Pelvic Mesh Lawyer Claims Settlements are “Puny”

By USClaims

Although the claims from the pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation (“MDL”) have begun to settle, attorneys from the leadership committee have asked the federal court overseeing the claims to set aside 5 percent of the awards for common benefit fees and expenses. Since the pelvic mesh settlements have already exceeded $7 billion, this would mean that about $360 million would be distributed among the law firms. At least two law firms, however, are opposing the request, claiming the federal cases have settled for “puny” amounts, especially as compared to jury awards in state and federal courts which were in the multi-million-dollar range.

 

Average Settlement Amount to Be About $40,000

These firms claim that the average award for these settled claims will be about $40,000, despite the fact that the average award for the pelvic mesh claims which went to trial was almost $10 million. One attorney, Shanin Specter, claimed that the leaders in this litigation did the “worst possible thing to the detriment of all plaintiff mesh victims and their attorneys: they settled their inventories way too cheaply, making it difficult for other attorneys to settle their cases reasonably.”

 

Did the Leadership Team Take on Too Many Cases?

Allegations have also been made that the leadership team took on far too many cases to effectively handle, therefore the discounted settlements were a product of the sheer number of claims. While taking on too many cases was not necessarily bad for the “leadership team”—since many small fees on small settlements still amounts to a large amount for the attorneys—the women involved were “mistreated” by the low settlements. The pelvic mesh MDL consisted of seven consolidated litigations against some of the largest medical product manufacturers in the country, totaling more than 37,299 cases.

 

Pelvic Mesh Implants Lead to Serious and Painful Complications

Discomfort following childbirth, or those resulting from the aging process (pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence) were expected to be alleviated by pelvic mesh implants. Unfortunately, for many women, these pelvic mesh implants led to even more painful, more serious complications. Some women who received pelvic mesh implants experienced mesh erosion through the lining of the vagina, leading to excruciating pain, nerve damage and infection. Still others found themselves having to undergo multiple surgical procedures in an attempt to remove the pelvic mesh from the body. In fact, the FDA received thousands of adverse event reports reflecting pelvic mesh complications.

 

Complication Rates of Pelvic Mesh Much Higher Than Manufacturers Claimed

Although pelvic mesh manufacturers told women and their doctors there was only a 1-2 percent chance of erosion, the International Urogynecology Journal cited a much higher mesh erosion complication rate. Other independent studies also found much higher rates of erosion, making it clear that mesh erosion and other adverse health issues are not rare occurrences among women with pelvic mesh implants.

 

Pelvic Mesh Manufacturers Blame Surgical Techniques

Pelvic mesh manufacturers have attempted to lay the blame squarely on surgeons, claiming faulty surgical techniques were to blame for the high number of poor outcomes, however it is doubtful that poor surgical techniques could be to blame when pelvic mesh problems occurred more than a month after the surgery. Plaintiffs with pelvic mesh claims asserted the manufacturers of the pelvic mesh deliberately misled the FDA and the medical community regarding the safety and effectiveness of pelvic mesh products. By 2012, the FDA had reclassified pelvic mesh as a “high-risk” device, with many women saying that not only had their original issues not been relieved, but that they also suffered many more adverse symptoms following the surgery.

 

Helping Clients Who Suffered Pelvic Mesh Injury

Clients injured as a result of an operation using pelvic mesh may find themselves with medical expenses they are unable to pay, and could also be unable to work due to the severity of the symptoms. USClaims can help your clients pay their medical and other expenses related to pelvic mesh problems in anticipation of a court judgment or settlement. Call 1-877-USCLAIMS today for the information you and your clients need and deserve.