BREAKING NEWS! Settlement offered in Queen Transvaginal Mesh Case

Aug 21st, 2013 | By | Category: Legal News

judge mallet 200While opening arguments were set to be heard and a jury had been selected comes word that the transvaginal mesh product liability lawsuit filed against manufacturer C.R. Bard has settled. That news was confirmed by sources both inside and outside the courtroom.

Here is the story from Monday, day one of jury selection here.

The case did not meet Tuesday, possibly to discuss the potential settlement discussionis.

Settlement amounts are generally not disclosed and the defendant does not  admit liability as a condition of settlement. The plaintiff typically signs a confidential agreement as part of the settlement agreement.

Wanda Queen was severely injured, as are all of the women represented by the bellwether trials. The first plaintiff, Donna Cisson, was awarded $2 million in damages by a jury August 15. That included a $1.75 million dollar award in punitive damages. The Cisson case was the first bellwether trial, design to test legal theories and get some sense of how juries will react to both sides.  Successive losses and a defendant may decide through a risk/benefit analysis it is advantageous to offer a settlement.

Here is the Wanda Queen complaint.  Queen Document 1 Complaint

A settlement will not be appealed and has the advantage of ending litigation for the plaintiff.

A woman’s relative value in terms of future earnings will always be calculated into a settlement. A younger person, nonsmoker, with years ahead of productive earnings will be considered, generally lead to a larger settlement amount than an elderly person who is not gainfully employed, no matter how valuable they are to you as a loved family member.

No matter what the amount of money, most women tell MDND they wish they could be made whole and no amount of money will accomplish that.

Punitive Damages

A settlement also avoids the stigma of punitive damages to a company. Punitive awards are intended to punish a company for wrongdoing and to send a message that discourages future corporate misdeeds.

As in these cases, the state statutes where the implantation occurred dictates the settlement. In the Cisson case, Georgia, her home state, required 75% of punitive damages be diverted to the state general fund minus legal expenses and whatever the judge deems appropriate.

See the American Tort Reform Association for limitations to recovery in your state here.

Judge Joseph R. Goodwin

Judge Joseph R. Goodwin

Judge Joseph R. Goodwin has set a strict schedule for these bellwether cases and predicted the Queen case would take nine days.  Two more cases are scheduled to be heard:

Linda and Ronald Rizzo, et al. v. C. R. Bard, Inc. 2:10-cv-01224

Carolyn Jones v. C. R. Bard, Inc. 2:11-cv-00114

 

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58 Comments to “BREAKING NEWS! Settlement offered in Queen Transvaginal Mesh Case”

  1. jade says:

    Hi, Jane – Do we have access to the actual depositions of Dr. Barbee and Queen as in the Cisson’s trial?

  2. Carmel Berry says:

    Jane… awesome timing on this report…. I do hope Mrs Queen is OK and the pressure of thousands is not on her shoulders. How do you have access to Pacer? I tried and wasn’t accepted ( maybe not ok outside a US ISP),,,
    big hug for all you do.
    Carmel.x

  3. danyelle says:

    Is there someplace that lists her injuries? Or how long the mesh was implanted?

    • Jane Akre says:

      I have found her deposition and will post it shortly along with her implanting physician. thank you !

      • jade says:

        Thank you, Jane for tracking down depositions. I will look forward to your posting. I think this will help all of us to determine why Bard offered to settle this case before trial and not the others. It will also might be telling of their risks/benefits stragtegy.

      • jade says:

        Hi, Jane – Have you posted the depositions of Wanda Queen and her physician as yet? Thank you.

  4. candy says:

    when will American med.system’s case’s be heard any idea?

  5. Bejah says:

    Jane, Thanks as always for your reporting…always waiting with baited breath for your reports. Love the backstories and side stories as well.

    If I may digress a bit…I really take offense at calling the women victims “meshies”. I find it offensive and self-denigrating. It is not cute…nothing about any of this is cute and I wish women would not refer to themselves in this way. I do not wish to be critical of our British sisters, but please lets find some more respectable term.

    I have advised my counsel that I am not happy with the Cisson award because of the 75% her state of residence (or where surgery was done) is taking of the punitive award. I have stated that if that is going to be allowed then the punitive award must be increased retroactively to reflect that and/or the “law” should not apply where plantiffs were not aware of it. We must not put up with this. How much are we going to allow our governments to take from us before we protest in earnest? What are they doing with these monies. Are we holding them accountable. Where is the reporting. I want to know.

    Also with regard to awards being based on lifetime value as earners….I protest that as well. My guess is that a large percentage of the victims are older women…baby boomers and older. Already they are a disadvantaged group because they are women and because they are older. Now they tell us that because they are older their award will be less because the remainder of their work (productive) lives has passed….meaning they are of less value to the state (Lets tell it like it is)? This is how we value human life? How many great statesmen, poets, musicians. teachers, religious leaders, and philosphers do you know of who did their best work in their “golden” years? Do we value human life based on only how much one produces for the corporation? If that is the case there is little hope for a bright future for the America we knew and loved. And how many of these older women, these victims, might go on to serve as the matenal and female figures that knit their communities together, through their participation in womens clubs, grass roots politics, school boards, church choirs and volunteers in hospitals and in after school programs giving more than they are nourished by these activities. If they do not even have enough money for future medical care, if they get the message that they are not valuable and their nation cares more about corporations than its people, they are likely to be brokenhearted and die much sooner. Mrs. Cisson may not have the money to even cover the long term costs of her medical care, costs incurred because of corporate greed. What will happen to her when she runs out of money and hits her lifetime maximum with her insurance company? Her husband will probably pass away before she does unless the toxic mesh kills her first and then what will she do? Will she need to depend on Medicaid at some point or will she not even qualify for that eventually and end up dying alone before her time in some obscure third rate Nursing Home run by another corporation in some obscure corner of the state that took her money, another forgotten victim, while Johnson & Johnson continue producing products that make them billions of dollars. If they have to pay off a few old ladies to the tune of $2M a pop that is just part of the cost of doing business, it is nothing to them, such losses are built into their business plans. Then lets force that state to support her for the rest of her life!

    So what are we going to do about it? Are we going to retreat each into our own little lives or are we going to use our legislative power and organizational power to change laws, to draw attention to injustices, and monitor our governments and their actions. Democracy is like a marriage….it requires constant work, attention, modification, understanding. We can not just go shopping and let someone else handle it. If we are not vigilant we will lose our Democracy, it will evolve into something dark and menacing and folks, it has already started to happen.

    • Patricia Shaffer says:

      You really got it right. I had no idea someone could put my thoughts into words. I am whom you speak of. I have two tiny great-grand children and am not able to pick them up, sit on the floor to play or any of the fun stuff I wish I could do with them. Can’t work in order to supplement my social security due to the mesh pain. So I wonder why the law only counts traditional employment .loses. Which I did for over 55 years!

  6. Betty says:

    Hi Jane,

    Are they going to be trying another case to make up for the missing bellwhether? I noticed that you wrote that she was the most injured of the group. Also, the judge limiting post mesh surgeries to 3 or less does not seem to me like that is the majority – unless like Donna Cisson they are on the beginning of this horrid journey. I feel torn – very happy for Mrs. Queen that her trial is over and sad because the corporation was not truly held accountable and they can say that there was no punitive damages. I know it is just “spin” and so do we all, but it urkes me anyway. Congratulations to Mrs. Queen and her husband and I hope it goes just as easily for the rest of the 30 some thousand who have been maimed by these products. You are so correct when you say that we would rather have our lives back than any amount of money!!! Anyone who believes we are in this for the money has not walked in our shoes. No one would want this!!

  7. Susan says:

    I am totally confused as to what is going to happen now in the bellwethering trials. Does this mean that C R Bard is going to try and settle with all the cases against them? Even if C R Bard does try to settle with other ladies – I think C R Bard settled as some sorta loop hole trick to benefit themselves with all the other cases. MAKES ME SICK HOW THEY KNOW HOW TO PLAY THE SYSTEM.

  8. Jaramillo says:

    I am numb. Not sure what I feel. The fact is we only have each other and of course Jane. We are entering new territory. First the trials. We observe carefully, now settlement offers? The only contact I get from my firm is if I call for an update and the info is minimal. When a woman settles it becomes a secret. (yet another way the corporation minimizes what they do! How can we better educate ourselves about the settlement process. It seems like the corporation went into damage control mode. “silence” We all have physical pain, suffering, grief and loss but I also struggle with who can we even trust? How do we make the best decision for opurselves and our families? Lord knows thousands of us trusted our doctors and now look where we are at. We need a non biased, objective attorney that is knowldeable in this area to provide us with factual information. I have ready the initial trials may be beneficial for companies to begin settling but is that really in our best interest? Are we holding firm in our beliefs that the companies need to be accountable? What about all the women that continue to be ill and they still have not learned why they were ill. If it were not for my mesh sisters I would not have known my symptoms were related to the mesh. I certainly did not get the info. from the multitude of doctors I saw or the costly tests I recieved. It was my sisters that sent me in the direction that was safe. It was my sisters that told me where to find a removal surgeon. It was my sisters that told me what recovery would be like. My sisters keep me going when the hoelessness sets in. In fact I have been told not to blog on any sites because it will be used against my case during trial. ( another way we are silenced) I hope that settling was a good choice for her. I hope that once again she was not forced to make another tremendous sacrifice. I hope some attorneys come foward and provide us with information regarding how and when a settlement is a good choice. Money is not the issue. To be honest I don’t understand why criminal charges are not pursued. The company ignored the msds sheet. Those sheets are required in order to protect the public. The corporation lied and set up a dummy company that has caused permanent harm to thousands. We don’t even know what awaits us in the future. Yet they are not being criminally charged? How does this happen? .Approach our legal system. I wrote my congressmen, legislatures and Obama himself. Not a single reply back. I wrote the doctors, Dr. Phil, 60 minutes, and Ellen Degeneris. Not a single reply back. If my childs paternity were an issue I might be invited to the show. If my husband was cheating or gambling maybe they would write but mesh is not worthy of educating the public. The major forum we have is MDND. If we settle how will we protect others? How will we get our message out? I guess I feel scared, un-prepared and I lack knowledge as to why settlement can be a good thing for us. I feel the best when I read guilty and held accountable.

    • Jane Akre says:

      J- Your words are powerful. Are any attorneys listening? There is no reason we cannot have a forum where questions are asked and answered. There was an attempt to do that on a FB page. It was a good idea and your words will spark some interest. I will send them around to see if we fan start a respectful Q and A forum. Few attorneys want to speak out at this time on specifics but it is a good time to discuss how the law generally works just to let you know what you might expect. So thank you for the reminder.

    • Bill Thompson says:

      Lord knows is correct He sure does and because their are those of us who believe that God is in control it will all be OK. I am a child of His and he will protect my family and yours. Our attorneys are really knowledgeable and God heard our prayers and we will be OK. If only one family amongst all the cases is a believer in Christ then all the families are covered and there are many. Be at peace and do not have a spirit of fear.

  9. Jane Akre says:

    I want to add that anyone who feels it is justified to contact any Bard attorneys, any defense attorney or any attorney for that matter to let them have it or communicate their displeasure is considered totally out of line by this editor!! Don’t do it. Period.

  10. jade says:

    Jane – Have you posted the depositions of Queen and Barbee, as yet? Thanks

    • Jane Akre says:

      The Queens want this to be over so out of respect I have removed their story. You will have to find the documents on your own that are filed in the case. Thank you for understanding.

  11. Bejah says:

    If I may I advise everyone to Google the Wikapedia entries for “Settlements” and for “Torts” and carefully read everything you find there. What I did is download both of these files into WORD, then do line numbering and page numbering then go through line by line highlighting and entering comments or questions I wanted to go back to later. I filed these under LAW in my ETHICON file on my HD. To prepare well we need to be informed. We needed to be more informed when we went to our physicians to discuss having surgery in the first place and we certainly need to when entering into an agreement with an attorney to represent us and when preparing for trial.

    If you have questions for your own counsel be careful to make sure your questions are ones that are not general questions that you can find the answers elsewhere for, make sure your questions are brief and make sense. Do not hound your attorneys, especially if you have a contingency agreement. Contact them only about things that are really important. Know that they are working on the case and that they are motivated to do so. Don’t micromanage them.

    In all of this did anyone else wonder what women did long ago (Even hundreds of years ago) before such surgeries were available? Long ago when women had several children…can you imagine what they went through!

    I am concerned, as I am sure many are, that now we will just see Settlements which prohibit each of us from ever discussing the case against these corporations again. Settlements mean no admission of guilt and no future law suits no matter what happens to us. I fear getting swept away in a Tsunami of Settlements. The courts favor settlement and often require settlement conferences. I think most cases are settled and do not go to trial. Most of us can probably expect to get caught in a great wave of settlements. I do not expect any fairness or justice in any of this and although I do not know, I wonder if we will see any more Bellweather trials now that the purpose has been achieved with the first one….trials will not favor the defendant thus their motivation to settle is sufficiently ratcheted up and the purpose of the Bellw…. trials has been achieved???? What can we expect now? What sort of settlement will be offered in place of the second trial? If the gravest harm is associated with it (I think there was unspeakable mutilation) will the compensatory damages reflect that damage or only how much lost productive (employment) years/time will be lost? Of course, the same rules apply to Settlement that apply to punative damages with regard to the percentage the state will take???? So many questions. We need to know what to expect so we can brace ourselves.

    • Bill Thompson says:

      I totally disagree with you. First off Judge Goodwin is a good man and a very fair Judge. There has to be four bellwether trials for each manufacturer and until they are all completed the settlement phase will not begin. The Bard award in California was for 5 Million to Mrs. Scott based on her trauma experiences with the mesh and 500K to her husband for loss of consortium. So far that is the high end of the damage awards and Mrs. Cisson and her 2 Million are at the low end of the damage awards. If all the other bellwethers are less than 5 Million then the settlements will be based on severity of each case and fall somewhere in the middle. Judge Goodwin already stated that Bard will take the cases seriously in the settlement phase. He also warned the Plaintiffs to settle and NOT hold up the process. Judge Goodwin had single device cases tried as bellwethers to make settlements based on one device easier to factor as a benchmark. In the end you will see the process works and this will NOT turn into a frustrating disaster. My wife had three devices implanted and five repair and removal surgeries. I will not make the same mistake Dan Cisson made if ever given the chance. God has given me peace in my heart about this and all things work out for the good for those who love the Lord.

  12. Bill Thompson says:

    1) Bard has four bellwethers to complete
    2) Lori Cohen never lost a single case with 53 straight wins until Cisson Vs Bard
    3) Dan Cisson spoke to the jury and gave away his consortium rights lowering the monetary award to his wife.
    4) Donna Cisson had her surgery in Georgia with tort law giving the State 75% of the 1.75 Million punitive award.
    5) Queen trial settled because she was the worst of the four bellwethers and Bard avoided punitive damages.
    6) Judge Goodwin will have to appoint another case for bellwether in the Bard trials to once again have four.
    7) Lori Cohen will offer settlements to avoid punitive awards keeping the bellwether totals as low as possible.
    8) Bard is trying to avoid an Ethicon 11 Million jury award aka damage control.

  13. Bill Thompson says:

    Bard has been found guilty of having a defective product take peace in that fact. Ethicon attorneys keep saying that their product has NOT been found to be defective by a jury and they are encouraged by that fact. The Bard bellwethers are blazing a trail for all the brands and it will be great when it’s all said and done. Would I love to go to trial and tell our story yes I would. The fact is there are too many of us and it would take decades so bellwethers are the next best thing.

    • Betty says:

      Hi Bill,

      I liked how you wrote up the “bottom line” and I wonder if you have inside information on Judge Goodwin or just know more about him. I have been praying through this whole process and I too have a peace. God is in control and He is with us every step of the way. We have not been promised trial free lives. But our hope isn’t in this life. I would like my life back, but I will be OK overall either way. I do think that justice should prevail and the companies should be shown for who they are and what they are doing. It is unbelievable that criminal charges cannot be brought up. I too would like a chance to tell my story, however as you said it probably isn’t feasible. Mostly I hope that this process will STOP and the powers that be (at this point anyway) will be changed for the good of all. God is also a God of justice as well as compassion.

    • Bejah says:

      Bill, thanks for your insights. I too find them comforting. I must admit I know little about the law and this is a learning process for me.I have been very distressed about the thought of settlement, about the defense then being able to avoid any admission of guilt, etc. I worry that others are also distressed and so will find comfort in your perspective and clarification.

      In May Ethicon announced a sort of reorganization of itself and merging of two entities. The way in which this senior executive discusses this illustrates both their use of language “spin” and seems to show a real disconnect from reality. I do not have the impression that morale is very good in this organization either, but how could it be given what we have learned about it. It is interesting to me that they consider their customers to be surgeons and hospitals, not the people in whom their devices are placed!!!! Here is a little of an article on this with quotes from the Ethicon manager mentioned. It was reported by Matthew Arnold on May 8, 2013:

      Ethicon surgical products business is consolidating brands to present a single face to physicians and health systems. The rebrand reunites Ethicon Inc., with Ethicon Endo-Surgery, a manufacturer of medical devices and surgical implements specializing in minimally-invasive surgery.
      “We believe that by unifying these two iconic brands, we can fulfill this promise of delivering innovation and create a better experience for our customers by enabling a simpler and more productive way of working with us,” said VP, global strategic marketing Laura Angelini.
      “The US market is going through a lot of changes, with consolidation, verticalization and integration,” said Angelini. “The purchasing models are changing, becoming more and more concentrated in the hands of a few purchasing groups, and these people really demand a different interaction with suppliers and partners. This gives them access to our portfolio in a way that is simplified, easier for them to deal with, and really enables the partnership with the key accounts and institutions that we want to establish.”
      Customers associate Ethicon with partnership, trust and equity , said Angelini. They identified a “brand promise:” “Better surgery for a better world.” Fulfilling that, she said, rests on three pillars: continued innovation and delivery of market-appropriate products, improved access to care globally, and good works by employees and the company.
      Ethicon also adopted a new logo and visual template featuring a colorful spectrum representing “the optimism of better surgery and also the variety of the markets and conditions we deal with,” said Angelini. A red arrow represents “the ability of the company, which is by far the biggest medical device company in the world, to provide focus and attention and serve the needs of the customers and the patients .”
      The company launched the new brand identity internally at the beginning of the year.
      “Our people are the expression of our brand with our customers,” said Angelini. “The medical device business is such that our sales reps and commercial people around the world have a very direct connection with our customers, both surgeons and other stakeholders.” END

      Thanks again Bill for helping me to understand a little more how settlements work. I remain deeply troubled by the idea of the state taking 75% of the punitive award from Ms. Cisson. BTW there are many states that take that obscene percentage including mine, California. Also, for the record I ultimately blame Mrs. Cisson’s counsel for not advising her husband to NOT offer to give up consortium award. Mr. Cisson’s reasoning is so flawed and probably based on the level of stress he was experiencing. Who were their attorneys, by the way? I shall take your advice, or try to, and leave it in GOD’s hands, remembering too that HE helps those who help themselves. God Bless Us All.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Bill- I don’t think I would want to face you on the stand…..!!

    • jade says:

      Bill – I’m intrigued as to your knowledge of the legalities surrounding these trials. If the next C.R. Bard bellweather trial ends in settlement, does that mean that another case will be chosen to replace the replacement, as well? If so, this could go on indefinitely! Also, since they settled with Cisson – will they continue an appeal with Scott or just propose a settlement to her, as well? I am in total agreement with you that Cisson’s husband made a grave error in stating that he did not want to be compensated. Husbands of victims have suffered right along with them and should be rewarded for their loyal support of their spouses. They virtually stood by their loved ones day after day feeling helpless in their power to make things better for them. Husbands of victims lost their incomes, society, and peace as they stood watched their life partner suffer unspeakable pain. I commend all of these loyal spouses for their unyielding support and love. They deserve compensation. And, the victims deserve punitive damages from these manufacturers. C.R. Bard, Ethicon, J&J, American Medical, Boston Scientific SHOULD BE PUNISHED -these manufacturers don’t understand a “time-out” – the ONLY thing that matters to them is MONEY – that’s our ONLY WAY to punish them so that they remember NOT to EXPERIMENT on any other human being.

  14. Mary Pat says:

    Hi Bill, Jane, Betty and everyone,

    I am a Christian. I do believe God is in control. So why then, did our loving God allow us to become mesh victims? The doctor who implanted my mesh was a strong Christian. He quoted Bible verses and prayed with me. I trusted that doctor implicitly. He told me he was “stitching” my bladder up with a “special surgical thread that would be absorbed by my body, much like dissolving stitches.” I have been in living hell for 7 1/2 years as a result. The mesh hell that I have been through has eroded more than my body. It has eroded my faith, my marriage, my relationships and every aspect of my life. Like the rest of you, I am trying to come to terms with the permanent damage and chronic pain that I will live with for the rest of my life. I have had two mesh removal surgeries and one brutal mesh cutting on the exam table. Unfortunately, as you all know, 100% of the mesh cannot be removed so we continue to live with Foreign Body Response, structural damage, nerve damage and lymphedema which is also permanent. I can honestly say that so far in my life, nothing has taxed my faith like the mesh hell. I am 58 years old. We all know that by the time you are 58, you have faced health problems, death, loss….. I have been through a lot in my life, yet nothing has impacted me, knocked me down, like the mesh.

    Which brings me back to my original question: Why, oh WHY, did God allow this to happen to me, to us? I believe we were chosen to tell our stories and to do everything that we can possibly do to stop them from hurting others with mesh. So far, I have written letters to Oprah, Dr. Phil, the Solicitor General for the United States, Amnesty International and various elected officials. So far, the only one that even cares about the mesh victims is Jane Akre (thank you Jane). Somehow, some way, we, mesh victims and their families need to unite and let our voice be heard. That is my prayer for all of us. If we can stop them from hurting others, then at least our suffering will not be in vain.

    For starters, I am asking every mesh victim to file a complaint against the FDA with the U.S. Solicitor General. If they are bombarded with complaints, they will have to take action and investigate. The FDA should not have waived the post-market survey for the mesh makers. The post-market survey will reveal the ugly truth. I encourage you to file a complaint with the Solicitor General. You can do so on-line.

    Next, file a complaint with your state Attorney General. File a consumer protection complaint against the mesh makers.

    Does anyone know how to start a petition that we could all sign for Congress?

    I know we are all hurting and broken and barely functioning, but with God’s help we can find the strength to take action and stop them. “When you are weak I am strong” . God will be our strength.

    P.S. Jane – if you are ok with using your site for activists to present ideas for change, you could post this comment on the front page, as a feature “plea” where everyone will see it. Just a suggestion. Thank you so much for being the one and only journalist/news agency that actually cares about mesh victims. You really are our hero!

  15. Michelle says:

    Not all bellwhether cases are older women that cannot work. I was 36 when I had my mesh inserted. And by my 40th had spent 3 birthdays bedridden. I wonder what Bard will think when they hear a woman in her 30′s can’t have sex or stand anymore and can only get out using a mobility scooter. That’s 20 more years than some of these first cases. Time will tell.

  16. Mary Pat says:

    Correction, above I mistakenly stated that I filed a complaint with the Solicitor General. I meant to say it was the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

    Here’s how you can file a complaint against the FDA:

    The Office of Inspector General (OIG) receives the complaints against the FDA. OIG investigates the FDA. OIG is NOT part of the FDA. The Inspector General answers directly to President Obama. Daniel Levinson is the Inspector General. I filed a complaint on the OIG website, asking the OIG to inspect the fact that the FDA waived the requirement for mesh makers to do post market studies. In my opinion, that is criminal. Instead of revealing the truth and protecting citizens, the FDA aided and abetted the mesh makers. The Bard emails regarding the use of a plastic that was not suitable for the human body is clearly criminal.

    So mesh sisters and supporting family members, you can go to the OIG website. Here’s the website address and the things you need to click on:
    https://oig.state.gov/
    About OIG
    Contact Us
    Report Fraud/OIG Hotline
    Online OIG Hotline Form

    File your complaints against the FDA. My single complaint will be considered insignificant. If the Inspector General gets enough complaints, he will take action. That’s how it works. Squeaky wheels get oiled. I know mesh victims are hurting and broken and weak, but we need to muster up some energy to get the complaints filed. We need to unite and we need to take action. Please take the time and put forth the effort to file your complaints.

    Thank you and God Bless You.

  17. Bejah says:

    Michelle,

    I cannot begin to express my sorrow and rage over young women (and men) who have had this petroleum mesh put in their bodies, especially when we (humans) have known for years of its consequences. Many experts have openly stated that it should NEVER be used in younger women.

    I pray you find a way to get it all out of you and that you receive a very large award and do not have to wait 20 years while the defendants drag out appeals (I wonder how long they can do that…).

    Your surgeon and hospital should IMHO face charges of crimminal negligence. Maybe we should erect a virtual “Wall of Shame” and list all of the “medical professionals” and hospitals involved in this horror.

    I expect that the “market segment” the defendants were aiming at is “baby boomers” because of the characteristics of that demographic but they would victimize any person that would allow them to make more money. I think their sales people sell directly to surgeons too…not just to hospitals or purchasing agents…I have the impression they are even allowed in the operating rooms (Can someone confirm this)! How dare the hospitals show such lack of regard for our privacy. Do they think because we are unconscious they can do what they want, invite whomever they want into the surgery theater?

    Anyway, I am certain all of the older women victims would say that we are acutely aware of the circumstances younger women now face and understand probably more than any other group the depth of your despair and the dark cloud that has been cast over your future. Know that you young women are in our hearts and prayers. We fight for you and your children as much as for ourselves and our own families.

  18. jade says:

    http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2009-12-27/business/36791212_1_hot-dogs-sales-reps-surgeon

    I’ve always agreed that hospitals should be liable for allowing implantationg of these devices, as well as, the doctor and, of course the manufacturers. Manufacturers’ reps are usually present in the OR when their device is being used. Read the attached article and note the comment below contained in the article…..

    Richmond gynecologist Catherine A. Matthews said that’s a frightening argument. “They’re not in any way motivated to recommend what might be the best thing for the patient,” Matthews said. “They’re there to sell their product.”Doctors shouldn’t have to depend on reps for expertise, she added.

    In reading Dr. Jim Ross’ deposition, he admitted signing “Certification Certificates” when doctors took the weekend cadaver courses for implanting C.R. Bard’s mesh kits. These “certificates” were most likely used by the attending doctors (whether they passed or failed) to present to their hospitals as “proof” they were qualified to implant Bard’s mesh kits! If hospitals took these signed certificates from Bard (which, Dr. Ross implied didn’t hold much weight in his view – to the fact that he didn’t even know what the doctors used them for – although I think we all know) – I repeat, IF the hospitals took these signed certificates from Bard as a true Certification to allow those doctors to utilize these kits in their organizations on unsuspecting women without total disclosure – HOSPITALS SHOULD BE CRIMINALLY LIABLE for NEGLIGANCE. After all, hospitals were making BIG BUCKS on these surgeries and riping OFF our insurance companies with subsequent revision surgeries which shouldn’t have been needed IF a mesh implant was NOT used in the first place!

  19. George says:

    Jade,
    Great point! How we can convince the professional physicians organizations that they are knowingly doing harm to patients with these devices? Those groups have a lot of influence on hospital policy. G

    • Betty says:

      I agree. We need to find a way to educate the physicians at the ground level. As has been mentioned on this site, at this point there is little else offered to women except mesh products. To find a Dr. who knows what the MMK or Burch procedure are is next to impossible. If they do know, they have been trained that they are unreliable. The current Dr.’s are being trained in mesh and it requires much less education. They are also being sold a bill of goods that this is the “gold standard”. Just the fact that a Bard representative said it is not their responsibility to find a way to get the “mesh out” if there is a problem speaks to their ignorance. Some Dr.’s have stopped using the product, some never did, but I think the mass majority went after it. I’ve had Dr.’s tell me they don’t go by the FDA and it is unreliable. It is obvious that they do not report the complications to the FDA, much more lawsuits than reports!! The system needs to be overhauled, but how???

    • jade says:

      http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/product-liability-claims-medical-devices-29684.html

      The Potential Defendants in Your Case
      Make sure you include all potential defendants in your claim. Consider every person or entity involved in the “chain of distribution” of a medical device — that is, the path the medical device took from the manufacturer to the consumer.

      Manufacturer. Because of the huge market for medical devices and the technical challenges involved in developing new medical equipment, the manufacturer is typically a large company. This is generally good news if you’re seeking compensation for your injuries, although it is also true that these companies inevitably retain teams of high-priced lawyers to defend such cases.

      Testing laboratory. Include any testing laboratories that performed tests on the medical device, especially if they are independent of the manufacturer.

      Medical sales representative. Medical device manufacturers often make use of “sales reps,” who meet with doctors and other members of the medical community to tout the latest medical device and make recommendations regarding its potential applications. These representatives may be liable if they recommended the medical device that injured you.

      Doctor. The doctors who recommended the medical device may be liable based on their failure to warn you about potential dangers or to provide adequate instructions regarding the proper use of the medical device.

      Hospital or clinic. Any company, including a hospital or a clinic, that was part of the chain of distribution between the manufacturer of the medical device and you may be liable for your injuries.

      Retail Supplier. Although most medical devices are delivered to the patient directly by a doctor or a hospital, if you obtained the medical device that injured you from a pharmacy, drug store, or other retail supplier, that retailer is the final point in the chain of distribution of the medical device from the manufacturer to you and may also be liable.

  20. Jane Akre says:

    Since many of you asked- the trial schedule for Bard remains as set by Judge Goodwin.

    Here is the story:

    http://meshmedicaldevicenewsdesk.com/information-links-support/readers-resource-on-upcoming-wv-transvaginal-mesh-cases/

  21. Bejah says:

    Here is a “fun fact”…taken from article titled “Metal Hip Implant Lawsuit Settlements”
    By Attorney Joseph Saunders on January 14, 2013 5:31 AM.

    Although this concerns a different Johnson and Johnson “product” (I have this one in my body-hip replacement- in addition to the mesh) it is worth noting how JNJ as it is called by insiders handles its defense of its products. I am sure most of you know that this corporation routinely produces products that are defective and rakes in profits, while putting off law suits and probably calculating the percentages of payoffs or settlements against potential profits. There are charts available on the internet that list their payoffs in settlements and they are often in the billions of dollars….it is not the exception, it is a standard part of doing business to build in a cost center for liability….they do NOT care about you, they KNOW they are creating faulty products so lets stop acting like they made a mistake and are remorseful. They are NOT.

    Read the following line which would have direct application to our mesh concerns/cases…speaking of shock and awe!

    “The conduct of the companies in selling these metal hips without testing them and putting their own profits ahead of safety should qualify for punitive damages to punish them. However, in practice punitive damages are rarely collected because of a feeling among judges and politicians that they are unfair to business. In cases where jurors award punitive damages judges frequently reduce or take them away completely. I don’t agree with this but it is a fact in the legal system.”

    WHAT??? Unfair to business???? Should we assume this applies to our mesh litigation as well? Is that why states are allowed to take 75% of punative damages? I am speechless and disheartened.

  22. Betty says:

    LIFE IS NOT FAIR!! It is much like the question that George (I think it was George) brought up earlier that threw John Kerry (I believe) into a tizzy. Is a corporation people? Only politicians could see this as a very difficult question. They are looking for “PC” answers and not the truth. They want something that just sounds good to support their side. Truth has nothing to do with it. The events taking place in Syria are just inexcusable and yet the maiming goes on here unnoticed and uncovered (except for Jane – THANK YOU JANE!!!) We are expecting corrupt “businessmen” and “politicians” to “do the right thing”. This just isn’t realistic. I am just thankful that so far the juries have seen the truth and acted on it. I hope this continues to be the case every time. I share in your disinheartening – I doubt anything could keep me speechless (LOL). I am thankful that we still have somewhat of a free press. It is what allows Jane to print the truth. It isn’t easy to go forward and is becoming very expensive and self sacrificing. I am so thankful for Jane’s and others commitment to real journalism. God Bless each and every one of you. Hopefully together we will make a big difference!

  23. Eve says:

    I’m going for My first surgery on the 26th of this month, September 2013. I’m scared to death. I’m having the eroded mesh taken out. Then I have another surgery in November the 26th to have more put in to replace the eroded part. I’m not so sure I want this and I’m also not sure what the consequences might be if I choose not to, but after searching for “someone” to help and going one and one half hours one way to find physicians to help, I’m exhausted and cannot search any more. What do you suppose the compensation would be for this?

    • Bev says:

      Hi Eve;

      Sounds like you are going in for a partial removal.

      I have been through all of this.

      Do not allow a partial removal. Only allow a full and complete removal. If your Dr will not do then get to Dr Raz at UCLA medical. Google him.

      Partial removals cause more trouble and does not fix original issues. Just like having the mesh put in does not fix the issues just causes even more issues.

  24. Lynn says:

    Eve, why in this world would you have more mesh put in to replace the eroded part? Obviously, you are not in as much pain as I am. I had a monarch sling placed in Dec. 2011. I had erosion and pain. I have had two mesh removals surgeries. I am in my 40s and still hurt with what seems to be pudendal nerve problems in the groin and rectal area. Oh but the doctor that put the sling in said he didn’t get anywhere near the rectal area. What a liar. Please do not have anymore mesh put in.

  25. Mary pat says:

    Lynn,

    It seems that pudenal nerve problems are a common denominator for Monarc slings.
    I am trying to find out if anyone has had a Monarc completely removed. I’ve been told fhat the sling cannot be cut out of the hip sockets where it was anchored. Living with nerve damage is hell. I can’t imagine how much damage cutting mesh out of hip bones would cause. It is all so frightening.

  26. jade says:

    Has anyone ever tried BOTOX injections to alleviate ongoing pellvic spasms?

    • Betty says:

      Hi Jade,

      First, I have to ask – do you have all the mesh out? If not, Dr. Raz told me personally nothing can begin to help until all the mesh is out. If the mesh is out and you are having spasms botox can help (I get botox shots and they help a lot, but don’t last long enough). Botox paralyzes muscles which stops the spasms. I add that I’m in PT and some muscles are gaining some strength back, but the botoxed ones do not seem to be able to respond to the exercise as well – but hey, I couldn’t do any of it with the pain, so there is a balance to be had. I would also like to let you know that bladder spasms can be alleviated by levsin (hyomax) which is a very inexpensive old drug (over 40 years on the market). It does relax the bladder and can cause leakage to be worse. B&O (belladonna & opium) is a strong drug that is effective for very bad (9-12 out of 10 pain) bladder/urethra spasms. It is the only thing I found that works for that pain. Botox injections are very painful to get. Mine are done vaginally, like a trigger point injection. My Dr. botoxes the pudendal nerves interspaces, the obturator interspaces, and the vaginal wall muscle. The spasm relief – thus pain relief is amazing. The shots are horrendous to get and don’t last long for me. Also, Dr. Raz has told me that even though I’ve been diagnosed with pudendal neuralgia, I don’t have it. A portion of the pudendal nerve (the dorsal root) is near the area where the TVT is put in. That is why botoxing the pudendal nerve helps – it is affecting the branch of the nerve that is irritated or damaged. I hope this helps. I tried to be detailed, but this issue is so complicated!!!

      • jade says:

        Thank you SO much, Betty -
        Your detailed response does help. I’m truly an wholistic person (at least I was BEFORE the mesh). I am told that BOTOX will alleviate the spasms for about 6 months, but I would have to have general anesthesia EACH time. I have received transvaginal steroid injections before I went through my third revision surgery which was a partial removal. The first “revision” surgery was done by the implanting doctor, but he only cut the arms to try to release pressure. As we all know NOW, that doesn’t work. I am told that I have no more hope of removing any more since it is too dangerous. So, I’m left with these horrible pelvic spasms which include EVERYthing in the pelvic region into the rectum. I’m afraid to have the BOTOX because I think it will make me loose control of my bladder/rectum??? Also, the surgeon who did the partial removal said he would consider an alcohol injection to kill the trigger point spasms permanently. Did you every hear of that? When he did the steroid injections, he did those in the office and they were not too painful. So, I’m questioning why the BOTOX has to be done under anesthesia? Do you know why? The ongoing spasms are so horrible – I just want to get rid of them! I will investigate Levsin, Belladonna/Opium. What did they do to us???

        • Betty says:

          Hi Jade,

          I do not get my botox shots under anesthesia, I have heard that some do. My Dr. prefers to find the “hotspot” (the place that causes the most horrendous pain) and to give the shot there (it does sound and feel barbaric, but the relief is worth it). I do recommend you see Dr. Raz, he is amazing and goes where others fear to tread. I have not lost any control of my bowel or bladder from the botox, but it is on the sheet as a complication. Botox is still experimental for pelvic pain. The botox only lasts me 2 months of relief. Since you’re describing spasms that I had when I started on this horrible journey I recommend a vaginal suppository that my Dr. gave me. It has 2.5mg’s of valium, 50ml of lidocaine and 10mg’s of flexeril, it’s a compounded drug. It gave me great relief from spasms while the mesh was still in. The only downside was that I couldn’t drive when I took one of them because they slowed down my reaction time. Other than that I didn’t notice any other side effect. Valium is a good drug for spasms, but it isn’t meant for long term use. 2.5mg’s is a low dose so safer. Long term use (10mgs 3 x’s a day) can cause memory issues. I’ve read up on the alcohol injection, they use it to kill nerves. My favorite Dr. is afraid of them and from what I read they don’t seem like a great idea. They are also very painful. Botox at least is temporary and does not cause any permanent issues, it wears off, alcohol injections are permanent. I read someone had a big problem with a botox injection, but I’m wondering if it was the botox itself, or who gave the injection and the way it was done. These big pharmas got us into a complete painful mess. Not enough Dr.’s know how to deal with these issues, they are being lied to by those in “authority” and the good ones take months to get into. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. It is a sad commentary on today’s medicine, but we really do need to know everything that we can learn – I know a lot more than many Dr.’s I’ve seen. The suppository may be a cheaper and easier relief system for now. Also, pain meds can help with this as well, I keep a journal where I log everything I take, the time, etc. I was very afraid of addiction. I’ve stopped the narcotics 3 times so far and really haven’t suffered withdrawal. I’ve been told by my docs that you only get a high on narcotics if they are not going to pain. I’ve not taken enough ever to get a “high”. When the botox is working I can almost be normal with no pain meds, when it wears off I go to too high a dose of pain meds. Any we have to take to relieve pain is too much. I hope this helps. There is so much confusing intormation out there. I’ve learned more from my mesh friends than any other source. At the very least, questions to ask. Jane can give you my email if you want to talk further on this.

  27. jade says:

    Hi, Betty – Agin, Thank YOU! You are correct that we learn MORE valuable info from our “mesh-sisters” than any doctor. Before I had my partial removal, my implanting surgeon put me on narcotics – I was a mess. And, he also put me on valium – which I just cryied on ALL the time. And, the valium made me loose control of my bladder, especiallly when I tried to walk. I was SO embarrassed. My Dr. suggested the valium suppositories – but I’m still trying to work and I cannot afford to lose time off. I will try to convince my Dr. to do the BOTOX without sedation since you are doing it that way. Maybe I can have her speak with Dr. Raz who is doing your injections. Do you have his contact information? I know she said I had to be awake for her to determine the trigger points, but sedated for the actual injection. I just do NOT want anymore sedation after ALL I’ve endured. I’m sure you understand. God Bless you for your help. If there is anything I can do for you, please feel free to ask. You are GREAT!

    • Betty says:

      Hi Jade,

      Dr. Raz isn’t doing my injections, but he does do them. Mine are done by Dr. Childs @ Brookwood Medical Center in Birmingham, AL – he is a pelvic pain specialist. He is a great Dr. and very hard to get into. All the great ones are. Blessings, I hope you can find something that will help with the awful spasms! Dr. Childs number is 800-624-9676. He is @ the C. Paul Perry Pelvic Pain Foundation. I don’t know where you live, but a large number of women are seeing him from all over.

  28. jade says:

    Hi, Betty – Thank you so much. I will try to see IF my Dr will do them without sedation and give her your physician reference. It is always encouraging to hear that there is some relief (even though short) to help us through this nightmare.

  29. jade says:

    Another settlement (this time pre-trial) from C.R. Bard. This is good news!

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-14/bard-said-to-settle-vaginal-mesh-case-set-for-trial.html

  30. annonamous says:

    Most people out there think the only people affected are old biddy ladies who dnt have much longer to live or less quality lives. I dnt cate how old you are no one shld go through this hell!! I was 26 when my life was ruined

    • Jane Akre says:

      You are correct- I personally believe that this issue is not getting widespread media coverage is that older women are written off if they are outside of their “prime’…. BS …. we are at our prime! Just a personal opinion.

  31. annonamous says:

    In my case i may be the youngest victim yet. i hate how doctors an hospitals treat you not wanting to put the blame on mesh! Luckiky i found a good doctor now who was smart enough to get me further testing and help. this has been a nightmare its ruining my life!! I am luky my husband is sticking around because im not much use anymore in all areas!! I am in constant pain an constantly sick i just want to get all of this out an get on with my life! I have been battling this sickness an pain for 3 years feels like eternity to me! I truly feel for all women going through this young or old (im well below 30)

  32. TVT in TN says:

    Thank God I found this website. I got a call from my attorneys office today to give me an update. Actually spoke to the attorney that does the review and keeps us with what is going on with all the “vaginal mesh” cases and what the manufactures are doing. He spent almost an hour on the phone with me explaining a lot of the things you all have been discussing.

    EVE, whatever you do please do not let them put mesh in to replace mesh. I had my first TVT-Gynecare in 2007, the procedure went fine, I did feel like I had pulled muscles in my groin area but it was the position my legs were in at the time of the surgery and the pain went away. However, after about a year and a half, I started have SUI symptoms again. During an annual exam I mentioned this to my OBGYN, she said she could do another TVT because it seems the right side felt like it pull loose. I said I’d wait to see how bad it begin. In February 2011, I started having more frequent periods. I was 44 then, they did ultrasounds after it became heavy and lasted 21 days out of the month. I had fibroids, so I elected to schedule a hysterectomy. I also mentioned the SUI again, and my OBGYN said she’d do the TVT at the same time. I said ok. On the morning of the surgery something inside me said, “Don’t get the TVT done.” I thought I was just scared because the commercials about the slings had just started coming on TV. I asked her about it before I went in and she said that it was the pelvic slings not the TVT that I was getting and for me not to sweat it. Needless to say, always listen to your gut instincts. I was put in my hospital room for overnight observation and after the cath came out and I voided my OBGYN came in and asked how I felt. I told her honestly I hated hospitals and felt I’d rest better at home so she let me go home that day without having to stay in the hospital. Little did I know that one week and 2 days later I had the worse UTI in the world so I thought. My hubby took me to ER and my temp was 102.9 it took broad spectrum antibiotics and a pain pump for 4 days before I was released, then more problems from the meds in the hospital and pain in my perinium area I couldn’t take. I could barely walk and when I went back to her she put me on Lyrica but that did nothing. Pain meds were all I could take and can’t function on those. She sent me to physical therapy which the tens unit eased the pain briefly but the PT had to do some inside work trying to stretch things out and it was a nightmare. So my OBGYN decided to do shots of lidocaine. I wanted to jump off the table but for a whole 2 hrs was numb. I thought I was fixed. NOT. The pain came back fast and furious and I was scheduled for another shot the next week. When I got there I said I cannot do it again. She examined me, the pain was mainly on left side where she made the incision to anchor the TVT. She decided to go in and cut the tape there and because we had tried to have intercourse and I had pain she cut me just inside and to the left of my vagina in hopes of easing the tension of the tape (I assume). She said it should compromise the tapes effectiveness. So the next day I was in for my first revision. After that the pain was the same with no relief and still bleeding from what I assumed was the hysterectomy. I had to call every 10 days for a refill of pain meds (and I hate them with a passion) the nurse was not friendly at all they make you feel like an addict and I explained that I still had major pain in my perinium area. I was sent back to Physical Therapist no relief and asked her what I should do. I have a cousin that went to an OBGYN in Knoxville in TN and there is a pelvic floor specialist there. My cousin said you need the advice of a specialist. The physical therapist agreed. I called and they were able to get me in the next week. I called to speak to my OBGYN but the nurse said I had to tell her what I wanted because the doctors just don’t call their patients. I told her that I was going to go to a Pelvic Floor Specialist for a second opinion and would like to speak with my OBGYN so they could work together. Needless to say no one called me back. When I got to the Dr. Dell at Generations OBGYN he was the most caring and compassionate doctor I had met. He spoke with me first asking about everything I had gone through then examined me he could barely touch me and felt the mesh was coming through my vaginal wall. He scheduled me for a removal within weeks. He went in and took “as much of the mesh out he could ‘safely’ remove”. Because I had mesh from previous TVT it was impossible to get it all. He said we’d know within 6-9 months if my nerve pain was permanent. Needless to say it is. I sit on a heating pad a good bit of my day. Have no sex life at 46. I was looking for a job before this was going on I am a paralegal. I kept looking but decided between my pain and the problems I continued to have I couldn’t and can’t return to work. I started having problems in April of 2012 with getting diarrhea and sometimes vomiting from the pain. I had a full gastro work up that found nothing and the gastro told me to go back to Dr. Dell and tell him to go in laproscopically to see if there was something going on causing this. Dr. Dell went back in this past April and he had scheduled a 30 minute surgery that ended up taking close to 2 hrs. He said that all my pelvic organs were covered with scar tissue so bad he’d never seen anything like it and removed all he could and he would have removed my ovaries if it wasn’t for me asking him not to unless he saw a tumor on them and had to take them. He feels like the infection after my initial surgery played a role in this and the surgeries that had to be performed after the initial one. He said the scar tissue could always come back and I could end up losing my ovaries if it did. This however, didn’t help with the problems I had after eating and still do but never know when it will hit. Sometimes I get sick sometimes I don’t. I think it’s from my body rejecting what mesh I still have in my body because the pain is very low in my pelvic area after I eat. The doctor has me on pain management and valium to relax the pelvic floor. I spend most my days and nights on a heating pad and can’t sit in one position very long. Car rides are even hard on me. It has been a nightmare that I don’t wish on anyone.

    These manufacturers should pay and be punished for their negligence. I don’t believe the doctors are so much to blame because the sales rep didn’t fully inform them. I’ve been with my OBGYN for years and was very close to her and if she knew of these risks she would have disclosed them to me. I know I have probably written more than I should have but I just had to let Eve know whatever she does DO NOT let her doctor put more mesh in her.

    My pelvic floor specialist is now seeing patients from all over and aiding in helping them. I am so glad he was close enough to see and he explains everything in detail what he is going to do and what is going on every step of the way. The last surgery was horrible. I have to say if felt like rug burn in my pelvic and lower abdominal area for weeks after the surgery. I will pray for justice and hope this Judge is as fair as I have heard he is. If it comes to settlements they better be between the low and high end of these bellwhether cases. Not that any amount could fully compensate most of us. I have come to the conclusion that I may have to file for disability at this point. Which was something I never wanted to do. I am too young for this not that older women are less important or less sexually active for that matter. But I could have had 20+ years of working ahead of me.

    It is truly criminal what these manufacturers get away with and also TORT REFORM for our states. Who are they protecting. This is a manufacturer of a bad device they knowingly marketed and sold. Not a doctor or an individual. This whole ordeal has made me have to go on antidepressants as well. I feel most the time even know I love being a paralegal, that it’s a “Legal System” and not a “Justice System” especially in cases like ours. I pray for the best for all of us. (I apologize in advance for any bad grammar or typos. It’s late and I’m a little emotional after reading everyone’s comments.

    Blessings.

  33. TVT in TN says:

    I just wanted to add that Ethicon has been sued in Nevada (I believe) and the plaintiff won 11.11 million. I don’t have the case link, but I had read about it a few months back. I believe most the manufacturers are opting to consider settling as many cases as they can, but J&J/Ethicon are saying the jurors didn’t say they had a defective product so they weren’t willing to settle even though they have 11,000+ cases against them. I say try them. If they don’t want to settle I’d be glad to meet them in a court room as would my husband. But I’d say after their next trial they will be wanting to settle too.
    Blessings.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Please go to the search bar on Mesh News Desk and type in Linda Gross. Mesh News Desk has been following lawsuits as they wind through the court. You will see the entire case there including evidence that was presented. It was New Jersey.

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We hope you find this a helpful resource. National News Editor, Jane Akre, began MDND with the hope of providing the latest news, information and perspective from the regulatory, industry and patient point of view, something that goes under-reported in much of the coverage of medical devices. The public is just now becoming aware that many devices do not undergo the same scrutiny as prescription drugs and are instead grandfathered in under an FDA loophole that has gone largely unchanged since the 1970s. As a result, patients become the post-market clinical trial subjects, and many suffer devastating and permanent injuries.