. Correct me if I am wrong and show where the victims got their punitive awards over the 50 million mark. I am not proposing no punitive awards, go to harmed women but proposing the strong message punitive awards nobody expects to see more than a fraction of be redirected, rethought, repurposed to allow women to have a foundation for women ran by women with mesh complication experience and knowledge where applicants can receive funding to get to the doctors of their choice and different doctors of different disciplines to address all the secondary to mesh complications. With appeals over these strong message awards such as the recent one over 70 million lawyers are the winners, not harmed women. I would love to see some examples of these large punitive awards actually being accessed by the people they are supposed to compensate.

    • Barb says:

      Nonie you are correct about the victims not seeing the big money, and the woman awarded 70 million that’s been cut in half of 35 million based on the state having a cap!! By these woman not being allowed to recieve their million dollar punitive damages they can only appeal so many times. I’ve followed a couple cases where the appeal was dismissed! It’s possible it may take years however 4 woman in Florida with similar issues were awarded 6.5=6.7 million which is a nice package got their money. Remember this money is not taxable to us but to our attorney firms. Judge Goodwin can/should have put more in court filed documents. I think he will soon be getting more aggressive as when he met the manufacturer’s June 2nd they have to provide to the court what/how/when they have a plan to settle. These manufacturer’s who just want to fight in court is just I believe a tactic to stall what is actually going to happen, Most of these cases before court or after deliberation are being settle quickly and I’m sure these woman are being awarded a decent amount of money for their attorney’s would also have to be involved.

  17. clarifying…. I am not proposing no punitive awards going to harmed patients ,but I am proposing the strong message punitive awards such as those over the 50 million mark be rethought, repurposed, and that which would be clawed back by government, medical insurance providers and taxes, and lawyers be redirected ……. as patients likely will never see that portion of the award …… we deserve better than many of the settlement offers, and we would love to each have our day in court, see justice, but the sheer numbers of women harmed will bog down the judicial system for years…. if we bankrupt the manufacturers how will women expect to be compensated? I would welcome some ideas on who should fund a foundation to help women and how to get it happening…. anyone related to a rich billionaire philanthropist?

  18. Karen Pike says:

    Ladies,

    My case is private and has nothing to do with you. I am a mesh-injured woman and will not allow you or anyone except for my lawyer to speak on my behalf. I am making my lawyer aware of what you are doing. I do not respect any of you as authorities or experts qualified to be in charge of a non-profit set up to mamage a single cent I might recover. Stop this nonsense.

    • Barb says:

      Karen I believe all here have retained our own attorneys no one is suggesting what you do and not do!!! I too am only going to listen to my attorney as they are the ones who really know the figures…in an MDL case if your manufacturer has come to the table and settle like mine has@@ This is America where freedom of speech is allowed we are entitled to our own opionions Nonie is NOT telling us what to do in any way shape of form!! You don’t think anyone in your attorney firm know’s of these media pages??? LOL……………..Yes they are aware. This is not illegal and many don’t use our REAL names here!!!!!!!!!!! Ues I have been told don not post anything on social media meaning injuries, how sever our activities our lifestyle ect!! We are estimating money…..this in my book foes right along with having funding for cystic fibrois, cancer, other disease. This is an awareness page with a media reporter most of this is public knowledge…………maybe you should reside from these public pages!!!!!!! For those who have manufacturer’s coming to the table AMS so far everything is in our original contract what we can post and not!! These are just woman trying to get help to other woman who need the medical care that cannot afford.

  19. Becky Asmussen says:

    I agree with Karen Pike! I have retained an attorney to fight for me and although many of us are in pain and desperate to find monetary compensation to relieve our suffering, NO ONE should speak for me unless I give them permission. I believe your proposal can endanger my right to a fair trial if it comes to that. Please stop this! I believe Judge Goodwin is aware of all the issues and is working hard to get these resolved as quickly as the law allows. Let him do his job.

    • Jane Akre says:

      The assumption is that most of you will never see a trial. Sorry but with 77,000 cases, very few will actually have their day in court….. so this is an alternative. You always have options if you don’t want to join. This is an option that provides ongoing medical care which the jury trials never will for the majority of women.

      • Karen Pike says:

        With 77,000 cases in this MDL, It will be decided which cases actually need a day in court and the others will be settled without your help. Did you folks actually consult with a reputable lawyer about your plan? My lawyer read your “Restorative Justice” plan and said it will never happen for a lot of legal reasons and it wouldn’t work anyway. All I can say is THANK GOODNESS for that! There are so many other mesh-injured women who have never heard your name, seen this website, and therefore will never hear of your plan. IMO, all you are doing is stirring up the emotions and passions of the relatively few women who follow you.

    • Barb says:

      Becky like Jane said for those here who think they will ever get their day in court thats not in this real world. If you all think that you will fairly be compensated by settling out of court and at this time many have signed papers to join this mass tort case! If you don’t have a manufacturer willing to settle cases out of court good luck to you……………….it’s going to take many years be more money out of your pocket if you win, and always having a jury you never know which way they may go!! It’s going to cost those who are selected to court around $300,000 just to cover court cost. Before this is all said there will be 100, 000 woman involved now that Canada has joined and other countries.

      • Karen Pike says:

        You can keep telling yourself these things if you choose. I am not helpless. My personal power to help myself will come from working with my lawyer.

        • Jane Akre says:

          You’ve said it beautifully Karen, your power is to help yourself. This proposal, as I see it, looks beyond the promises some lawyers have made (million dollar judgments) that they had no right to make to women who will actually get $40k before legal fees. Yes that is happening, everyday. Maybe you and your lawyer will be the exception and good luck to you. Realistically it’s not working for everyone. What’s wrong with providing a pool of competent, qualified, experienced mesh removal surgeons who can do full removal surgeries (as close as possible) who are not relying on funding companies or insurance companies to direct medical care? What’s wrong with having an eye on the long-term complications and need since no one has any idea what lies ahead in terms of mesh complications? Sounds like an emphasis on the common good and the long term. As I said, good luck to you ….

          • Karen Pike says:

            Thank you, Jane. My way of helping other women is to encourage them to work and advocate on their own behalf within the system currently in place. No offense, but I believe the Restorative Justice proposal is a huge distraction and waste of time for women who need to get off FB, order their affairs, and call their lawyers.

          • Jane Akre says:

            I agree with you about Facebook…. it is not a credible source of information to say the least! Again good luck. I hope we read about your $100 million win. Yeah!!!

        • Karen Pike says:

          Jane, I don’t expect a $100 million win. That is way overkill and I don’t need that much to feel I have justice. My insurance company and lawyer need to be fully paid and we will hopefully reach a reasonable award for me to feel compensated for my suffering, care, and losses.

  20. Hurt-via-mesh says:

    I don’t like or dislike the idea. Why tattle when it seems to me that SOMEONE is trying to find any morsel of justice of SOMETHING to help a woman like me and my husband. Even if it doesn’t work.

  21. Tracye Sowders says:

    For myself, I have chosen not to continue having revision surgeries. I have had 2 surgeries. One of the surgeries was to remove Gortex stitches in my pelvic wall that were supposed to degrade, but never did. There were a lot of these, and they were painful. I still have a Boston Scientific sling in my body. I am often afraid and very sad. I feel , from all that I have read, that it would be unwise to have any more surgeries. I fear it will cause more harm than good. I feel I am stuck here, and beyond that , I won’t even be compensated . I will never be able to make love with my husband again. I will never go through an entire day without chronic debilitating pain. I can’t even work in my garden anymore. Physical exertion is a chore. My children have lost the mother they had, and my husband has lost his playmate. I am one of the fortunate ones…my family loves me and supports me, and that includes my husband. I don’t talk about it…who wants to hear this sort of thing? This is the first time I’ve ever even written anything about it. I do hope Judge Goodwin considers this Restorative Justice Proposal.

    • Lucy Loo says:

      Fellow BS sufferer here as well. I’ve had 5 revisions and now plan to have as much removed in one surgery as I can. I am getting worse. I am scared as well. I just want to be me again – to sit on a hard surface and not hurt.. you know the story.. you live it as well. I find encouragement on this site. I don’t feel so alone when I come here and read others stories.

  22. msm says:

    And for the women who are too ill to have surgery and have lost everything? To the families of those who (or will) have died?

    Those who will be (or are) living on the streets if there is no compensation aside from medical and travel? How will doctors be chosen? How will facilities be chosen? What modes of transportation will be chosen? What oversite will there be for which procedures are covered and which are not? What about removal surgeries that are coupled with other procedures that may or may not be caused by mesh? How many surgeons will become “anti-mesh” when they see a big payday from the foundation as opposed to a Medicare? These are just a few small issues to be dealt with and there are far-reaching implications and complications. If someone is refused some benefit from the foundation, whether it is a patient denied a conservative treatment or a surgeon who is denied entrance into the “network” of approved surgeons (there will have to be one), the foundation will be sued along with whomever is involved in the decision making process. It goes on and on….

  23. Karen Pike says:

    Ladies, if you keep repeating the negative self-talk of “We will never be fairly compensated,” and then spend your day on Facebook talking to other women with the same bad attitude, then you are right – you probably won’t be fairly compensated. Other mesh-injured women who have appointed themselves as “experts” will never have any impact on getting justice for you. The only one you should be talking to is your legal team. I have heard from some women that their lawyer will not even answer their emails or phone calls. Are you keeping records of every single time you tried to contact your lawyer? Have you made an appointment to meet with them face-to-face? I’m a believer in advocating for myself, asking for what I want, and taking tangible steps to help myself. I’ve done this while being very sick, working, and going through 3 major surgeries in a little over one year. I don’t have a husband or anyone else to do these things for me, nor would I want someone else to speak to my legal team for me. If you are not handling your affairs, then try to figure out why that is. Do you believe you have serious injuries and a case that deserves a day in court? Have you done your homework by gathering ALL of your hospital and doctor records? Do you feel you adequately researched your lawyer and made a good choice? It helps if you choose a lawyer in your state that you can meet with face to face and who can represent you in local court without huge travel expenses should your case be remanded back to your state. If your lawyer is not working out for you, then build your case of WHY and begin researching how to get out of your contract. If you decide to be defeated and join the chorus of “I will never be fairly compensated,” then be sure to include yourself in the list of people who let you down. Be a fighter and never give up until the fight is clearly over.

  24. msm says:

    Why is there a discussion about punitive damages? Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant. That is between the jury and the defendant. If some states allow the plaintiff to keep a portion, then that is a blessing.

    It is compensatory damages that should be the center of concern. Awards for compensatory damages are to compensate the plaintiff for medical expenses, travel expenses, loss of consortium, lost wages, etc. AND (very important) for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is something every mesh-injured individual has in common. Is there a fair amount to cover it? Of course not. It can’t be quantified.

    I can’t imagine anyone who has suffered from mesh, man or woman, would feel that medical treatment is all that is due. All mesh-injured individuals deserve compensation for all of their losses past, present, and future and should not be concerned about punitive damages (which are rarely enough to “punish” these companies). It only serves as a source of frustration and bitterness and there’s enough of that already.

  25. Ricki says:

    Where would the other 25-50% go? The article states at least 50-75% of the money is used directly for the mesh injured woman?

    • Suzanne McClain says:

      Hopefully, it would go to the injured party! Where it should all go, but because of Tort Reform, it doesn’t.

  26. Suzanne McClain says:

    To the ladies that have expressed issues with this proposal, I would suggest they re-read and dissect what exactly it is we are proposing, as opposed to misconstruing exactly what it is that we have proposed. It would be much more beneficial to the masses of mesh injured women if these disrespectful comments were kept to oneself, and if you have questions we would be more than happy to clarify. Some are so quick to criticize those of us that have taken a pro-active stance on behalf of the masses, and we know who is leading the way. We just don’t know what their agenda is or why they are hell-bent on destroying anything positive toward having mesh removed from the market, or helping other mesh injured women that are unable (financially) to help themselves get treatment.

    CLARIFICATION:

    Let me first clarify by saying that we are asking a judge and lawyers to get involved in this entire process to evaluate whether or not this proposal would be in the best interest of mesh injured women, and if so, whether or not it could be implemented.

    One lady stated, “My case is private and has nothing to do with you. I am a mesh-injured woman and will not allow you or anyone except for my lawyer to speak on my behalf.” I wholehearted agree with you on that. We do not want to be involved in your individual case, nor do I want you involved in mine.

    She further stated, “I am making my lawyer aware of what you are doing.” Please do so, as we want lawyers to weigh in on this.”

    Another woman stated, “We all know in our mesh sites we have been scammed by some individuals and their re manipulative people.” I absolutely agree with this too! My research partners and I were instrumental in getting the main one out of the mesh groups. This woman had claimed to be a nurse; she was not. I know, because I did the research for each and every State Nursing Board Database under all of her surnames. She claimed to be a patient advocate/councilor (sic) (her word, not mine) on behalf of one of the leading surgeons; she was not! I know this too, because I contacted that surgeon directly, and we talked several times over a two day period. He also sent me an email to clarify that she was not then or ever working on his behalf. I further did a background check, (at my own expense) and we exposed all of her criminal activity. I pulled away from researching mesh for two months in order to protect other mesh injured women from further being harmed by this woman.

    PUNITIVE DAMAGES / TORT REFORM:

    Let me give you all a little history on Tort Reform, as it applies to punitive damages. In Mississippi, where I live, under the 2013 Mississippi Code, § 11-1-65 – Punitive damages; limitations, I would be limited to just 2% of any punitive damages I may be awarded based upon my net worth, which is less than fifty million dollars, ($50,000,000.00). That means that 98% of that money would be captured for alternate uses, (I presume by my home state) and will not benefit me or my family at all. For clarification on the Mississippi Law, please visit the following website:

    http://law.justia.com/codes/mississippi/2013/title-11/chapter-1/section-11-1-65/

    If I win my case, which has now been filed for four years and eleven months, and which seems no closer to being resolved than the day it was filed, I personally would much rather see a foundation set up to help other mesh injured women, using the punitive damages that Tort Reform prevents me from capitalizing on personally. You all need to educate yourselves on punitive damages assessments in your respective states, to see what limitations you will be bound by. If you need assistance, please ask, I will be happy to provide my assistance in locating the law pertaining to caps in any in your respective states. I have been providing service (research and otherwise) to other mesh injured women for seven long years now. This is just one more area in which I have educated myself.

    TORT REFORM SUMMARY FROM 2005

    As of 2005, thirty-four (34) states (Listed below) had Tort Reform laws that limit the amount that a plaintiff can receive if awarded punitive damages. Is your state listed below? More States may have added, but at the time of this writing, this was the most up-to-date information I could find.

    http://uspolitics.about.com/library/bl_tort_reform_state_table.htm

    Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois,* Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin

    It only stands to reason that many of our cases will never be heard before a judge. Many, if not most plaintiffs will be offered miserly settlements, of which our lawyers will get 35%-45%, plus many of us will have to reimburse our insurance companies for all mesh related surgeries. It is against the law for juries to be forewarned that if they were to award mainly compensatory damages, that this is what would be awarded to the plaintiff; if they issue the majority in punitive damages, (as most juries do, to send a clear message to the manufacturers) the ACTUAL injured party will see very little of this. THIS, is why we are proposing that those monies be set aside to help mesh injured women.

    If you can’t comprehend that we do what we do to try to help not only ourselves, but fellow mesh sisters, then that is your problem. I just don’t understand how some (a very limited number) of you think we are proposing this to capitalize off of other mesh injured women. I feel the bile rising in my throat; your insinuations make me sick. My heart and my mind are in the right place, and I have a clear conscience; do you?

    • Becky Asmussen says:

      Suzanne, with respect to your statement “It would be much more beneficial to the masses of mesh injured women if these disrespectful comments were kept to oneself…” The last I checked this is still America and we have a right to express our thoughts and options on such an important matter. Many of us have been told by many sources to hush up! It is naive of you to believe that you would not get push back from this and think everyone would just jump on the band wagon because you feel it is a good idea.

      • Suzanne McClain says:

        Becky,

        I apologize if that statement came across as harsh. It was certainly not my intention, but I must admit I was a little out of sorts at the time after the suggestion was made that I, Nonie and others are self proclaimed experts. We are not, nor do we claim to be; we are just mesh injured women looking for a viable solution that might help other less fortunate mesh injured women women.

        I am not suggesting that a respectful debate about this proposal be squashed, or that everyone must agree on the pros and cons. It is healthy to have a debate about the issues, without attacking the integrity of others as was done in some previous comments. Yes, it is America, and I have a very strong belief in our Constitutional Rights, and more specifically, our First Amendment Right!

        We are asking the Judge and Lawyers to weigh in on this too. We made proactive suggestions, which is a lot more than I can say many others have done. It is much easier to stand back and point their finger than it is to try to organize people and come up with solutions.

        I am seven years into this, and my mesh has been removed. I could have simply walked away and said to others you’re on your own. I am not going to lift one more finger to help anyone, and I am going to get on with my life. That, is not in my demeanor. My parents taught me that you care about others, and you stand up for what is right.

        Again, a healthy debate would be very much welcomed. Attacking others is, in my opinion, unacceptable.

        With all due respect,

        Suzanne

        • Jane Akre says:

          Healthy debate and discussion is good. Lack of civility on these pages,,, bad.

          • A healthy debate is always welcome done with respect. The pros and cons of ideas discussed should be about the topic. When participants attack people instead of ideas nothing good comes of it. Questions were raised about how to implement a restorative justice plan. Those questions were and are valid. I don’t have the answers. I don’t know it all, surprise surprise! The challenge was put out to the smart minds in the legal arena to consider thinking outside of the box. I did not think we needed boxing gloves.

        • Barb says:

          Suzanne appears many making certain post (negative) appears to have not done their homework on educating themselves!! Unfortunate for them……………….if they read each and every article pertaining to those who have had their day in court maybe they will further understand what your post are all about!! Your post are not to tell woman/men what to do, yes we all have been injured to some degree but for those in thee MDL trials whom there are settlements being made daily I will use AMS as example. Who ever posted these TIERS should never have happened it has stirred alot of confusion for us all who are already some at the end of their road, I too have been in this MDL since 2008. Yes I have been a huge advocate for myself if your sitting back waiting for other’s t help afraid you will be sitting a long time! I’m also one that from day one has obtained all medical records, test with results, every time a doctors appointment never good news I also obtain the records from that day! Although it cost me money to take copies, fax or mail I’m a strong believer that this is the quickest way for my attorney’s to get my records on more of a timely basis where hospitals and Doctors usually take several weeks or months I’m glad you have written your experiences and are out there helping us woman not trying to steer us wrong, a lot of your own time has been spent doing research you have many supporter’s and I personally thank you!!

  27. stopmeshimplants says:

    The wealth of knowledge I have gained about mesh over the years comes from all the women who have been harmed by these horrendous mesh products. I personally believe my situation would have had a better outcome if I had spoken to or was guided by the people who had previous experience with mesh surgeries prior to my surgeries. I believe this foundation that has been suggested would provide that place for people to go to learn about these devastating mesh products, all of them, and then be permitted to make a more informed decision. We owe that to all the individuals who have yet to learn their symptoms are mesh related. Factual information is good. Jane’e website and others helps us all. But we have only seen the tip of the iceberg with these harmful products and the destruction it creates in all of our lives. Please be open to more help. There are thousands more who have no idea what is about to happen and will need someplace to go. Once again I want to thank Nonie, Suzanne and Jane. I believe this is a well thought out, carefully crafted suggestion for Judge Goodwin to consider.

  28. Dorothy says:

    We are women hear us roar, in numbers too big to ignore.

    • Lucy Loo says:

      Amen! And may I add that this site is a God send. It helps me to stay informed about what is going on. Thanks to everyone for all of your hard work on behalf of mesh survivors. Bless you.

  29. Charles den says:

    Can you have a women that has settled please

  30. Kevin Walsh says:

    Please ask someone to tell me about a real settlement thx KW

  31. Jamie says:

    Hello to all:

    as I’m new to this post and read all the comments about the FDA & the MDL that I have continually search and cannot find my name anywhere & I have representation in another state as I did get when I filed online 3yrs ago or so my representation has subleted me onto a Special Master third party, I have called my Firm a & I get the run around on who,what where & when! I find it very disturbing that when I do call the Office of this special master that they won’t tell me the name of the Special Master person over my case & the CSR tells me that I will be receiving & award letter that was in June 2015 🙁 still waiting & do not understand why they get 6% of the 40% then 34% the primary gets ? Holy crap what a Russian Roulette of a guessing games these firms play with our money & I swore that I wasn’t going to retain & ambulance chaser !! Guess what a lot of us did & it’s really very distressing & emotionally draining, I have also applied for SSD there is a big thing on that it can impinge on your benefits & not get your settlement, have to apply for legal scrutiny on how to keep your money without the gop taking it an escrowing it to dov out to you 🙁 I also read that once you are in a contract on a litigation attorney you cannot back out, but if they offer you a aggregate settlement & you do not accept it they are dropping you, so Judges website says look into your state bar laws to see if they can legally do that but like I said I live in a different state no sure if I look up my state laws or the attorneys state laws assume where attorney is ? I some how would like to file a transparency clause against them ? I have had this ungodly,foreign mess of a mesh implanted inside of me since 2005 I’m going on 11yrs of unsurmountable difficulties and 4 revision surgeries, this has been a nightmare as I never signed for this & I went in for a simple routine hysterectomy and woke up with this hernia hammock, that it fell out 6wks later and stuck my significant other right into his penis and he threw me hurling through the air as I landed on my rear on the opposite side of the bed! I have had it all as far as symptoms and pain an I was also told about this tier stuff from my legal counsel as it is taken by severity of each case? I

  32. Jamie says:

    also feel that this will never end and I will not be compensated for the amount that I feel will be acceptable, I was told alot of false statements and It is ridiculous to say the least, they don’t reconize me as a common law wife that we have been together 28yrs and if that is not committment I don’t know what is he could of kicked me to the curb a long time ago for this mess !

    Perhaps the Food and Drug Administration was doing the Job that they were put into place for as it always seems to go back to them under the Microscope, Dr’s too as well I had a urologist say to me who the hell slung you this tight as I enlightened him he said the gynos should not be performing these surgeries & this will eventually erode into your bladder and that this is a great device for collecting bacteria in the vagina as it is a breeding ground for it not to mention it has crippled my brain from talking to my bladder & I will not draw it out, I’m proactive in my own case & have all my records and need to get on with my life.I urge anyone as myself that feels that maybe we should call the news and our local representatives, (ie) Senators,legal advocates, legal counsel on counsel rules and laws we can stand united to help one another to expedite this process before we all perish in the midst of the hedge funding crooks.stay healthy hope we get wealthy and they wise up !!!

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