How much will you get from a lawsuit?
I realize that the current round of lawsuits are ebbing down to a finish line, but new women are trying to find lawyers every day because they finally realize things are not right with their bladder slings. I am not the only one who notices this and if the adverts that roll through Facebook give an inkling of what is going on, then there are marketing companies who also know mesh complications are not going to end in the near future and they are gearing up to sign up women for the next round of tort lawsuits.
Facebook they know is a cheap way to ‘collect’ women clients who are in trouble. However there are many pitfalls of signing up with the wrong lawyer through these lawyer’s or marketing firms. In the past it would have been called ambulance chasing and it truly is not a good idea to sign up by taking a 5 minute evaluation through Facebook with a firm that does not outwardly display who they truly are. So please don’t do it and do your own search once you understand what tort lawsuits are about. I hope this blog will help you understand more and it is important to learn before you buy.
The sad truth is you can have a bladder sling in for a few years without any repercussions. However once things change, you will find yourself living a life of constant pain, infections and/or immune disorders. Then you wonder what on earth has happened to your life and what you can do about it. I know new women are trying to find lawyers because I still talk to a few women, although these days I am working to try to learn more about the darker side of these large manufacturing companies to share with you. So here is what I want you to know.
First please find a way to have your sling removed if you are truly suffering and not rely on a lawsuit to give you the money. If you can no longer work because of your pain, start working on disability. Once you have that, then work on full disability to choose which hospital or doctor you want to go for removal. IF you truly have a problem and you are living on SSI you can only go to a doctor locally and they will not agree there is a problem or do anything about it. Instead they will hand out pain meds or antidepressants which have a lot of side effects and can be highly addictive. That won’t help you at all. So you may have to travel and pay cash for a consult with a doctor who will tell you the truth so you can file for disability. How do you get the money? You have to work at it. Nothing in life is free. But I can assure you if you really do have serious complications, the best way is to sell anything you don’t need and ask friends to help you raise money. Don’t expect handouts because no one will believe you and they will walk away if they feel you goal is to take money. Be productive and show what you intend to do with it and stick to the plan to show them you mean business. Lying in bed complaining on support groups won’t get you anywhere. This may sound harsh but if you want to survive this, you have to do the work and get the help you need.
DON’T think signing up with a lawyer will bring you money or solve your problems. It won’t. First the current law suits are pretty much closed and anyone advertising are only collectors who wish to sell your case on to a tort lawyer when another FDA announcement happens. This may take a few years and to get you to realize I speak the truth, you should know that the first round of lawsuits were settled in 2008 and there were not that many. The reason is, women were unaware that mesh was put into their bodies and it took a long time before they figured it out by going to a doctor who told them what their problems were. Most doctors to this day are covering up what is happening.
So why are the adverts still rolling through FB? It is because there are law marketing groups who rely on women like Jane Akre and Aaron Horton who are NOT mesh injured. And I have no doubt there will be many others who like to profit from the injured. All it takes is a web site with a woman in the front who looks sympathetic to those who are injured. You can learn more through these blogs.
Why does this happen? There is huge money to be made for anyone who has no empathy for injured people and will work for lawyers. When the FDA puts out reports this gives credence for law suit gatherers to make the most of it and they turn your case over to tort lawyers for a portion of the fee the lawyer’s collect. The FDA just put out a new report and I am sure the lawsuit gathers are pushing to collect as many women as possible for a class action against Boston Scientific. Are they at fault? Yes they are and these people are ready to make millions, not for you, but for themselves. Read this one.
Do you think by signing up with a lawsuit will bring you the money you need to get your mesh removed. You are so far from the truth if you think this is the way to go. If you wait six/eight years for the lawsuit to bring you money and your health goes down and down you won’t stand a chance at survival. AND there won’t be any compensation because no one said your mesh is the problem and you still have it in your body, so why would they think it is.
I am definitely not suggesting you get mesh removal if you don’t show any symptoms. I would never do that because I have gone through it all. It would be stupid to do it without symptoms. However, if you have them, you may want to begin a plan of action about where you should go for the best evaluation and results of surgery. I can tell you what I did after talking to women for more than two years and you can read it for yourself.
What you decide to do for yourself is up to you and none of my business. We are all grown women who can make our own decisions and that is the way it should be. If we make a mistake then so be it and we have to accept that responsibility. But it is so much harder when we let others steer us to a doctor who can make us so much worse. All I do is provide information from my own experience. You can do with it what you wish.
So now the big question. How much will you receive from a lawsuit? The answer is not simple. It all depends on your injuries. But I have provided as much information as possible to give you the truth. You can first read this blog to know what I mean.
When you see your offer once your case is settling, you should be aware of all the money that will come out of YOUR part. If you can’t be bothered to learn you may be counting on money that won’t come to fruition. Read the following blog to learn more.
Do you think when you first find a lawyer, your case will be filed. If you do, you need to know that until you ask your lawyer for a stamped paper to prove your case is filed and he/she gives it to you, you should assume you don’t have a case. This can take around eighteen months for data about your injury to be collected first and then a tort lawyer will accept your case. Even then it is still possible you don’t have a case. Nothing is certain.
So what is a tort lawsuit? This may help you understand.
In the legal context, “tort” is just an older and stranger word for “personal injury.” In this article we’ll explain what a “tort” is, where to find laws that apply to tort cases, and a few things to consider when it comes to finding a lawyer to handle your tort case.
What is a Tort?
A tort is a civil wrong that is inflicted on one person by another person, business, or entity. And since a tort is a “civil” wrong (as opposed to a wrong that rises to the level of a crime) the remedy for someone who has been harmed typically comes in the form of financial compensation. The basic tenets of tort law — that a wrongdoer should be held liable for damages stemming from a civil wrong — form the basis for everything from an injury-related insurance claim to a civil court jury trial after an accident.
This blog goes into more detail about why your mesh implant will be covered by a tort lawsuit.
You can now look through the Internet and find tons of information regarding anything to do with lawsuits and if you believe the lawyers you are going to become rich. Not so. I instead began reading some of the lawyer’s pages and found one who could really grab your attention and make you feel you will. If is full of the results of cases that went to trail. But you should know 80.000 women signed up for a lawsuit in this round and only 18 plaintiffs ever got their day in court. So I copied the entire law page of information to share with you and here is it.
$100 Million was awarded to the plaintiffs in Deborah Barba v. Boston Scientific by a Delaware jury on May 28, 2015. The award was reduced to $10 Million by the judge after the trial. On February 10, 2016, $13.5 million was awarded by a Philadelphia jury in Carlino v. Ethicon. $10 million (Make a note it was reduced, but that still does not mean the woman will receive the $10 million. There will be appeals which can take a few years) of that award was for punitive damages. The plaintiff suffered through three TVT sling revision and removal mesh surgeries following her Ethicon/Johnson and Johnson implant.
This follows a $12.5 million jury verdict in a transvaginal mesh lawsuit against Johnson and Johnson’s Ethicon division on December 22, 2015. A Philadephia jury found that Patricia Hammons suffered injuries from a Prolift pelvic mesh implant, which was removed from the medical device market in 2012. The $12.5 million award included $7 million in punitive damages as the jury heard evidence of Ethicon’s document destruction.
On February 2, 2016, a Kansas City, Missouri jury awarded nothing to the plaintiff in a Boston Scientific Solyx and C.R. Bard Align case. On October 16th, 2015, the jury awarded nothing to the plaintiff in Martha Carlson v. Boston Scientific in Statesville, North Carolina. On October 5th, 2015, the jury awarded nothing for the plaintiff in Carol Cavness v. Ethicon/ Johnson and Johnson in Dallas, Texas.
As of February 15, 2016, eighteen (18) transvaginal mesh plaintiffs have won trials and the defendants have won six (6). Following the failed status conferences, TVM trials moved forward, resulting in two plaintiffs’ verdicts ranging from $100 Million to $5.7 Million and numerous confidential settlements. Boston Scientific, Coloplast, AMS and Bard have begun offering settlements. Ethicon/Johnson and Johnson and Cook are preparing for trials.
Before I continue, you may wonder what punitive damages are, so I looked for a good definition for you to read. Here it is.
Monetary compensation awarded to an injured party that goes beyond that which is necessary to compensate the individual for losses and that is intended to punish the wrongdoer.
Punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, may be awarded by the trier of fact (a jury or a judge, if a jury trial was waived) in addition to actual damages, which compensate a plaintiff for the losses suffered due to the harm caused by the defendant. Punitive damages are a way of punishing the defendant in a civil lawsuit and are based on the theory that the interests of society and the individual harmed can be met by imposing additional damages on the defendant. Since the 1970s, punitive damages have been criticized by U.S. business and insurance groups which allege that exorbitant punitive damage awards have driven up the cost of doing business. Punitive damages have been characterized as “quasi-criminal” because they stand halfway between the criminal and Civil Law. Though they are awarded to a plaintiff in a private civil lawsuit, they are non-compensatory and in the nature of a criminal fine.
Punitive damages were first recognized in England in 1763 and were recognized by the American colonies almost immediately. By 1850, punitive damages had become a well-established part of civil law.
The purposes of punitive damages are to punish the defendant for outrageous misconduct and to deter the defendant and others from similar misbehavior in the future. The nature of the wrongdoing that justifies punitive damages is variable and imprecise. The usual terms that characterize conduct justifying these damages include bad faith, fraud, malice, oppression, outrageous, violent, wanton, wicked, and reckless. These aggravating circumstances typically refer to situations in which the defendant acted intentionally, maliciously, or with utter disregard for the rights and interests of the plaintiff.
Unless otherwise required by statute, the award of punitive damages is left to the discretion of the trier of fact. A small number of states refuse to award punitive damages in any action, and the remaining states have instituted various ways of determining when and how they are to be awarded. In some states, an award of nominal damages, which acknowledges that a legal right has been violated but little harm has been done, is an adequate foundation for the recovery of punitive damages. In other states, the plaintiff must be awarded Compensatory Damages before punitive damages are allowed.
Now you may wonder what Compensatory Damages are.
A sum of money awarded in a civil action by a court to indemnify a person for the particular loss, detriment, or injury suffered as a result of the unlawful conduct of another.
Compensatory damages provide a plaintiff with the monetary amount necessary to replace what was lost, and nothing more. They differ from Punitive Damages, which punish a defendant for his or her conduct as a deterrent to the future commission of such acts. In order to be awarded compensatory damages, the plaintiff must prove that he or she has suffered a legally recognizable harm that is compensable by a certain amount of money that can be objectively determined by a judge or jury.
One of the more heated issues facing the U.S. legal system during the past quarter century has been the call for reform of states’ tort laws. health care providers and other organizations have sought to limit the amount of damages a plaintiff can receive for pain and suffering because they claim that large jury awards in Medical Malpractice cases cause premiums on medical insurance policies to rise, thus raising the overall costs of medical services. California took the lead in addressing concerns with rising medical costs when it enacted the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 3333.2 (1997). The act limits the recoverable amount for non-economic loss, such as pain and suffering, to $250,000 in actions based on professional Negligence against certain health care providers. Although the statute has been the subject of numerous court challenges, it remains the primary example of a state’s efforts to curb medical costs through tort reform.
So why is it important to learn all you can about tort lawsuits? It is important to learn and understand that signing up with a lawsuit is not a lottery win. Now here are more verdicts from this round of trial mesh cases.
Transvaginal Mesh Verdicts
A chronology of the eighteen (18) plaintiffs’ verdicts and six (6) defense verdicts, settlements, manufacturers, products, and jurisdictions follows:
- 7/12: $5.5 million – Christine Scott – C.R. Bard Avaulta Plus – CA
- 2/13: $11.11 million – Linda Gross – Ethicon/JJ Prolift – NJ
- 8/13: $2 million – Donna Cisson – C.R. Bard Avaulta – MDL WV
- 2/14: $0 – Carolyn Lewis – Ethicon/JJ TVT-O – MDL WV
- 4/14: $1.2 million – Linda Batiste – Ethicon/JJ TVT-O – TX
- 7/14: $0 – Diane Albright – Boston Scientific Pinnacle – MA Note that this was a case loss. Any case can be lost for any reason and it certainly doesn’t mean the woman was not injured. Cases can be lost due to lawyer error.
- 8/14: $0 – Maria Cardenas – Boston Scientific Obtryx – MA Another loss.
- 9/14: $3.27 million – Jo Huskey – Ethicon/JJ TVT-O – MDL WV
- 9/14: $73.465 million – Martha Salazar – Boston Scientific Obtryx – TX
- 11/14: $6.7+ million – Amal Eghnayem – Boston Scientific Pinnacle – MDL FL
- 11/14: $6.7+ million – Margarita Dotres – Boston Scientific Pinnacle – MDL FL
- 11/14: $6.7+ million – Mania Nunez – Boston Scientific Pinnacle – MDL FL
- 11/14: $6.5+ million – Juana Betancourt – Boston Scientific Pinnacle – MDL FL
- 11/14: $5.25 million – Jeanie Blankenship – Boston Scientific Obtryx – MDL WV
- 11/14: $4.75 million – Chris Wilson – Boston Scientific Obtryx – MDL
- 11/14: $4.25 million – Carol Campbell – Boston Scientific Obtryx – MDL
- 11/14: $4.25 million – Jacquelyn Tyree – Boston Scientific Obtryx – MDL
- 2/15: Settled – Wise v. Bard in the MDL
- 3/15: Settled – Bellew v. Ethicon (Prolift) in the MDL;
- 5/15: Settled – Sanchez v. Boston Scientific (Pinnacle) – CA
- 3/15: $5.7 million – Coleen Perry – Ethicon/JJ Abbrevo sling – CA
- 5/15: $100 million – Deborah Barda v. Boston Scientific Pinnacle and Advantage Fit – DL
- 10/15: $0 – Carol Cavness v. Ethicon/JJ Prosima – TX Another loss
- 10/15: $0 – Martha Carlson v. Boston Scientific Uphold – NC Loss
- 12/15: $12.5 million – Hammons v. Ethicon/JJ (Prolift) – PA
- 2/16: $0 – Sherrer v. Boston Scientific Solyx and Bard Align – MO Loss
2/16: $13.5 – Carlino v. Ethicon/JJ (TVT) – PA
I am pointing out the losses to show you how anything can happen in a trial. I learned in all my reading on the web that the first round of lawsuits, the lawyers did the same thing. When a company refused to settle, lawyers take a case to trail to try to force them to settle. It worked, so they did it on this round of lawsuits, only more cases went to trial than the first round, due to the fact that all the mesh manufacturers are being sued and there are far more women who are injured because mesh slings are being used in huge numbers.
Some of the Mesh Manufacturers got smart and just settled quickly. This gave the lawyers money and it cost the Mesh Manufacturer far less to settle without admitting blame I may add. But women themselves never got any more money whether these cases went to trial or not. I will share with you more at the end of this blog.
You will note the upcoming trails set for this year 2016. However, it does not mean these women will have their day in court. The manufacturers can decide at any time to settle and pay off any women left and these women who thought they were having their day in court will only receive a simple MDL compensation the same as the rest of us. No millions for them if this happens.
Upcoming Transvaginal Mesh Trials
Trials against Ethicon/Johnson and Johnson in the MDLs and state courts for 2016 are on the dockets as noted below:
- Edwards v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., 2:12-cv-09972- trial begins June 2016
- Mullins, et al. v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., 2:12-cv-02952 (37 TVTs) trial begins April 2016
- Ramirez v. Ethicon (TVT-O, mechanically cut) – TBA in Texas;
- Rabiola v Ethicon (TVT-S, Prosima) – TBA in Texas;
- Delacruz v. Ethicon (Prolift) – TBA in PA;
- Vanderveer v. Ethicon (Prolift and TVT) – TBA in PA;
- McGee v Ethicon (TVT Secur) – TBA in PA;
- Hansen v. Ethicon (Gynemesh PS) – March 7, 2016 in PA; and
- Navarro v. Ethicon (TVT and Pelvitex PP Mesh) – March 21, 2016
$5.7 Million Verdict Against Ethicon
A California jury awarded $5.7 million to Coleen Perry, who was implanted with an Abbrevo sling device. Ms. Perry experienced pain after surgery, but the sling could only be partially surgically removed because the mesh had grown into the tissues. The jury unanimously awarded $5 million in punitive damages finding Ethicon acted with malice.
Ethicon Prolift Case Settles During Trial in the MDL Settles before trial
Trial began March 2, 2015 in Bellew v. Ethicon in the MDL and settled March 6, 2015 for an undisclosed amount. This case involved removal of a Prolift mesh, a product which had been taken off the medical device market.
Bard Bellwether Case Settles Before Trial Again
Wise v. Bard, the bellwether case set for trial February 18, 2015, was settled right before trial for a confidential amount. On February 12, 2015, Judge Goodwin appointed Ellen Reisman as Special Master to facilitate settlement negotiations in the Bard MDL. Christine Scott, the first Bard Avaulta Plus plaintiff who endured nine mesh revision surgeries stated, “Thank God, we can finally get the word out to women.”
$26.7 Million and $18.5 Million Verdicts Against Boston Scientific
$26.7 million and $18.5 million verdicts against Boston Scientific were awarded in two transvaginal mesh MDL trials. On November 13, 2014, a Miami, Florida jury awarded $26.7 million to four women implanted with Boston Scientific’s Pinnacle mesh devices. On November 20, 2014, a Charleston, West Virginia jury awarded $18.5 million to four women implanted with Boston Scientific’s Obtryx mid-urethral slings. The Obtryx verdict included $4 million in punitive damages, with $1 million awarded to each plaintiff.
The women in the Florida Pinnacle trial were each awarded between $6.5 million and $6.7 million. Boston Scientific’s Pinnacle mesh devices were implanted during pelvic organ prolapse surgeries and are no longer on the market. The individual awards for the women in the Pinnacle mesh trial include:
- Amal Eghnayem – $6.7 + million;
- Margarita Dotres – $6.7 + million;
- Mania Nunez – $6.7 + million; and
- Juana Betancourt – $6.5 + million
The women in the West Virginia Obtryx sling trial were each awarded between $3.25 million to $4.25 million, plus an additional $1 million each for punitive damages. The Obtryx sling devices are implanted during stress urinary incontinence surgeries and are still on the market. The individual awards for the women in the Obtryx sling trial include:
- Jeanie Blankenship – $4.25 million + $1 million punitive damages;
- Chris Wilson – $3.75 million + $1 million punitive damages;
- Carol Campbell – $3.25 million + $1 million punitive damages;
- Jacquelyn Tyree – $3.25 million + $1 million punitive damages
TVM MDL Bellwether Trials
This will explain why your case may NEVER go to trial when you file a tort lawsuit.
In multidistrict litigation, exemplar cases, called bellwethers, are chosen by the lawyers and Judge to be tried. The thousands of other cases remain on the dockets while the bellwether cases are tried. The awards in the bellwether trials provide a range of settlement values for the remaining cases on the dockets. The bellwether trial schedule is updated as follows:
– 31,280 cases on file with Status Conference and Meetings are scheduled April 6-7, 2016
- Edwards v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., 2:12-cv-09972- trial begins June 2016
- Mullins, et al. v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., 2:12-cv-02952 (37 TVTs) trial begins April 2016
- Dianne Bellew v. Ethicon, Inc. (Prolift) settled March 6, 2015
- Carolyn Lewis v. Ethicon, et al. Defense Judgment
- Huskey v. Ethicon, et al. $3.27 Million Verdict for Plaintiffs
- Brenda Lehrer v. Ethicon, Inc., et al. (Prolift) dismissed
– 13,060 cases on file – No trials scheduled. Status Conference and Meetings are scheduled April 6-7, 2016
- Wise, et al. v. C. R. Bard, Inc. – Settled
- Donna Cisson v. Bard, Inc. – $2 Million Verdict
- Wanda Queen v. Bard, Inc. 2:11-cv-00012 – Settled.
- Carolyn Jones v. Bard, Inc. 2:11-cv-00114 – Settled.
– 20,002 cases on file. There are no trials scheduled. Status Conference and Meetings will be held April 6-7, 2016
- Jacquelyn Tyree, et al. v. Boston Scientific Corp. Trial – $18.5 Million:
- Jeanie Blankenship – $4.25 million + $1 million punitive damages
- Chris Wilson – $3.75 million + $1 million punitive damages
- Carol Campbell – $3.25 million + $1 million punitive damages
- Jacquelyn Tyree – $3.25 million + $1 million punitive damages
Eghnayem v. Boston Scientific (Florida Pinnacle) Trial – $26.7 Million Total with individual awards:
- Amal Eghnayem – $6.7 + million;
- Margarita Dotres – $6.7 + million;
- Mania Nunez – $6.7 + million; and
- Juana Betancourt – $6.5 + million
MDL No. 2325 | In Re American Medical Systems, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Product Liability Litigation – 20,064 cases on file. There are no trials scheduled. Status Conference and Meetings are scheduled April 6-7, 2016
1 – 5. The following cases have been resolved and their trials cancelled: Serrano 2:12-cv-03719; Jilovec 2:12-cv-05561; Weiler 2:12-cv-05836; Fontes 2:12-cv-02472; and Najor 2:12-cv-6722.
6. Pattison v. AMS, 2:12-cv-7154, is continued until further notice by the court.
– 464 cases on file. No trials have been scheduled. Status Conference and Meetings in MDLs are scheduled April 6-7, 2016
The following cases were dismissed:
- Ailey v. Cook Inc., et al. 2:13-cv-18888
- Watkins v. Cook Inc., et al. 2:13-cv-20370
- Hovey v. Cook Inc., et al. 2:13-cv-18900
– 294 cases on file. There are no bellwether trials scheduled. Status Conference and Meetings are scheduled April 6-7, 2016
– 133 cases on file. There are no bellwether trials scheduled. Settlement Program entered November 2015.
I know how confusing this all is especially for women who deal with pain so I am trying hard to give you the heads up that filing a lawsuit will take many years and not give you the results you have been led to believe.
When a manufacturer settles the money is paid out of their insurance premiums. This can make their premiums much higher but all they will do is pass it on in the form of what a mesh packet costs in your surgery. It does not bother them one bit, in fact they go back to business as usual trying to get as many clients as possible. Their bottom line is to make their stock holders happy and keep making billions. They don’t care how many women have already been injured by these lawsuits, they will send out their reps to doctors to drum up more business. You can read this blog to know I am telling you the truth because I have proof.
In case you didn’t know this, Coloplast settled 400 cases for $16.million but look at the legal fees. Once again women are averaging only $40.000 each but of course it is shared on a Matrix system, which means no surgery, almost no money and anything worse, not very much. Women are being screwed by the legal system. So if who comes out of this best? Lawyers of course. Read this.
Last March, Bloomberg reported that a $16 million Coloplast mesh settlement was reached between parties in January of 2014 that would effectively resolve an estimated 400 legal complaints. Under the provisions of the agreement, each claimant would secure roughly $40,000 a piece to compensate for injuries and economic losses associated with products such as the Aris- Transobtrurator and Novasilk-Synthetic mesh systems.
AMS settled the end of 2014 without going to trial. This was reported.
Endo, which rose almost two percent today, said it settled “substantially all” the remaining U.S. suits against its American Medical Systems Holdings unit over the Perigee, Apogee and Elevate mesh implants, Chief Executive Officer Rajiv De Silva said yesterday in a statement. De Silva said the company was adding $400 million to its $1.2 billion liability reserve for the devices, designed to support pelvic muscles and treat incontinence.
The deal resolves more than 10,000 suits for an average of about $48,000 apiece, according to two people familiar with the settlement who didn’t want to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the accord.
Endo officials agreed this year to pay about $830 million to settle an additional 20,000 suits over the implants, which have been blamed for organ damage in women. That accord came a day after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said vaginal-mesh inserts should be subject to stricter safety requirements because they are high-risk devices.
The sling that was in my body was made by Boston Scientific and I shared how much one lot of cases settled for and you can read for yourself.
At this point you may be thinking you would be happy with $40.000. WAIT! Even if it were an equal settlement you will probably only wind up with 25% of the actual offer once expenses are taken out. $10.000. However these cases are not class actions and we won’t be all treated the same. These cases go under tort law and you need to learn more.
It is very important you understand the principle behind a tort lawsuit. When it comes to settling you case there will be a deadline to add more surgeries if you need them and it won’t be much time. Once that deadline is done, your case will be valued as a matrix and any future surgeries will not be included. Now you are wondering what a matrix is and I will cover that too.
So once you settle your claim you may wonder where the money is. I found a great article to explain what happens.
How Soon After A Settlement Do Clients Get Financially Compensated?
There are many requirements that must be met when a group settlement agreement is reached, most of them having to do with governmental lien or subrogation interests like Medicare, Medicaid, Humana, their subparts, and all of them require a great deal of time to resolve before the plaintiff is compensated.
If the plaintiff’s medical treatment associated with the injuries they are claiming from the drug or device was paid for by someone else, particularly a state or federal entity, then that money needs to be paid back to the taxpayers. That process can take a tremendous amount of time. Bankruptcy can slow things down, too. If the client has filed bankruptcy during the pendency of the case, the bankruptcy trustee might assert that the asset, the claim, is really an asset of the bankruptcy estate that must be administered like any other asset of the estate.
There are a number of different things that have to be done before the money changes hands and typically, it’s held in a third party trust account, not even the firm’s trust account, until the requirements are met. I have seen anywhere from 100 days to a year for that process to take shape, or longer. Patience and cooperation on the part of the client or plaintiff is very important.
Will the Amount of Compensation in a Mass Tort be Modified According to the Number of Plaintiffs?
This next bit is VERY important because most of us expected that our case would be treated as an individual case, after all that is what we thought a tort case was all about. Not so apparently. You should also realize that once a settlement happens by your lawyer, they have no say in how much you will be paid.
This is an interesting part that a lot of people don’t know or don’t understand and that’s sometimes hard to explain. I’m not saying this is the rule, but I would say more often than not the claims will be negotiated on an aggregate, rather than individual, basis. In other words, they are not going to look at every individual plaintiff and at every individual plaintiff’s particular set of circumstances but instead, they are going to agree on settlement criteria representative of the group.
Remember when you read the next bit, that there is a closing date on our cases and any surgery after the date is dismissed and any future surgeries are not counted and you will not receive any compensation. The doors will be firmly CLOSED.
Medical experts will examine each and every plaintiff’s medical records to determine if they meet that criteria and if so, in what way. Usually that is translated into a point system where every point has value and then it becomes a matter of plugging in the numbers based on the medical data, and getting the amount of points and then valuing that claim based on those points.
There is Takeda Pharmaceuticals, a Japanese company that makes the diabetes drug Actos, who six months ago announced almost a $3 billion settlement deal with everyone who has taken Actos and then, as a result, suffered bladder cancer.
The part following, is why we should also be aware of any side effects from ANY drug we take because they can be deadly. I had never heard of this Drug Company or side effect before reading this. These people are in the same position as we are. Did they have the tumor removed before the settlement? And yes, we become disposable with age, let alone all the things they will blame YOU for.
Takeda’s lawyers set up a complex matrix where there are considerations for age, the amount of Actos ingested, the dates of ingestion, the date of diagnosis of bladder cancer, the type of bladder cancer, the medical care and treatment related to the bladder cancer, did they have a bladder tumor removed, were they on chemo, whether it came back, and so on.
I have never smoked rarely drank in my life, never taken drugs or smoked pot and none of this would apply to my case and yet it will with many women seeking compensation.
They also look at confounding factors like whether cancer was in your family, if you’re a smoker, heavy smoker, light smoker, when did you quit, how many packs per day, were you exposed to any environmental contaminants, diesel fuel, anything that would make you more likely to be at risk. Obviously the confounding factors will end up deducting points, and thus result in a lesser award.
Once again age matters because you aren’t expected to live many more years, even though mesh complications will shorten any woman’s life. Exactly what is a just settlement for any injured person?
If you’re over 70, you might have points deducted, whereas a 35-year old healthy person who just happened to be diabetic and took Actos got bladder cancer, well, they are going to have to deal with that for a long time and deal with probably more treatment for the rest of their life, so it’s a case by case analysis and it’s a good system. I truly do believe in how these cases are resolved because they compensate people based on the level that would likely occur at trial based on the factors that would be presented to a jury. Sometimes someone has a unique set of circumstances that the matrix does not account for and that would potentially make their claim more valuable at trial. However, overall, the system works in that it provides compensation for a large number of people efficiently and, for the most part, justly. Not to sound too corny, but that’s all we as plaintiff’s lawyers want to do: make sure that those injured by the wrongdoing of another, particularly large corporations with endless resources, are afforded a level playing field and have access to our justice system, regardless of their financial means or socioeconomic status.
If you ask any seriously injured woman about justice I have no doubt not one of them is going to feel that justice is served by such low numbers. Many like me will be wondering about their future and I can tell you I feel that one day I will die of infection all due to the original mesh implant because My health has been badly compromised.
How Expensive is it to Become a Part of a Mass Tort Claim?
From the plaintiff’s perspective, if you’re on a contingency fee contract with your attorney, which that’s typically the case, the plaintiff will not owe the attorney anything until compensation is realized. So really our interests are aligned in that if we don’t believe in the case, we’re certainly not going to go spend a ton of money pursuing the case. That’s just a bad business venture. This is why I’ve never understood the “frivolous” lawsuit argument from big business – you’d think they would understand that we, as lawyers, don’t want to file a claim that is destined to lose, and lose the time and expense we put into the case in the process.
Yes we all buy generic drugs because we can’t afford the high cost of others, but did you know the following?
Of course, things can go wrong. For example, the case of generic drugs, several years ago there was a big Supreme Court ruling that basically said the manufacturers of any generic medications can’t be sued, they are immune from a lawsuit, because their products and product labeling must be the same as the brand name, and there’s nothing generic manufacturers can do to change that, so they can’t be held liability for a bad drug or insufficient warnings. While I disagree with the ruling, and hope the FDA gets involved there because the patient truly can’t do anything about whether they are prescribed a generic or brand, the point is that many lawyers with these cases lost the cases and all the time and effort pursuing them in one fell swoop. The ultimate tragedy, of course, is that those injured by a generic drug, at this point, have very little recourse.
In other words you will be given a certain amount of points if you had your mesh removed. You will be almost dismissed if you haven’t. Then everything in your life will be viewed with a fine tooth comb. Past illnesses may be blamed for what happened to you. Drinking, smoking and lifestyle and points will be removed. Older in age and points will be removed. I have no doubt you will stare at the results and become angry and forlorn. Once again you will feel like you did when you realized what the mesh has done to your body. Angry, devastated and very sad. Not only that, but your partner also realizes they are not included in any compensation even though many women thought they would be.
I looked up and found that there are companies who will do the matrix assessing for $35 an hour. Of course there is hundreds of hours involved so this can also be very profitable.
After reading this you may wonder if you should file a lawsuit at all. My answer is yes, but first set things up for removal with a doctor who will tell the truth. Do your homework when choosing a lawyer. Here is a link for tort lawyers all over this country and if I were to do this again and had this knowledge, I would have personally interviewed a tort lawyer here in my State. This is where you will find them. http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practice/toxic-torts
You may wonder why I would go to all this effort to give you the truth. It is because being gullible won’t help you have a better future. I don’t stand to gain one penny from anyone and the truth to me is better than waiting and hoping because of lies. You can believe it or go on thinking you will win a lottery, and that is your prerogative. I just write the facts.