All About Tort Lawsuits
Before I share the things, I learned about these lawsuits, I want to share another woman’s story who left a comment on this blog a couple of days ago. I am sharing this, because when women tell their stories, it proves to you that implants ruin women’s lives and there will never be enough compensation for those left with permanent damage. Many women had great lives, good careers and a wonderful future ahead of them….. until the implant.
Thank you for sharing your painful story, and for all of the wonderful and helpful information for others to utilize at any stage they might be in. You are a true Angel! To be as thoughtful and selfless of others as you, while you’re still experiencing such an incredibly difficult life yourself.
I had an AMS mesh implant and rectocele repair in 2007 and when I woke up from surgery, I immediately felt a sharp pain to the left pelvic side. The pain never went away, and at first, radiated throughout the left side of my body, from head to toe, from front through back. Causing migraines. As time went on the pain was intolerable and it interfered with daily living (work, mother). I began developing medical problems related to mesh implant and the pain then spread throughout my body, from head to toe, from the front of my body through the back. Many doctors later I finally found a doctor that would examine me. He told me the mesh felt too tight/tension and he felt something very sharp on the left side of the pelvic area. In 2008, I had my first surgery, after implant and doctor released the tension of the mesh and removed sutures that didn’t dissolve. He did tell me prior to surgery that he couldn’t remove it. Anyway, it didn’t change a thing. I begged him for help and asked him not to let me leave feeling the same. I was sobbing…he suddenly remembered the name of Dr. Raz at UCLA! My first surgery with him was in 2011. The mesh was infected and I had mesh erosion and it protruded into my pubic bone, vagina, urethra, and bladder wall. It took approximately 6 corrective surgeries to dissect the mesh and reconstruct the organs that the mesh affected. My last surgery was in 2015. This was the removal of the Interstim Device. It failed, only causing me aggravating the severe chronic pain I already live with from the moment I wake until I sleep, when I can. All of my medical problems have become progressively worse over the years. I have chronic constipation, bladder incontinence (I wet my bed daily with the overnight poise pad) and, fecal incontinence, chronic migraines, severe nerve damage. I depend on approximately 16 medications daily only to function but they do not work at times. It’s very painful to sit, stand, walk and bathe (I don’t bathe daily). I can’t drive 90% Of the time. I feel very sick every day and I experience such weakness. I honestly feel I’m slowly dying. I’ve said this to everyone of my doctors and I’ve only gotten one response. “Fibromyalgia, causes you to feel that way”.
The day before my mesh implant, I never experienced a headache. I had a career. My daughter was 10 at the time and my exhusband gave up parental rights since she was a baby, never helping financially, side note. I love being a mom, hands-on mom and I played with my daughter. Every weekend we were off to a new adventure! We enjoyed the outdoors camping, snowboarding, beach, roller coasters, you name it! The day of my mesh implant, my baby girl lost her mommy. It feels as if it was the last day of my life. I was admitted once for suicide because I became overwhelmed with the pain. I couldn’t get it under control for several days and I was experiencing insomnia simultaneously. Not a good mix, I learned. I pray and I’m grateful for all the things I have in my life. I tell myself that tomorrow is a new day and it will be a better day.
May you all have an angel watching over you…
If I asked you “what do you know about mass tort lawsuits?” the answer would more than likely be ‘Not much or nothing’. Unless of course you work in law or went to law school. Before this happened to me, I would have answered “Nothing”. All I knew about any lawsuits was what I saw on TV, either in shows or lawsuit marketing adverts. I would think most women would answer the same way, because why do we need to know about these things, unless we are in one.
For me, learning is very important and what we don’t know CAN hurt us, so I do a lot of reading and Google is free to all of us. So, over the next few weeks I am going to share with you some of the things I learned about tort lawsuits. Were mesh implant lawsuits fair or good at all? One you learn you can decide for yourself, once and for all.
First, how do you feel about doctors and hospitals after all you have gone through? Do you know how many people die when going in for treatment? I wondered so I Googled how many errors there are in hospitals and this is what came up.
Back in 1984, the extrapolated statistics from relatively few records in only several states of the United States estimated that between 44,000-98,000 people annually die in hospitals because of medical errors. Much work has been done since then, including work by the author of that study who moved on from those low estimates back in the 1990s. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently says that 75,000 patients die annually, in hospitals alone, from infections alone – just one cause of harm in just one kind of care setting. From all causes there have been numerous other studies, including “A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care” by John T. James, PhD that estimates 400,000 unnecessary deaths annually in hospitals alone. Using these numbers, medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States, only behind heart disease and cancer. Less than one quarter of care takes place in hospitals. Across all care settings the numbers are higher.
Another study notes that about 1.14 million patient-safety incidents occurred among the 37 million hospitalizations in the Medicare population over the years 2000-2002. Hospital costs associated with such medical errors were estimated at $324 million in October 2008 alone.
Between 15,000 and 19,000 malpractice suits are brought against doctors each year.
So why are malpractice lawsuits against doctors so low, even with so many deaths? It is because doctors have found ways to protect themselves and their assets and this makes it so hard for you to sue your doctor. The reason is, single lawsuits against one doctor are so expensive and the cost prohibits lawyers from taking a case, UNLESS it is very easy to prove and there will be a major settlement. So, what alternative do you have? If an implant is used and enough people have adverse effects and they report these complications to the FDA, then mass tort lawsuits come into play. Therefore I encourage EVERY woman to report her complications to the FDA. It is so important, or no one will be able to sue for their injuries, in the future.
Very few of us understood what we were signing on for, because it is rare to meet a lawyer in his/her office and have a complete discussion about what will happen when we file suit. I signed up with a lawyer, long before the TV ads began in 2012 because I knew something happened in the implanting surgery, but had no idea what. I will never forget the long hours of standing in a small room with water running in the sink, which my doctor was so sure I was going to pee if I heard running water. It didn’t happen and for weeks I had a Foley catheter and continuing infections, while I ‘tried’ to go.
My bad experience did not stop there. I had no idea that a prolapse surgery could result in permanent nerve damage in one leg. In fact, when I realized I had major complications and I complained about them, the tables were turned on me and I was accused of ‘doing something’ to cause it. I could barely take a step without shooting pains, let alone do something to cause what happened to me. Since then, I learned from hundreds of women that doctors turn on you and play the blame game to cover their mistakes.
After months of suffering and things getting worse, driving my car became harder and leaving the house for more than 5 miles, became scary. I had a second surgery nine weeks after the first one, where I learned she cut the sling in the center. Even then, I had to self-Cath for months and I knew things were not right at all where my bladder was concerned and my leg pain worsened day by day. I also knew that something happened during that original surgery, but of course, nothing was in the operative notes I obtained from the hospital. It was then I began searching for a lawyer who would believe I WAS damaged in a terrible way.
Until my case was filed in January 2012, I thought signing up with a lawyer was a done deal and I already had a case. But you don’t have a case until all your records are obtained by a lawyer and they decide if you do. I couldn’t handle reading all I know now back then and it would take a few years before I was ready to study how these things work and comprehend what was going to happen. Even then I learned step by step and still do.
Many women, including me have waited YEARS to receive any compensation for our damages, even though we have put out a LOT of money to get the mesh removed. I am now on my eighth year since my implant and life has been a real struggle at times. I know many other women who feel the same way I do, like why does this lawsuit journey take so long?
After the fifth surgery in 2013, it took me a while to think straight and try to learn what happens with tort lawsuits. I was dealing with even more complications by then and I had to learn how to live with them. Up until that time, I never concentrated on my lawsuit and did not read all the crap on Jane Akre’s Newsdesk. Instead, once I was ready to learn, I used Google to research and learn for myself. As hard as it is, sometimes it is better to learn the truth and digest slowly as you learn.
The best way to learn is to go to on-line law school. Yes, it sounds crazy but it is where you will get complete information, not half-truths written by someone who stands to gain money from your situation. You don’t actually have to go to law school, just spend time on Google to find the best articles written for law students. This is exactly what I did and I am going to give you a link at the bottom of this blog, where you can read more and learn all about Mass Torts in the past. I think it is a good thing to know, and it helps you realize that very few people are going to be satisfied with the outcome of a lawsuit and by learning, you may be able to deal with it all and get past it.
For me learning and reading has always been part of my life and I would rather educate myself, rather than someone else tells me something that could be very misleading. The experience of Mass Torts has not been very informative for anyone, so you don’t have a choice, but to read and learn for yourself.
The one thing I want to stress to women here in the U.S. is that many women overseas could not get a lawyer to take their cases and even when they did, lawyers walked away and left them without any recourse and no way to find another lawyer before the statute of limitations ran out. Therefore, we should be grateful we have been able to file suit against the manufacturers of these implants and we should work hard to prove our cases. This way, what we do will benefit new women who will suffer in the future and they can file suit against the manufacturers of these implants.
The chapter of a book I am reading on line, is titled, TAKING A SECOND LOOK AT MDL PRODUCT LIABILITY SETTLEMENTS: SOMEBODY NEEDS TO DO IT The following is in the very first paragraph and it explains about what an MDL is, in case so far you did not understand.
The same may be said of multidistrict litigation (MDL) when it leads to aggregate settlement of product liability claims, especially those involving allegedly faulty drugs, which (along with claims arising from sales and service practices) make up more than a third of the thousands of federal cases gathered “for pretrial purposes” in various federal “transferee” courts.
I learned from this chapter that Mass Torts have been around for a long time and they were first put in place in 1968. By reading this chapter you will learn not only when MDL’s were put in place, but why. Read this.
Enacted in 1968 to deal with a flood of lawsuits alleging conspiracy in the electrical equipment industry (some 1,800 suits had been filed across the country), the Multi-District Litigation Statute created a panel of federal judges empowered to transfer pending federal cases to a single judge for purposes of pretrial discovery
Most MDL’s are about drug side effects and you will see why I have posted many blogs about the dangers of pain killers and anti-depressant drugs, let alone all the antibiotics that have caused MANY serious side effects.
Literally thousands of suits have been gathered under MDL procedures, including many mass tort cases, particularly in the areas of drug litigation where the Vioxx and Zyprexa cases are modern paradigms. In the Vioxx cases, the claim was that a painkiller increased substantially the risk of heart attack and stroke.
In the Zyprexa cases, the claim was that a drug approved for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder had unwanted side effects that weren’t adequately disclosed, “including weight gain, hyperglycemia, and diabetes.
Were those injured by these drugs, properly compensated and what about the Agent Orange scandal? Read this.
It is worth noting that these mass tort settlements, accomplished by MDL procedures, are not only numerous but gigantic in terms of the aggregate amount of liability. When Judge Weinstein presided over the Agent Orange settlement of $180 million in 1984, it was the largest settlement to date, delivering some form of recovery to 240,000 claimants (an average of $720/person, although there were many who got more than that and many who got nothing).
The 2005 Vioxx settlement of $4.85 billion was, in inflation-adjusted terms, almost twelve times higher than Agent Orange, although the number of claimants was much smaller (48,000) and average recovery is much higher (more than $100,000/person).
The settlements in the Zyprexa case ($700 million) was also exponentially higher than Agent Orange.
So, these cases are big business, not small potatoes, and the use of MDL procedures has risen sharply in mass tort cases.
You may wonder why settlements and why MDL’s are big business, despite a judge who has said that he wanted all these cases out of his court. We may not want to be part of a mass settlement but without them, we will never get ANY compensations, because it costs so much to take a case to trial and lawyers in our own States, won’t take our cases.
The attractions of nonclass product liability settlements are numerous: In a nutshell, judges want them and have the leverage to push parties into serious settlement talks. Lawyers for plaintiffs want them—at least those who are given the power to run the case—for reasons of agency cost that are magnified
in high-stakes litigation.
So why do Judges want these cases?
Why do judges want them? Besides the docket pressures that make settlement preferable to trials in civil litigation across the board, there have always been judges for whom the MDL process is an invitation to push as far as possible toward concluding the cases gathered in this way. Indeed, there is something in the very dynamics of the MDL process that pushes toward settlement.
Perhaps equally important, the familiarity that the transferee judge acquires in overseeing the pretrial process must give rise to a sense of ownership and a related sense that sending the cases back would put a burden on judges in the courts of original filing, who typically learn little about the cases before they are whisked away to the transferee forum.
In the Agent Orange litigation, for example, Judge Pratt as the first presiding judge certified a class and made innumerable rulings on the matter, but upon his elevation to the Court of Appeals in 1982 the suit was assigned to his colleague Judge Weinstein, who took over the case and immediately scheduled it for trial.
After the Agent Orange settlement, when other Agent Orange cases were filed around the country, it was unthinkable that anyone other than Judge Weinstein should handle them, and the MDL panel transferred them to him as well.
Once a judge becomes expert in a particular controversy, assuming that he has the kinds of skills essential in managing such things, it becomes overwhelmingly likely that similar cases will find their way into his court.
So, have you felt helpless in this whole process? No doubt everyone has including many local lawyers when they agree to take your case and pass it along to a Tort lawyer. Read this.
More importantly, appointment to the committees that “run things” for plaintiffs (and sometimes for defendants) concentrates in a small group great power over all the claims, and it is this small group that the transferee judge deals with as the case goes forward. There are essentially no standards that govern the judge in making this selection, although it has been suggested that the process should be regulated after the manner that prevails in securities litigation.
Two consequences ensue from this arrangement: The first is that the judge has extraordinary control over the attorneys running things on the plaintiffs’ side. The second is that lawyers for plaintiffs who are not selected for the PMC find themselves on the outs with little to do, little power to affect the course of the proceedings, and reduced expectation of compensation, even in the eventuality of a positive outcome. They become bystanders in their own lawsuits. A sidelined lawyer who tries to inject himself in the process, or who resists a settlement favored by the trial judge, would “incur the displeasure” of the judge by such actions.
So, what happened with other Tort cases in the past?
Consider the degree of control in the hands of the transferee MDL judge: Of course she manages pretrial discovery (or assigns magistrates to do it), but she also exercises considerable control over attorney fees and over settlement. An early attempt by Judge Lord in the intrauterine contraceptive device litigation to inject himself into an agreed settlement was rebuffed by the Eighth Circuit, but times have changed. In the Zyprexa litigation, for example, Judge Weinstein invoked—really the better term is “invented”—the concept of the “quasi-class action” as the basis for directing special masters to adjust the fee schedules of all claimants in the transferred cases.
Drawing on the same “quasi-class action” concept, Judge Fallon similarly set the fees in the Vioxx litigation, where the settlement agreement made an express provision for the court to “oversee various aspects” of administering the settlement, including determining the amount of “common benefit work.”
The power of the transferee judge over fees to be paid to counsel as part of a settlement is itself an extraordinary lever that puts enormous power into
the hands of the judge.
Remember 911? What happened with the World Trade Center cases? Were these tort lawsuits? This will explain mre.
In the World Trade Center cases, Judge Hellerstein disapproved a proposed settlement because it provided too little compensation to some claimants, and later approved one that increased recovery for them. The parties had agreed on $575 million (assuming 95% participation among claimants, with $23.4 million for future claims), but Judge Hellerstein’s disapproval led to the addition of $125 million plus $55 million from an insurance fund, and led as well to a redesigned “settlement grid” setting forth the kinds of relief available for various claimants.
In short, the idea that judges in MDL cases have settlement-approval authority similar to what they have in class action cases under Rule 23(e) seems well on
its way to becoming institutionalized.
It is true that the World Trade Center litigation was not an MDL case—Congress created a fund to compensate 9/11 victims, famously administered by Kenneth Feinberg (litigation followed).
Back to drug cases. Are any of these torts fair?
The Vioxx litigation, however, was a real MDL mass tort settlement, and the main decision in that case asserts (at least assumes) that the court has power
and discretion to examine a proposed settlement in the interest of assuring “fairness,” and to disapprove any settlement that is too high or too low or that, in the view of the judge, fails to treat claimants fairly as among themselves.
The settlement approved in the Vioxx cases came after six bellwether trials went forward, one in Texas and five in Louisiana (while the forum in New Or
leans was displaced by the effects of Hurricane Katrina).
This settlement was, as Professor Sherman points out, apparently “crafted cooperatively by counsel in both federal and state courts, and blessed and overseen in execution by the MDL court.” Not surprisingly, Judge Fallon had urged the parties to begin settlement negotiations, and he took the unusual step of including with him, on the bench in a status conference in which the settlement was presented, the judges presiding over Vioxx cases in state court that had not been gathered in federal court. It is clear from the remarks made at the time that the judges were pleased with the settlement.
What about lawyers? Did yours do a good job?
Why do lawyers for plaintiffs want MDL aggregate mass tort settlements? Obviously there is a financial incentive to serve on the PMC if, as usually happens, the judge makes upward adjustments in the fees recoverable for doing what gets called “common benefit” work in the likely event of a settlement. Like the custom of appointing the PMC, we have what amounts to almost an ancient pedigree for the idea that a judge can tax a settlement to ensure that lawyers conducting discovery in gathered cases are paid for their extra work, and that inactive lawyers don’t recover “windfalls” for doing very little. Almost forty years ago the Ninth Circuit in the Vincent case held that a judge can tax the settlement share of clients in consolidated litigation to pay the fees of those court-appointed lawyers who do the lion’s share of the pretrial work, and modern authority confirms the judge’s authority to tax a settlement that a defendant in a consolidated case makes with parallel claimants in non-gathered cases (often pending in state court in distant fora) by ordering defendant to withhold from the settlements an amount corresponding to what the court thinks is the plaintiffs’ fair share of the common benefit work. Service on such a committee virtually assures significant recovery of attorney fees when the case settles.
Appointment to the PMC is big business. Typically its work is extensive and must be financed, so appointment to a PMC doesn’t come cheap. Reportedly judges appoint such committees by selecting “top-tier attorneys” who are expected to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in these undertakings.
Appointment can be not only expensive, but risky: Judges sometimes appoint lawyers for fixed terms, so their performance can be assessed and underperformers can be replaced, a circumstance that cannot help but make lawyers hearken closely to the judge’s preferences.
A commentator who surveyed pending MDL mass tort suits in 2013 concluded that repeat players among the plaintiff’s bar garnered almost two thirds of controlling positions in such committees. Expenses and attorney fees are at least sometimes recoverable from this
fund as the litigation proceeds, and the rewards for common benefit work can be considerable.
So how do Mesh Manufacturers feel about these tort lawsuits? I am sure they are not happy, but feel it is part of doing business. Why do they prefer mass torts? Of course, the answer is always about money.
Why do defendants want such MDL aggregate mass tort settlements? One modern study contends that defendants are willing to pay a premium—actually
More to settle “the whole batch” of cases brought against them than they would pay for all the individual claims if they settled one by one—for a “global”
MDL settlement (one that covers essentially all potential claimants).
This study focused on a comparison between recoveries awarded under the auspices of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) set up and administered by Kenneth Feinberg and those awarded to claimants in the MDL settlement. Under his leadership, GCCF distributed more than $6.2 billion to 220,000 individual claimants in 18 months of operation, paying out more than $840 million in its second month—extraordinary feats.
So, what happens when it is time for you to accept or decline your offer. Do you feel that your lawyer explained the situation and was doing what was best in your situation? Only YOU can decide for yourself and if you do feel satisfied, then I am sure you have already accepted your offer, if your case in in that process. If you do not feel satisfied, it could be either be one of two things. You did not prove your case and give your lawyer enough to get you a better settlement, or your lawyer was at fault and did not do the work. For instance, I have heard other women state that their lawyer insinuated that some companies are going bankrupt, just to scare them into accepting a low offer, when indeed they had many complications and did deserve a better settlement. What can you do about this? I have no idea, other than to gather the information you have and try to find a lawyer to look into it.
More difficult is the matter of obtaining consent to MDL settlements. One might think it a simple task: Each lawyer goes to her clients, explains the settlement to each one by one, and the client can agree or not. But it is not so simple. Each client is entitled to learn the details of the proposed agreement, including the treatment of parallel claims brought by others. The reason to require such broad disclosure is that such settlements are, in the words of the Principles, “interdependent. That is to say, they are part of a package in which the willingness of the negotiating lawyers to settle any one claim depends on—or is affected by—the resolution of the other claims. For many lawyers in MDL cases, this process is problematic for two reasons: First, the reward that comes from settlement incentivizes the lawyer representing multiple claimants to recommend and try to sell the settlement to every client, regardless whether it is in her best interest.
Now it is true that in ordinary one-on-one lawyer-client relationships the interests of the lawyer and the client do not match exactly. Indeed, we cannot hope to devise a system that solves this problem entirely: It can easily happen that a lawyer’s estimate of the amount of recovery after trial exceeds defendant’s best settlement offer by a large enough amount to suggest that the client would be better off going to trial, while the lawyer is better off settling at the amount being offered (taking into account the likelihood of success, but putting aside attitudes toward risk).
The same thing happens in the MDL settlements, but with two critical differences: One difference is that in the latter context, the stake of the PMC lawyers in selling the deal is exponentially higher because they must invest so much money to bring the case forward to settlement.
The other difference is that lawyers in the MDL setting may shirk their duties to be fully honest with their clients about the range of settlements and degree of recovery because getting consent to settle is so important to them.
These problems lend credibility to the suggestion advanced by one commentator that the world of aggregate settlement is “full of abuse.” The problems are exacerbated by the fact that every lawyer who is sidelined by the MDL process, when presented with a proposed deal, does not know and cannot know much about the litigation. She did not play any part in discovery or negotiation, and her sources of 2017 SECOND LOOK AT MDLS ETTLEMENTS 555 information are lawyers on the PMC who did the work and conducted the negotiations.
Second, a proposed MDL settlement implicitly obligates participating lawyers on the PMC to “sell” the deal to clients and other lawyers for claimants. Indeed,
it has happened that such proposals expressly impose a duty on participating lawyers to decline further representation for a client who refuses the deal. Such an obligation puts the lawyer in a conflicted position and is unethical, as a lawyer cannot ethically drop a client merely because he refuses to settle.
Did your lawyer ask in advance for you to approve consent, before you knew what your offer would be? I cannot imagine consenting this way.
It is hardly an improvement on the situation that the implicit understanding among PMC negotiators is that they are to sell the deal to the other lawyers and
they in turn are to convince each of their clients in their one-by-one conversations with them. The matter of client consent is further vexed by a new practice,
endorsed by a provision in the Principles, in which lawyers can ask their clients to consent in advance to an MDL settlement proposal if it is approved by a “substantial majority” of claimants.
It certainly would not be informed consent and you may need to contact a lawyer who sues other lawyers, if this happened to you and you have written proof. Not just a telephone conversation.
The difficulty with this proposition is that such consent cannot satisfy even a limp version of the “informed consent” standard because neither the client nor the lawyer, on agreeing to it, can have any actual idea what the settlement will be. A lawyer representing more than one client is not supposed to participate “in making an aggregate settlement” unless each client “gives informed consent” after a consultation that shall include disclosure of “the existence and nature of all the claims . . . and of the participation of each person in the settlement.”
In taking the position that this protection can be waived in an advance agreement to accept a settlement supported by a “substantial majority” of similar claimants, the Principles reject significant modern authority finding advance consent invalid. Yes, invalid! Indeed, this proposition is an affront to common sense, and strong criticisms separately advanced years ago by Professors Nancy Moore and Howard Erichson are entirely convincing.
I cannot give you all this chapter, but I have chosen a few points to help you realize than learning is very important in how you react to your case settlement. By the time to finish reading this entire chapter, perhaps you will realize that you have to put as much into your case as your lawyer does, if not, you won’t have a good outcome at all.
This is the conclusion of what this chapter is all about. If you think none of this is fair, you are not alone, but you will learn that fair or not, it is all we have. Without mass tort lawsuits, we would all be left without one penny of compensation, just like other women around the world.
MDL gathering in product liability cases is not going to end soon, and settlement is far and away the most likely outcome. Perhaps such settlements can be fair and adequate, and a settlement that delivers compensation and ends litigation is good at least to that extent. Still, the conditions that produce such settlements do not inspire confidence. The transferee court that handles every such case lacks sanction or standard that is normally found in Rule or statute, and yet this court exercises considerable influence over the course of proceedings and is motivated to clear gathered cases from the docket in a single resolution. The lawyers who run the suit for the claimants are handpicked by the transferee judge and put under pressure to settle.
These lawyers cannot realistically threaten trial if negotiations lead to a lowball offer, and they are motivated to settle too, if only to recoup their
investment in the litigation and make a profit. The transferee court, unsure of its authority to review any proposed settlement, nevertheless
reviews it while being motivated itself to approve a settlement in order to end what would otherwise be major and scattered litigation. Sidelined lawyers for many if not most of the claimants are not in good position to object or influence events, and are pushed toward going along with whatever is proposed by the lawyers who run the case with the judge’s approval. And these lawyers are likely to prevail upon their clients to go along too.
What is missing and needed is a mechanism to check the fairness and adequacy of MDL product liability settlements. In the setting of class suits, there is precedent for collateral review on behalf of class members who are included in class settlements. Such review should be available for MDL product liability settlements too. A dissatisfied settling claimant should be able to bring suit and raise these questions. A second court should be able to set aside an MDL settlement if it is unfair or inadequate, when compared to the relief that such client could reasonably anticipate in a suit of her own. Only in such a setting can we have any confidence that fairness and adequacy have been adequately attended to.
I have thought about all this in-depth and I honestly would not want the job of these lawyers, because trying to sift through who is really badly injured and who isn’t, would be a very difficult job. Without plenty of evidence to support and substantiate a case, their hands are tied. Does this mean I think any of this is fair? Definitely not, which is why I have written so much about lawsuits and the people behind the manufacturing of implants, in the past three years. I never wanted this blog to be about the lawsuit side of implants, but I felt I had no choice but to learn and share.
So, if you get mad at me when I tell you to stop complaining publicly and go to work on your case, that is okay. I just hope by telling women that complaining on support groups is a waste of time and energy, that even if just one women woke up and began to put her case together and will receive a better settlement, than it was worth any anger bestowed upon me.
It is already too late for some women, but there are still thousands of cases that have not been settled, and you can change your situation, when settling your case, if you are knowledgeable and learn. Whatever has happened to you, you must record and provide evidence, to be compensated. I realize there will never be enough compensation for what happened to any of us, but right now, this is how it all works, and we can’t change things by complaining.
Regardless of what you think of me, I am empathetic to what is happening to women all around the world, which is why I have spent seven years writing to try to help.
If you have not already settled, I hope this blog will help you build your case. http://www.meshangels.com/build-your-case/
This link will give you the entire chapter of the book. https://law.ku.edu/sites/law.drupal.ku.edu/files/docs/law_review/v65/Mueller_FINAL.pdf