Medical Malpractice Attorneys
The first step is to check on the statute of limitations in your state. I recommend contacting an attorney because there are many factors that vary from state to state as to when your injury occurred and the date you must file a lawsuit. If too much time has passed, you can’t take legal action. However, you may be able to file a complaint against your doctor with your state's American Medical Association.
Finding the right medical malpractice attorney to work with is not easy. I recommend interviewing two to four firms to be sure you have the right fit.
To Find An Attorney
I checked with friends and neighbors for recommendations. The Internet might be helpful too.
I made an appointment and took my daughter and all the current paraphernalia that I was using. The nighttime pad I was using because of the total incontinence at the time looked like a doll baby’s mattress. The rubber catheter for draining the bladder was about a foot and a half long. I took it out and spread across the table in front of me. This personalized it for the attorney. He and his medical assistant came in and listened to my story.
In my experience, the settlement is split - 60% to the attorney and 40% to you. You will likely be responsible for additional expenses. Ask if the fee is negotiable. Ask what typical expenses may be. My portion ended up being about 30% of the settlement after expenses and medical liens.
As I understand it, medical liens are asserted by medical providers who provided your medical products or services. Most states require your attorney to pay any medical liens from the proceeds of any settlement in a lawsuit. Surprise, surprise…no one mentioned this or if they did, I forgot.
Once you find the right attorney, the work begins!
I had to make a list of doctors I had seen for the last five years and complete questionnaires about each. I signed releases for each doctor. I literally spent hours on paperwork. KEEP COPIES of everything you do. My firm had a local medical assistant. This was helpful because she knew many of the facilities and doctors.
It was important to have legal medical experts and their opinions to support my claim. My attorney flew out-of-state to interview and question the expert (EXPENSES!) and interviewed all of the key doctors. This took process took months.
Next is the deposition, which is the process of giving sworn testimony. The attorney should prepare you. I was told to answer only the question; do not volunteer any information; and if you don’t remember, say so. Both your attorney and the doctor’s attorney can ask you questions. I took a friend with me for moral support. The deposition was nerve-wracking!
The next step is mediation. Mediation defined by http://adr.findlaw.com/ is:
Mediation cases are a private and informal way of settling a
dispute without relying on a legal judgment issued by a judge
or jury. The parties involved in mediation meet with a neutral
third party to reach a mutual agreement.
The mediator, in my case, was a retired attorney at $200/hour. Our room had my attorney, my friend and I. Their room had the doctor, her attorney, and her insurance adjuster. We started with a high figure, which the mediator took to them, which they discussed. The mediator came back with a very low counter offer which we discussed. We broke for lunch and continued until mid-afternoon. Back and forth with offers and counter offers. I wasn’t sure I wanted to settle, however, my attorney and the mediator convinced me that a court hearing scheduled seven months away had no guarantees. The settlement was my best option.
At the end of the day, it seems like everyone knew when the process started what the outcome would be but me. REALLY!! Also when there appears to be closure, and you want to refuse the offer, the attorney may not want to wait longer.
A good summary of all of the TVM bellwether lawsuits (18 awards to plaintiff and 6 to defendant) since 2012. It also provides links to where proceedings are against the specific manufacturers farther down in the article
Class Action Lawsuit
There have been multiple class actions suits concerning mesh and mesh procedures. This page is a short recap and status report. IT IS A S-L-O-W PROCESS.
I received my lien check today (11/1/2016) for Boston Scientific, which closes that lawsuit. At this time, Ethicon has not gone to court.
These two sites are excellent sources of information. Visit frequently.
In January 2012, the FDA issued postmarket surveillance study orders – called 522 orders– to all manufacturers of urogynecological surgical mesh products. After the FDA issued the orders, some mesh manufacturers quietly withdrew their products from the market.
A spokesperson for Ethicon, Matthew Johnson, denied that the decision was based on safety concerns. He told Bloomberg, “We continue to have confidence in the safety and efficacy of these products.”
One of the first transvaginal mesh jury verdicts came after Christine Scott sued C.R. Bard over her Avaulta mesh implant. She had eight surgeries after the mesh cut through her colon and caused other problems. Scott was awarded $5.5 million, including $500,000 awarded to her husband because the product ruined the couple’s sex life.
Legal challenges to seven major mesh manufacturers — American Medical Systems, Boston Scientific, C.R. Bard, Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon, Coloplast Corp., Cook Medical and Neomedic — were consolidated into separate multidistrict litigations (MDLs) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. Chief Judge Joseph R. Goodwin is presiding over all six MDLs.
More than 75,921 lawsuits are included in the seven MDLs, and thousands more are being filed in state courts. Cases for the Mentor ObTape vaginal sling were consolidated in a separate MDL in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, presided over by Judge Clay D. Land.
Individual states are filing lawsuits against medical companies, including Kentucky, Washington, and California Attorney Generals.