Richard Howden on a Cash Settlement Award Following Mesh Litigation? It didn't happen for him.

//Richard Howden on a Cash Settlement Award Following Mesh Litigation? It didn't happen for him.

Richard Howden on a Cash Settlement Award Following Mesh Litigation? It didn't happen for him.

Richard Howden at Telluride Film Festival 2011

Richard Howden at Telluride Film Festival 2011

Richard Howden

Richard Howden

My name is Richard Howden. I got a Hernia while working in November of 2006. It was not much of a Hernia as Hernia’s go. It was a Right Inguinal which is quite common.

The worker’s compensation insurance sent me to a local general surgeon who determined I had a hernia and I was scheduled for surgery 5 days later. It was not my first hernia on the right side. I had a hernia “stitched” old school style in Tacoma, Washington in 1993 and this is what I expected for my latest hernia repair in Montrose, Colorado. I was not told that my repair would include a mesh product and, even if I had, I do not know if I would have said no or not.

I have talked to many mesh victims that have gone through the same experience. So five days later I had surgery with a Mesh Implant of Prolene Mesh manufactured by Ethicon. I felt great for the first six months. It was then that I started to not feel well, had pains in the surgical area with itching and redness.

I contacted the worker’s compensation insurance to get permission to see the doctor again concerning the increasing problems I was experiencing. It took a couple of months but I finally got to see another doctor as my surgeon would not return my calls. By October of 2007 I was very sick and in quite a bit of pain.

By January of 2008 I had lost 40 lbs and could not eat and could barely walk because of what was being done to me by the mesh. I was able to have the Prolene removed but the new surgeon replaced it with a Small Kugel Oval with Ring to repair the hole left by the removal.

I am in constant pain; my right side is bulged out a few inches and my life as I knew it is over.

Does this sound familiar to you? Have you or a loved one been impacted by a mesh implant?  Do you have a lawyer or are looking for one? What are your expectations with your lawsuit? Are you expecting a “Large Cash Settlement”?

Well, I would like to discuss this with you, if I could.

It is the expectation of anyone that has been implanted with a medical device, whether a pacemaker, hip replacement or a surgical mesh product that that medical device goes bad and it does damage and has to be removed, that you are protected under the law and you should be able to sue the manufacturer for damages and suffering.

Many mesh victims are finding that what is normal with most medical devices is not the rule for a mesh product. All mesh products are made of the same petroleum based chemical whether gynecological or hernia. There are many, many mesh products for all sorts of purposes. It is truly amazing how many products there are that are made of the same material as your garbage can or plastic lawn chair that are being implanted in patients all over the world.

Now imagine that the FDA came out tomorrow and recalled mesh and any products of the same material. Imagine that they had to admit that Hernia and Gynecological Mesh was dangerous for human implant and that victims should seek medical attention now. Whether a mesh recipient was having a problem with their implant or not they would run to their surgeon then to their lawyer. The manufacturers would be bombarded by lawsuits and would probably claim bankruptcy. The Insurance companies would be hit by claims to the point where they may have to do the same.

The FDA would have to explain why it has taken so long to recognize and then to tell the public about the dangers of mesh. I believe it is because of these factors and a few others that the FDA will have to be taken screaming and kicking into Court before a total mesh recall would be published.

But I digress.

You or your loved one has been harmed by mesh. You want to sue. Here are a few things you must consider about your case. Do you have medical documentation by your doctor or surgeon that shows that your mesh did go bad and caused all the problems you are now going through? Would they testify in your behalf that the mesh did all the damage? Do you have the actual mesh saved and frozen or pictures of the mesh accompanied by a pathologist report indicating that it was indeed the mesh that did all of your damage?

How long has it been since your implant and your knowledge of the mesh causing you harm? Do you have any other medical problems that have caused you to have surgeries in the same area as the mesh but not because of the mesh? Are you diabetic? Are you over weight? Are you a smoker? Do you drink? Do you have a record of illegal drug use? Have you been incarcerated?

These are just part of the questions that you need to ask yourself because they are questions that will be asked about the veracity of your case.

If you are looking for a lawyer you may have heard recently the advertisements by lawyer’s saying that there was an $11 million dollar settlement “for a mesh case” and “you too could get a cash settlement.” Although that case was brought by a woman that had horrible damage done to her by a gynecological mesh and repeated removal surgeries, her settlement was not granted because the mesh was found defective. The settlement came from the jury deciding that the manufacturer failed to provide adequate warning to her doctor and made a fraudulent misrepresentation to the mesh victim. That was the cause of her injuries. The case included $7.76 in punitive damages to send Johnson and Johnson a message and to discourage their behavior. This case is under appeal.

And here is where I come to the crux of the mesh problem. The FDA has published very little in the way of Alerts about mesh. Yes, it has published two warnings about TVT/Gyno/Vaginal Mesh but it has not issued a recall even though there are thousands of complaints.

All mesh settlements are now being handled through a Court system called an M.D.L. or Multi District Litigation. Instead of a thousand small proceedings over several states concerning one mesh product, one large lawsuit is convened in a district court making it easier for the manufacturer, the courts and the lawyers to sit down and come to a determination.

It is VERY difficult and expensive to get a single case into court much less into the settlement phase. This is why most mesh cases are being handled this way. If you do have a lawyer, he/she may have talked to you about this. Your lawyer will probably never enter that court room. He/she will hand over their cases to a lawyer deemed by the Court as the Plaintiffs Attorney of Representation.

It is then this law firm that will not only represent you but also a thousand or more other victims. Your case will have to be scrutinized to determine if you are a worthy client. Go back to the questions I asked earlier. Those questions are now focused on your case. Not only your viability as a client but whether or not your injuries “fit” the boundaries of the mesh case and effectually within the guidelines needed for the case. If you do not fit their “criteria” or the “perimeters” that have been set up by the courts and accepted by the manufacturer, your particular case will be thrown out.

It does not matter that you have been waiting for 6 months or 3 years, your chance at a settlement is now over. If your case is accepted however, you will then be categorized as to the extent of the damage done to you. You will then be paid whatever sum the Court and the Manufacturers have deemed you are worth according to your category.

Congratulations, you now have a settlement!

But hold on there! Did Medicaid or Medicare pay for your surgeries? You may be the target of subjugation. Subjugation is when your settlement is subject to being used to pay what Medicaid/Medicare paid out for your surgery. What!? But you did not agree to that! Too bad, you do not have a choice in this matter as many settlement “winners” have found out.

I have talked to two mesh victims who did not accept the settlement offered to them but are being sued by the Treasury Department anyway. They want you to pay for your surgery and you have won a “Substantial Monetary Settlement”!  It does not matter that you have pain, suffering and have lost your livelihood or your home.

After all of this and you still have money coming let’s hope that the manufacturers do not make a plea thereby delaying a settlement that could take years if ever to be received. In 6 1/2 years I have been turned down or dropped by every major law firm in the U.S. I am now way past the Statute of Limitations for my State. I also have had 2 different meshes which complicate my case considerably and again, no one wants to get involved. I am not alone in this situation as there are literally thousands of mesh victims whether they know it or not that will never get representation, compensation or retribution.

So, Dear Mesh Victim, please, before you put all your hopes and dreams in a somewhat normal life after you have “Won a Substantial Monetary Settlement” realize that the lawyers are making more money collectively than you will possibly get from a lawsuit.

The possibility of you getting enough money to keep you and your family solvent is almost nil. Until the FDA comes out and recalls your mesh or my mesh or ALL Mesh, we as Mesh Victims have little chance of ever getting that “Substantial” settlement.

I will write again at a later date about mesh settlements and will expand the topic to include the lawyers, the courts, the judges and the manufacturers that are involved with the upcoming M.D.L.’s. I will also introduce you to victims that have been to court and will let them tell you how it went for them.

Please make a report to the FDA MAUDE data base if you have not done so.

Best Wishes, Richard M. Howden (aka, All Meshed Up)

Post Script*  I do work as a Surveillance Tech still although if I climb ladders for a couple of days I pay for it by being curled up in a ball for a day or two afterwards. But I cannot get SSI because I am too active. I am on Food Stamps and at one point was getting a very small stipend for the disabled and needy. Until a little over a year ago I was living in a converted garage with a wood stove and I hauled water to wash and flush the toilet. I have a Service related disability that gives a little bit of cash monthly. I was nominated for a Purple Heart last year because of injuries in 1976. If I get that I will have full benefits and a pension. But since I was implanted with Mesh my life is no longer what it was. I will not give up the things I love to do until my body will no longer allow me to do them. Like it or not that is my life now. It’s not what I had in mind for being 57 years old.


Richard Howden Radio Interview




By | 2014-01-26T22:01:34+00:00 January 26th, 2014|Op-Ed|46 Comments

About the Author:

I’m National News Editor, Jane Akre and I began Mesh Medical Device News Desk aka Mesh News Desk (MND) in the summer of 2011 just after the Food and Drug Administration issued an explicit warning to the public that complications associated with surgical mesh used for prolapse repair (POP) and incontinence (SUI) are NOT rare! That was the starting point for the litigation you see today and thousands of lawsuits have been filed by women whose lives have been altered, some permanently, by the use of this petroleum-based product.


  1. Mark Krause January 27, 2014 at 4:14 am - Reply

    Hi Richard , regarding paragraph 10 . No , the FDA does not inspect Medical Devices adequately . The FDA is a basket case .

    Take a look at the article on Fraud in Pap Smears I wrote . It is very critical of the FDA .

    Thank you for sharing your story . Sounds like you went through hell as a result of an abomination of our ” Medical Industrial Complex ” . They claim there is an epidemic of fraud taking place . They are right .

    I was a Navy Corpsman , 1977-81 , BTW .

    • Richard Howden January 28, 2014 at 4:08 pm - Reply

      Thanks Mark. Not only does the FDA fully qualify many products through their 501K process, the manufacturer, with reference to a previous 501K passed product, can introduce an “improved” product without any or little testing. I was also in the Navy from 1974 thru 1979 as an OS/AW. The V.A. has been cooperative of my situation with mesh and have authorized further tests and surgeries. It took 3 years but it looks as if I may have a chance of getting this mesh out of me. Thanks again for your positive input and your service to our country. Squid.

    • Debra Charleston December 2, 2017 at 12:19 pm - Reply

      Dear Mr. Bowden thank you for such valuable info. Have had hernia removal surgery twice it was pain and uncomfortable….also I have a colostomy which made it twice as painful. But thank you again for sharing. I have an attorney looking into it as we speak it is gong on two years. So I’m going to be patient but my life ad a 61 year old woman is completely different now. Please feel free to email any info you have regarding hernia mesh cases.

  2. barbara Dykes January 29, 2014 at 7:19 pm - Reply

    I thought this was a support site. I told my story and when I came back several days later, I saw different people on here so I shared new information. I received a very Rude comment when I hit the “submit” button…”You already said that”. Goodbye and good luck to you all.

  3. InAZ February 2, 2014 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    I can speak for myself having had the Recalled Kugal mesh and had been offered a settlement. I was category 1 out of 6 categories, 1 being most severely injured, yet the offer was ridiculous to me, so I rejected it. This mesh was recalled because the company and or the FDA recalled the mesh for injuring and killing people(remember transvaginal meshes are NOT recalled and companies are stating it is safe). I would have received about 27% of what they were offering after all the legal fees and expenses and I have never been on Medicare and Medicaid.

    The legal ads are mostly for the Attorneys to recruit more victims so THEY can make more money. Only few thousand may trickle down to the victims, that is unless you go to trial, win the trial and win the appeal. The highest amount awarded by a juror so far for tvag mesh case is 11mil, even if appeal was won. After all the expenses the victim will be lucky to left a million. And this case is a rarity. There is no way to have a trial when only 2 or 3 cases are heard a year, if that. During the settlements the lawyers agree on specific amount, then their specialists decide to catergorize their clients, not my pain and suffering and necessary injury (it should be)but by how much medical bills incurred (if you had no insurance or money to see many doctors then it works against you) if the mesh was proven defective, ie. the ring break. The moral of the story, everyone makes money off of us while we continue to suffer, with no justice.

    • Jane Akre February 2, 2014 at 7:38 pm - Reply

      It is interesting how transvaginal mesh injuries will be categorized if it ever comes to that. People who already had surgery versus those who have not? Any thoughts from those who have been through it?

    • InAZ February 2, 2014 at 10:52 pm - Reply

      Correction: Categories not by most injured, it was by how much medical bills, 100k or more paid out and the ring break. They assumed you incurred so much in medical expenses and the ring broke, therefore higher the injury level. Not necessarily, some people only have less med bills because they don’t have the money or the insurance coverage to have had it removed or other related health care expenses. Some people are out their living with a ring break or non ring break but in wheelchairs with or without colostomy bags but they have less med bills incurred than someone who was able to get it removed. Nothing is necessarily fair!

  4. InAZ February 2, 2014 at 10:45 pm - Reply

    I saw the settlement offers of all the clients from my firm, no names of course. I think they did that to show me to be content with my offer since there were many only $5k, $10k, $20k etc. offers and this is before the legal fees deducted! Bard made Kugal hernia mesh and transvaginal meshes, so I’m guessing the similar offers. Again, they recalled it as a defect they have not dime that for transvaginal meshed. It is not how bad you are injured, it is how many surgeries you had, if it was removed and a doctor confirmed with Proof, that it was the mesh. Those with Medicare and or Medicaid are unfortunate, either if they didn’t have multiple surgeries they will be offered little, but if they did have had multiple surgeries, all those surgery costs must be refunded to the US Treasury. The Defense nor Plaintiff cares what maybe left for the actual victim. Plus if you filed bankruptcy in the last 10yrs, those creditors can receive the money before the victim. I know there will be ladies who will say they won’t sign to it, well then the lawyers can keep your money in their account, and when Medicare comes for it directly to them they don’t need anyone’s signature. Because

  5. InAZ February 2, 2014 at 11:07 pm - Reply

    Also victims who have multiple different meshes made by different companies, may have difficult time proving which caused the injury. Likely both caused the damages but how can you prove which one did it. The Defense will argue that it was not their product causing it.

    • All Meshed Up February 4, 2014 at 10:48 am - Reply

      This is exactly the problem I have had. Even before the “recall” of the Kugel with ring ( I have the Small Oval w/ring now), when I was trying to sue Ethicon for the Prolene I was blocked at every turn. I had just started talking to Bruce Rosenburg at that time when the Supreme Court made a ruling that you could not sue a manufacturer of a failed device if it had been “Ok’d” by the FDA. Now, that was the interpretation at that time of this ruling by the SC. I was dropped within 2 days by 3 law firms who basically said I no longer had a case. Bruce lost his lawyer after he had retained him for a couple of years. That ruling killed the lawsuits of a few hundred Pacemaker recipients who had them fail or burn up in their chest. It was almost like that ruling was designed by the Manufacturer’s to get rid of a lot of law suits. It took another year before lawyers read into the ruling and realized there was a way around it depending on the situation. But that period of time caused all involved another chunk of their Statute of Limitations within their State. I have become quite cynical about what has and is happening to mesh victims. Legally we have been hindered more than any other victim of a medical device failure. Whether directly or indirectly the result has been the same. It is very difficult to retain a Lawyer and bring to court a case against a manufacturer of mesh when the FDA’s own data base has more ” non-conclusions” than anything else. The manufacturers’ can point at the MAUDE data base and say “Look! The FDA has investigated all these and they haven’t found conclusive evidence!”. The fact that there are THOUSANDS of complaints with all the same symptoms is lost in the rhetoric. The vast majority of the complaints filed with the FDA indicate that “the product” was not sent to either the FDA or the Manufacturer for analysis. If the FDA was truly interested in finding out about what all the complaints were about, don’t you think that they would enact a “requirement” for Hospitals to save a mesh product if it had to be removed so they could study it? There would also have to be a “requirement” for the Surgeon to make a report. But there is not. So the FDA and the manufacturers can say “Non-Conclusive”. How many of you mesh victims have read through your medical records and found a solid, no doubt report from your Surgeon that specifically identifies your mesh as the one and only culprit of your injuries? Or is his/her report veiled in non-specific terms that neither points at the mesh or his/her involvement in your injuries? I had to have my first mesh removed to save my life. But there is nothing from the Dr. that indicates the specifics of the “why” I had to get my mesh removed immediately. Thus I have a worthless medical report from the Emergency Room Dr. concerning my health. And some people wonder why I am so cynical.

    • Annette July 7, 2017 at 12:36 pm - Reply

      I have had 12 hernia repairs since 1998. I have mesh on top of mesh that can’t be removed. Just had surgery in May to repair 2 plus the old mesh was freyed and had grown to my intestines. I had medicaid. And now that I have read this, I’ve decided I am better off not filing a lawsuit. I stay in continuous pain. And nothing I can do about it anymore. I still have to work full-time or I can’t afford to live. It’s a shame that we get stopped no matter what.

      • Jane Akre July 7, 2017 at 3:01 pm - Reply

        I’m sorry Annette….. it still might be worth consulting with three law firms to see what they say, especially for the more recent repairs.

  6. Richard Howden(All Meshed Up) February 3, 2014 at 7:04 pm - Reply

    I have been replying to victims for a couple of years now concerning MDL settlements and how the system is set up. As the poster from Az. stated, these settlements that the victims have waited for and put their hopes on, are an insult to most victims. The victim is demoralized and treated with little concern while the Lawyers, the Courts and the Manufacturers scrutinize and categorize them as you would cattle. I should not categorize either but in my experience over the past 7+ years of being a mesh victim every Lawyer I have dealt with had no other thought but for the bottom line. I don’t blame them so much for wanting to make money but for lacking a soul. The amount of money being made by the Lawyers involved in the signing up of victims to the Lawyer that does the MDL is staggering to say the least. And to offer someone $20,000 for years of pain, for the disfigurement, loss of home and livelihood, loss of being able to give birth or even having sex AND THEN take your fee is inhuman. But that is what is being done to us and it will continue until the FDA finally admits that ALL mesh is bad and recall it. Only then will we be on a level playing field with the manufacturers of mesh and maybe we will get compensated justly.

    • Jane Akre February 4, 2014 at 11:20 pm - Reply

      Richard- you express yourself well… unfortunately, the lawyers are there to take your cases, without them you’d have to represent yourself in court…can be done, though not usually with a good result. Understood what you say about how one makes their living… I’m not sure I could do it.

      • All Meshed Up February 5, 2014 at 8:11 am - Reply

        Hello Jane, I realize that I am a bit hard on the Lawyers and yes we need them to handle our cases. I am just a bit hateful I guess about being dropped for one reason then another over and over and over again. I also realize that there are specifics to presenting a good case. What is wrong about the legal side of having mesh is that the number of people “allowed” to have their day in court as opposed to the number of people that have mesh complications is overwhelming. As “Sandy” said and so many other victims, our circumstances are what mesh has done to us and we have no recourse. So when we read about a $11,000,000 settlements and advertisements that say “You to could get a large settlement” of course we are given a glimmer of hope. And that “glimmer” is usually taken away because of our circumstance. Unfortunately the majority of victims will live their life in pain and poverty because of mesh and no one gives a damn. So I apologize if I have hurt any Lawyers feelings with my post…….Best Wishes

        • Jane Akre February 5, 2014 at 12:52 pm - Reply

          No apologies necessary… just where would you be without their help? Some really do care and work very hard to prove your case, I’ve seen. Traveling around the world with very little sleep, almost on a crusade. But at the end of the day it is a business… deeply flawed system all around.

      • Cathy June 15, 2017 at 8:13 pm - Reply

        We need to get petitions together and make our senator’s and Congressmen do their job and fight for us victims.

  7. Sandy February 5, 2014 at 7:19 am - Reply

    I am sick at heart to hear that the settlements are so low. How did the rest of these women get millions of dollars. I never expected that but I wanted to walk away with a couple hundreds of thousands (200,000.00) guess I was wrong. I live in so much pain every day that now the doctor is talking about inserting a device that blocks the nerves. It’s called an instem or something like that. If I have to wear this thing for the rest of my life I would certainly

    Think I should get more than 10,000.00!!!! While my attorney makes 500,000.000 or what ever and doesn’t have to live in pain I get to suffer in poverty because I am at the point where I can’t work due to pain! How is that fair? He doesn’t even want to talk until after the trials that are coming up in April and May —- that is if they don’t get moved again. I just want this all over so I can continue my life again what about the cases that spouse have for loss of companion ship, what are they going to get any ideas? This is just a mess that needs to come to an end I wish it was a woman taking care of this she might honestly understand what it feels like for us woman!

  8. Bejah Notrettu February 6, 2014 at 3:20 am - Reply

    Dear Richard, Thank you for your reporting. It makes me feel very sad of course but I still want to know the truths that remain hidden or that I was unaware of. It is difficult to not lose heart. I am scheduled finally to have “revision” surgery in March but I just emailed the surgeon a report from a consult done last fall by another doctor which was very troubling and now I have not heard from the surgeon who is scheduled to do the removal surgery. I had also told him I wanted the mesh preserved and sent to my counsel in NY in my cover email. I do not know if he is just busy but it seems uncharacteristic for him to not respond so now I find myself entertaining fears that he will tell me he will not do the surgery. Sometimes it is hard for me to tell if I am being reasonable or irrational. I was also devestated to read the post that suggested that if one has fined bankrupcy in the last 10 years all of that money will be taken by the creditors. I was forced into bankrupcy in 2009 because of mortgage fraud. I had to sell my home as a short sale to avoid the spector of foreclosure. I left in shame in the night without saying goodbye to friends or neighbors or family and I was sure I would give in to the temptation of suicide then but somehow I survived only to discover in 2013 that the POP surgery I had in 2010 left me implanted with Ethicon mesh and now I learn that any damage award or settlement will be taken by the state, and Medicare, and Blue Cross and the creditors from the 2009 bankrupcy that I was forced into because of fraud I did not have the money to defend against. My pain is worse every day. Now I can not walk without a cane. It is almost a sort of dark metaphor I can not quite sort out,,,,some women have spoken of having their most sacred regions of their bodies being ravaged by this hellish mesh…worse than rape…and I remember that I was sexually abused for years by my own father until I had the courage to stop it when I was about 12 but the rape continued,,,,taking different forms, by a paternal culture, and now is this the final blow, this shredding of my internal organs and limping…how soon will it be that I am crawling along and when do we give up, where is the terminal point of the will to live, when does the little candle flame go out?

    My heart goes out to you RIchard. Thank you for this report. I actualy find the report and the comments especially meaningful…it is as if we are really having more serious discussions now and sharing information that perhpas many, aside from me, did not know like the way clients are organized by law firms into groups or categories, I suppose by necessity, in order to manage representation optimally but it does feel de-humanizing. However any of us who have read our hospital reports have felt that when, for example, one is referred to as “a well nourished, pleasant elderly female”. Well nourished compared to what, I think. It is almost funny. I think an element of that must be that in order to work with patients or clients day after day, you must create a barrier of some sort to protect yourself…we would not be able to be effective or rational or objective if we became emotionally involved to some degree with our patients and it can be painful and draining. So the system is, I suppose, hard on us all to some degree. I look forward to your reporting RIchard, and its in your face honesty. I would also love to see Bruce do a column and share with us his considerable experience and knowledge if he at some point feels comfortable doing so, remembering that “Only the wounded physician heals” (Jung). We are all somehow walking wounded, teachers, healers…we simply need to find the capacity within ourselves to reach out to others, to engage with our special little community in order to make the whole stronger and more cohesive. Then we may have hope for meaningful change and attract the political power we will need to take on this terrible Kracken that is corporate medicine.

    For me, this is how I must think of all of this in order to continue to survive, This life is a dream. My true home is Heaven. I am here to learn, to deepen my spirit, to open my heart, to enrich my soul with experience, to become more compassionate, to act on empathaic impulses, to be the change I want to see in the world, to balance evil. None of the temptations of the world of man matters…I realized that when my mother died in 2010, that none of the things mattered, the loss of my home…it was a part of a chapter in which my life played out for a time and then the great wheel of time moved and a new chapter began. I have learned to just let things go that really do not matter. Richard, you made me laugh when you spoke of living in that garage and hauling water to wash and flush the toilet. For almost three years I have had no propane so I heat water in winter in the crockpot to wash dishes, bathe, etc. I cook using the crockpot, a countertop roaster and my trusty microwave oven. I have done this because money is tight and because I want to fill the tank to maximum and get the new customer discount on that first fill but have not had the $500 to do so yet…there is always something else like transportation costs for medical consults or surgery and the irony is that I live in a beautiful house in the Beverly Hills of my community…if my neighbors only knew! But there is a sort of silent simple peacefulness in living this way, in valuing the bucket one carries the water with,,,it is a sort of Zen experience. There is a peacefulness in it. We must learn and be present fully in each moment and understand the gifts of that moment. I expect our adversaries do not know or experience or understand. We have, I expect, a more intimate relationship with GOD by whatever name we know him. I take refuge in his tent. God bless us, every one.

    • Richard Howden February 6, 2014 at 10:43 am - Reply

      Hello Bejah, Thank you for your kind words and wishes. It seems a bit ludicrous that a small piece of plastic can not only ruin your body but your spirit as well. But I have communicated with many Mesh victims that are at the end of their “rope” as it were. Their Dr.’s are not telling them the truth or if they are it is too late to “make everything better”. They have medical bills, mortgages, kids and themselves to feed and are not able to work because of what has and is happening to them. I have had communication with loved ones of mesh victims that do not understand what has gone wrong and are desperately looking for answers that they cannot get from the Dr.. I found myself with tears in my eyes as I read your post because I know exactly how you feel and what you are going through. I am actually in a better place now, Thank God. I met a nurse at the V.A. hospital 3 years ago and always thought she was gorgeous and funny to boot. One day about a year and a half ago I mentioned that I was going to go up and check where I pick mushrooms( I teach wild mushroom classes in the Fall) and also go fishing. She piped up and said she wanted to go too. So our first “date” was fishing in a high mountain lake and we have been together ever since. I was very embarrassed with my living condition but I had made my little garage fairly cozy. My plants were everywhere, it was quiet and although I had to haul water, chop wood and cook on a wood burning stove I felt somewhat in “control” of my situation. That of course was not what was happening with my health. My girlfriend, after figuring out that I was not a “bad” man had me move in with her and we are making plans for a life together. Because she in an RN her medical knowledge has come in very handy as I try to figure out what I can do about the mesh I have in me now. She is patient with me when I am in so much pain I can only curl up in bed and wait for the pain pills to kick in. I still can only bring in a small amount of cash monthly and I still get a small amount of Food Stamps every month. It is because of what I have experienced that I try to help Mesh victims. There are so many of us out there, whether Hernia or Gynecological mesh, that are suffering so much physically, mentally and financially. We are trapped by our circumstances brought about by a medical product that our government has labeled as safe. I hope that you will find the peace that you desire soon. I pray that your medical condition will be improved and your life as you knew it will come back to you two fold. It is so unfortunate that money has to be a priority for us when there is so much that is against us. I will continue to write ( if Jane will allow me! I am blunt after all!) to and for Mesh victims. I know that Bruce will continue to do the same but he does so much more for victims of mesh than many will know. He has become a dear friend and my hero for what he has and is going through, He keeps the message going through correspondence and going to the conferences. He has been our voice through all adversity to the detriment of his own health and home life. Please feel free to e-mail me at if you want. Do not lose your faith in yourself or God. I believe he has a plan for us all but I just wish it had not included mesh! Take Care and Best Wishes, Bejah.

    • Kitty September 27, 2014 at 11:36 pm - Reply

      Just came upon your blog Bejah–how uplifting—the eloquence in your words–thanks you so much for this gift Kitty

  9. Bejah February 10, 2014 at 12:57 am - Reply

    Dear Richard, I love your stories. You are a story teller at heart. I can see you in my minds eye, in a comfy chair in front of the fire in the evening reading to your friends and neighbors aloud…wouldn’t it be nice if we developed a tradition again of turning off the TV and doing that. Our imaginations are draining away and our world is becoming so loud. I look forward to more stories of life from you. Isn’t it extraordinary and encouraging to see the courage and commitment in people that surfaces in a crises…characteristics we did not know were there. It gives one hope. Bruce has been such an inspiration, we lift each other’s spirits…I will send you a note to the address you have mentioned also. Thanks for your kind words. Take care.

  10. Maria Garcia April 13, 2014 at 5:47 am - Reply

    In the Linda Batiste case, Dr. Hinoul testified the differences between laser cut and mechanically cut mesh. He stated that sometimes Polypropylene mesh has to be cut which makes it fray. He agreed that the edges would not be smooth like laser cut and could make exposures into the vagina but it’s not the only reason it happens. If you read all of the testimony from the link below and get to page 30 and on it really clarifies the material, the factual issues and other brands with and without the same issues. The fact is even with a win in the Batiste case, it contradicts the findings in the Linda Gross case. Unless we have several cases finish with outcomes like Linda Batiste and less like Linda Gross we will not have clarity and admission of guilt. Right now Ethicon attorneys see it as Carolyn Lewis is a win, Linda Gross is one juries opinion and Linda Batiste is a double edge sword anomaly. The TVT-O was found defective in design but the jury didn’t find the IFU to be an issue and no punitive damages were awarded with two votes short. Linda Gross did have a unanimous jury on the issue and she received punitive damages but only the IFU was found to be at fault directly. The jury did award for the issues Linda Gross had with the mesh but would not find the design defective. Ask yourself one question…why did Phillips 66 MSDS state that Polypropylene resin material is unfit for humans? Is it really the material, the design or foreign body response? I know that Adam Slater will clear all of this up for us with his next three trials with each having a different device so he is covering three J&J Ethicon devices. Clarity and focus is coming and the dominoes will start to fall.

    • Jane Akre April 13, 2014 at 10:34 pm - Reply

      Maria- You make such great points and so clearly. Thank you. What’s disappointing is that the questions you raise are not even being asked, much less addressed by those who profit…. why not? The answer is clear. The manufacturers and end users all have profit to gain, so where is the FDA asking those questions? All safety nets have failed, in my opinion…….and it’s unconscionable.

  11. Bob Johnson January 18, 2015 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    I was quite sorry to see a hernia repair did this to you. I was fortunate to have an umbilical hernia that was repaired, and although it became immediately infected… that eventually did clear up, but it took months, and I was in really horrible condition. I sloughed off a lot of necrotic flesh, it just kept extruding out of the cavity day after day..but, .heck, it looks like I was the lucky one as eventually I got better and got on with my life. I hear so many bad stories about mesh anything. I will be on my guard against having any mesh implanted, anywhere.

    The crazy part is, I believe I was in VP-44 with you in the late 1970’s, stationed out of NAS Brunswick, ME.

    If so, drop me a line at I saw a lot of VP-44 faces you’d remember over the years in various places & times.

    • Charity murphy November 6, 2017 at 4:08 pm - Reply

      Hey is this the same bob johson that was station in brunswick with david betts its charity

  12. linda huge May 1, 2015 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    I got awarded and my lawyer kept 25% for medical liens. I was cleared of any liens .I asked for my money. However lawyer assistant said that the defendant has not release the funds into the escrow account. I dont believe it since I had a loan from a funding company and they got paid with my settlement money. Iam in a serious economic hardship and need my money. What I can do to find out if defendant had release the funds

    • Jane Akre May 5, 2015 at 10:31 am - Reply

      Write your law firm a certified letter demanding the release of those funds. Explain your hardship and the fact that you are due those monies. Give them a deadline to act or you will contact the bar association in their state. Anyone else?

  13. David McIntire November 19, 2016 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    I just recently had a hernia surgery earlier this year and was told a mesh was used. So does this mean this is what I have to look forward to? My case was a double hernia with a left strangulation,and a right inguinal. The W.C. paid for the left surgery but refused to pay for the right side and have now barred me from doing anything further in the future either as far as charges against them for damages. I am left with a right inguinal that nobody will touch due to no way to do anything if you understand. Can someone tell me where to go from here?

    • Jane Akre November 20, 2016 at 9:25 pm - Reply

      David, Please contact Bruce Rosenberg 954-701-5094. He is hernia mesh injured and a patient advocate…. he can advise you. You do not say whether or not you are experiencing complications. Not everyone does, not initially anyway and some never do. Bruce is a good place to start.

  14. Deborah McCormack March 20, 2017 at 4:40 am - Reply

    I have had three hernias! The first was when I was 58. I was given the hernia mesh implant. We paid for it and it seem to be normal till about three months after. I had a little swelling and had it checked. The physician said it was fine and to take it easy for a while. No heavy lifting over 10 pounds. I figured it would be temporary and went on my way. Two years later it ruptured and had severe pain. I was out of work again for about 2 and a half months. I went through the same routine of physical therapy. I went for six weeks and went back to work. A year later it wrapped around my bowels and was strangulating them. It hurt so much I had to have morphine for the pain. They had to remove the mesh and tuck in a new one around and up a little higher thinking it would take. I have not had any other procedures since but the area is sensitive and swells if I’m standing for more than 15 minutes. I can lift okay, but I have to be very careful now. I am 65 now and am about at the same situation with no further improvement. I don’t know what to do or who to talk to about this.

    • Jane Akre March 20, 2017 at 7:27 am - Reply

      Deborah- First I”m sorry. There are so many injured by hernia mesh. Please feel free to reach out for help to the Lawyer Evaluation form on page one of Mesh News Desk. It is here. I understand they can help you find an attorney. It is always helpful if you have your medical records from ALL of your procedures so you don’t leave that task up to someone else to retrieve.

  15. mark anglin May 1, 2017 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    I have been disabled since 1986 but didn’t he SSI TILL the 90’s. I had herina mesh put in 2006. I started getting open wounds with infections and was sent to a wound which they were exhausted and told me to go back to the surgeon. As like the first time with him he started with the lap band. Couldn’t make him under stand I couldn’t afford it on my limited income. So I walked out and went to my primary doctor who referred me to another surgeon. He had xrays done and the mesh had started going into my bowels and did an emergency surgery and told me that he was going to use a man made matiral only to have repeated infection opened me back up but didn’t get into the mesh. I was deemed disabled due to chronic pain syndrome and had many stimulator implants until they came out with implanted painpumps. I had a total of 4 due to the battery life. They put the last pump in in Dec of 2013. The surgeon never talked to me about making a mesh pocket to set the pump in, otherwise I’d had told him about the problems I’d had with mesh. On Dec 30, 2016 I experienced swelling and shaffing,on my right side and the scar that had been at waist level was halfway up my side. This is how and when I found out that I was with a mesh pocket which the surgeon said I should have never walked into the ER that night and did a emergency surgery in which he took everything out and was told that the mesh pocket made the pump go bad. Still to this day I have an opened wound and have been on high doses of antibiotics IV and pushed. The skin is paper thin and the infectious doctor referred me to a plastic surgeon to fix this problem wher he cuts the mid line scar, pull the stomach shut a d staple it as the surgeon who did the last revision used a wound vac which has me deformed. Went to this plastic surgeon on 4/27/17 only to have Him pull and snip pieces of mesh growing out of the open wound. I have to take oral pain meds because the doctor that removed the pump also pulled out 3 cups of infection. Hope that I’m awarded something for all I’ve gone through and continue to endure. Good bye liver. Need some good news here.Let me hear something postive. And I was paying for my part A & B which I had Blue Cross and Blue Sheild that I paid for. Also I forgot to mention I stopped counting after 33 surgies not including the Dec 30th.and others.

  16. Timothy Smith May 7, 2017 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    I am saddened to see no activity out here anymore. I just read every post.
    In February 2008 I had a very small lump at the top of my belly button. After a while I thought to have it checked as I was experiencing some discomfort. My primary care sent me to the Surgeon. The surgeon diagnosed it as a umbilical hernia and said although very small I would need surgery as it would only get worse. The last two years of my life have been a living nightmare with pain, loss of any quality of life. Not wanting to eat or have a bowel movement, and not wanting to take even a few sips of water to take my meds because the above three experiences cause SEVERE pain that takes approx. 1 1/2 hours to subside enough to function again with limited pain rather than maximum.
    For the last 9-10 months I lay in bed until absolutely necessary to get up for something. Urination has been very difficult and at times felt like I was urinating through sharp glass and started bleeding from my penis. My primary care asked for a urine sample and I could clearly see what looked like a few vein like blood vessels floating around in the cup. My urine has been dark since which I attribute to blood in the urine. I have been going to one of the top GI teams in the nation for well over a year and the only conclusion to date is that I have, Rapid Gastric Emptying, also known as Dumping syndrome. I have seen the commercials on TV and read about mesh migration and brought it to one of the doctors attention but they say there’s no way my mesh can cause my pain and symptoms though they haven’t made a diagnosis of anything else that would cause such pain at times is unbearable and I don’t want to live like this every day going on two years.
    I have since ordered my medical records for the umbilical hernia surgery and read today that the Surgeon found my small lump to be actually larger and was hid from me being overweight. I see the Surgeon also claims to have found another hernia up above my bellybutton and repaired that also. These places are where I am suffering the most. I’m scared my kidneys are damaged and can’t deal with the pain. I have a appointment with my primary care physician tomorrow and hope to push for help but after reading everything here, what kind of help don’t I seek? We pay many copays and get not assistance. We have blue cross blue shield through my wife’s work as I can’t do much of anything that has really strained our marriage.

    • Eva September 25, 2017 at 12:55 pm - Reply

      I had 3 surgery already on my belly button they first time I had surgery when I was 21 at the time just had my 2 child. No one told me about the problem tell it fall out wen I push the baby out the was the worst pain ever in life amazing they push it back in you.

      • Eva p September 25, 2017 at 12:58 pm - Reply

        It was a lot pain than they told me I have to see a surgeon about the problem so was going tho alt now it like 2 years later I just had surgery about the same problem. Am in a lot of pain rn I think ya should wait to get more info about this

  17. Donna j May 12, 2017 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    I had a very large ventral hernia repair in 2006 …I had a lot of pain stayed doubled over all the time…one day I noticed a small pimple on my abdominal area…I covered it with a 4×4 bandage on continued on…time went on I was still in pain and this area had grown larger opened up and was leaking….after several trips to my surgeon…he didn’t want to touch me…he referred me to another surgeon…my old mesh was floating in MRSA and of course had migrated…. Surgery to remove defective mesh went well..but my surgeon told me my abdominal area is wide open 8 x 10 size pig muscle replaced mesh….my stomach is so damaged …a law firm has my info now…but I don’t know what to expect…I have read everyone else’s comments…this is wrong that we should have to suffer like this and ten or twenty thousand is all they think we r worth…

    • Tim p July 4, 2017 at 7:28 am - Reply

      Im waiting to hear nowvand all these stories scare me too here is my email.timphelps 78 gmail ill start posting on here also in so duscouraged

  18. russell howell June 30, 2017 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    WTF has happened to our government our society, and our professional section like doctors, lawyers, and insurance companies! There is no longer any ethics nor honesty and integrity in this world anymore! Just a vast amount of selfish, money hungry crooks out there looking for a quick way to make money off of victims that just continue to be victimized by the ones that suppose to be there to help and right injustices! Makes you embarrassed to live in this corrupt society anymore!

  19. Jan August 17, 2017 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    I Just found this link. As I read through the comments I was saddened by the mass damage done to so many lives from a product that was deemed acceptable and appropriate for use for hernia repair. I’ve had two inguinal mesh surgeries and live in chronic pain. I went from working as a full time RN to part time… because it’s necessary to work. I have often experienced a sudden stabbing pain after lifting or bending s certain way at work and was unable to move. The pain subsides and allows me to straighten up but then I spend the rest of my shift in misery. I take 800 mg of Ibuprofen twice daily just to tolerate the pain. Anything stronger and I don’t function well at all. I’m 57 years old and had the surgeries 3 years ago almost back to back. Many other small ptocedures related to it… aspirations for seromas and femoral nerve blocks. All costly! I recently spoke to an attorney but have not moved any further than that. Not sure what to think after reading all the horrific comments and stories! I’m thankful I can still walk and work part time. At times I thought I would not be able to do either as the pain has been crippling . I thought no one understood. Certainly not my husband who told me maybe if I lost weight it would all be better. I’m about 20 lbs over. All of which I gained after the surgery and could no longer ride my horse, bicycle or many of the other activities I enjoyed. Not to mention going from working full time to part time. Maybe just seeing that others have experienced the same type of pain helps to validate this horrendous experience and I will continue to pray for a positive outcome. This product definitely needs to be taken off the market. My pain specialist said…it causes a lot of problems but it’s the best product to prevent recurrence. I said “I would rather have recurrence than this debilitating PAIN!” I’ve had other surgeries and bounced right back and went to work and did life and didn’t feel like s hypochondriac for constantly composing of PAIN!

  20. Patty September 16, 2017 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    My goodness Richard Howden, I’ve not talked to you in years. We used to chat back and forth on a medical mesh blog, but it’s been years. So sad to hear how your case never came for you, and you lost out.

  21. Eva September 25, 2017 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    Just had another surgery on the 21 sept this my 3 surgery I think it don’t work cause if it did why is it that this my 3 rd one it hurts pain on my side can’t eat can’t sleep and the only giving u 20 pain pills and u just ask out I think ppl should need more before doing it I should of read more than for u want to believed the doc wen they say it won’t come back

  22. Willie C November 13, 2017 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    This whole ordeal has changed my life for the worst ever since they put that MESH in me 11/12/2010 God help us I’m sick almost every day I will never get 100% of me back????????

    • Jane Akre November 13, 2017 at 10:50 pm - Reply

      ARe you a hernia mesh patient? Do you know what kind? Have you filed a lawsuit? Please reply back.

  23. Clifton April 24, 2018 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    I’ve had a HERNIA MESH Surgery in 2013.then in 2015 ‘ 2 more in 2017 and just had one in march of this year..My Lawyer’s say that the case is in the courts now.That the Mesh that they put in me was outlawed. But after reading. What other people say ” I don’t know.

    • Jane Akre April 24, 2018 at 8:51 pm - Reply

      Most meshes are still on the market, do you mean a voluntary withdrawl by the company? Which mesh is it?

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