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Tolling Agreements – Legal Deadlines Nearing for Mesh-Injured

Aaron Leigh Horton

Aaron Leigh Horton

by Aaron Leigh Horton

Blog:   @themeshwarrior.wordpress.com

Twitter:  @themeshwarrior

Email:  themeshwarrior@gmail.com

September 12, 2013 – According to USDefinitions.legal.com, a tolling agreement is an agreement to waive a right to claim that litigation should be dismissed due to the expiration of a statute of limitations. Its purpose is typically to allow a party additional time to assess and determine the legitimacy and viability of their claims and/or the amount of their damages without the necessity of filing an action. During this period, the parties waive any defense by way of any statute of limitations, which would otherwise arise during such a period.

What this means for you- my unrepresented mesh-injured friends is that your time is rapidly approaching where the door will shut to enter into the Multi-District Litigation (MDL) Tolling Agreement, which extends to all manufactures of the mesh.

As most of us now know, The MDL is being handled in the southern district of West Virginia, all of the individual federal cases against six  manufactures, are being heard by The Honorable Joseph R. Goodwin.

Here is a background story on the formation of the MDL back in February 2012.

Judge Goodwin has made it clear that he wants these 40,000 cases to move through the court quickly. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about transvaginal mesh on July 13, 2011, here. The warning says the benefits of transvaginal mesh may not outweigh the risks. The FDA issued the warning after receiving thousands of reports of mesh-related injuries.

Even though the news was not widely publicized in mainstream media, that  is when the clock technically started ticking on public awareness of the issue, in other words when you knew or should have known  the mesh is associated with an injury.  Given that a two-year statute of limitations has ended, the judge agreed to extend it by 90 to 120 days so the small court in Charleston, West Virginia would not be flooded with cases on deadline day.

All of this means potential claimants will need to file within the next 30 to 45 days approximately before the door shuts on any new cases.

  • If you have a claim or think you have a claim – discuss it with a product liability/ personal injury law firm IMMEDIATELY and either have your case actually filed in federal court MDL or filed under the tolling agreement described above.
  • The law firm may request you confirm your mesh product ID with your original mesh-implantation surgeon.  This can take time, and you must have this information to file a federal case or enter tolling agreement.
  • If you have the above information, contact a reputable law firm to include you in the tolling agreement.  Then you will have more time to gather and present the facts of your individual federal case.
  • Reach out to any friends and family who suspect their symptoms are mesh-related so they do not lose their right to litigate.

For more information please contact your lawyer to make sure your case has been filed  or will be filed in a timely manner.

Mesh-injury cases have grown in the Charleston federal court from 10,000 in October 2012 to 21,257 cases in May of this year.

Last week the number had grown to 31,553 cases, all filed in the same federal court naming six mesh manufacturers. See Mesh News Desk Legal here for the latest on mesh-related litigation.

So far there have been two cases against C.R. Bard in this federal court – one of which resulted in a $2 million damage award for the plaintiff and another settled for an undisclosed amount.  The third Bard case is scheduled for October 8, Linda Rizzo v. C.R. Bard to be heard before Judge Goodwin.

The case of Christine Scott, filed in Bakersfield, California, resulted in a $5.5 million damage award to Scott and her husband last year.

Late Word* – the case of Melanie Virgil has resulted in a settlement in New Jersey announced September 14. The 56-year-old music teach from Colorado was to go to trial September 23 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The settlement amount is undisclosed.  #

 

 

10 Comments

  1. Teresa Jones says:

    Thank you for you for the work you are doing.

  2. Betty says:

    This is unbelievable. I cannot imagine how many women who will have these products erode in the next 5-10 years. They will be stuck with no recourse, not even hearing of the FDA warning. I believe that many Dr.’s are not aware of the FDA warning. Also, I’ve been told by so many of my Dr.’s that they’re writing the book on me. This is why we hear so many conflicting reports and are not 100% sure which way to go next. Why there are not more qualified surgeons to help us. And so many of us hear they cannot find out what is the issue. I know of women who actually had back surgery and other surgeries, which were all about the mesh. What a travesty.

    • Aaron Leigh says:

      Betty- I regret to say that you are so right. And yes, it’s a travesty of monumental proportions with so much loss. I am so sorry for your injury. Thank you for reading. Best love and healing to you~ Aaron

  3. danyelle says:

    Still waiting for implant # from the UW hospital/clinic… will be another 7-10 days. Attorney said to wait until after surgery (consult w/original surgeon didn’t go well) Now I have to wait for the state to approve surgery in Boston. Do we know an exact date for the statute of limitations?

  4. danyelle says:

    is this for the vaginal mesh only???

  5. Lori Fraser says:

    Hi

    I’m from Canada and had the mesh implanted in 2007 and live the pain. Really scared to do further surgery, I was told by Toronto lawyers I just had 2 years from the surgery, to file a claim unless I had additionally surgery and then it would start from that date. Anyone else heard of this?

    • Jane Akre says:

      It depends on where you live. It could be from the surgery date OR it could be from when you first thought or knew you had a problem…I would check with another attorney and look at the statute to confirm they are accurate. ~ja

  6. Richard M Howden says:

    Most Statute of Limitation laws state that your Statute time begins when you realize you have a problem. If you have asked your provider for information about possible mesh problems, your time has begun because that info is now on record. If you have gone on to one of the blogs about mesh or came on to this forum and asked for or talked about information concerning mesh, your time has started. You have shown your knowledge of potential problems with mesh whether or not you were actually showing symptoms. When I went on Topix and started corresponding with Bruce 6 1/2 years ago about my Prolene mesh, my time started. All I was trying to do is get more info to try and figure out( very early on) why I was having the symptoms I was experiencing. It did not matter what I was doing, I just published(publicly) that I now knew about my little plastic monster inside me. Statute of Limitations is something you MUST be very aware of as you try to get legal help and any documented query starts that clock. Good Luck and Best Wishes………

    • Jane Akre says:

      Richard- the tolling agreements in the Charleston court have allowed some cases to be filed regardless of their statute….also in some states the clock starts on when you first had the implant… so it is all over the map…

      • Richard M Howden(AMU) says:

        Thank you Jane. I did not realize that. This is just one of the many questions I have concerning my/our on going problems with our mesh. I have tried to get a case going against J&J/Ethicon but cannot. Will I be able to become part of a litigation, down the road, when it is realized that so many of us could not sue because of the FDA not issuing warnings or recalls for my particular mesh. I would hope that the fact that I did get damaged and was not able to get representation ( for whatever reason ) that my State Statute of Limitation law would be waived. I would hope it is soon, but one of these days the problems with mesh products is going to be big news. Especially if the number of people affected by mesh is finally made public. I cannot imagine that number but I do believe that it is huge. On that day there is going to have to be discussion about all of the people that were not represented, not given a voice and ignored by their Doctors and the FDA for so long. The victims of mesh that have been given a chance at litigation is so small compared to those of us that have not, that it will surely show that the Medical Community and the FDA has been negligent. We can only hope. FACT: None of us that have been implanted with mesh will ever be the same as we were before mesh. FACT: The FDA has tens of thousands of mesh complaints and have largely ignored those claims. FACT: Those involved in the Mesh Industry have to know that there are dangerous, life altering aspects to any mesh implant. FACT: J&J destroyed tens of thousands of documents concerning its research and manufacture of mesh and even the Justice Department does not seem concerned. FACT: There are 100’s of thousands, possibly closer to 1 million people that have had a mesh implant in the U.S. alone. FACT: The day is coming when this Mesh industry’s payoffs, fraudulent products/advertising, lies and collusion will come to light. FACT: I can’t wait……..

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