Q: I am part of a mesh lawsuit for organ prolapse
I will receive a settlement for the physical damages done to my body thus far. Anything further that occurs to my body physically in the future is too bad. I have chosen to not have a revision surgery at this time. The pain I feel is tolerable. However, I know that I face more issues, physically, in the future. My question is this. What about my emotional pain? The fact that I cannot have normal sexual relations leaves me alone. I'm unable to exercise like I once did and that is affecting my health. I suffer from depression and chronic fatigue. I struggle with grief and loss of a life I once had and a life I now must accept. Just the stress of knowing that this mesh WILL cause more issues for me down the road and knowing that all my life is worth is about 8k. The doctor who did this surgery knew it wouldn't come back on him. The mesh companies are still making millions even with the lawsuits and attorneys are making money off the destruction of my entire life.
A: If you do not have your own attorney for this, you should get one. If you do have one, this is a question for them.
Joanne Reisman agrees with this answer
If you received a settlement and aren't talking to an attorney, I suspect that what happened is you became part of a class action when you got notified and didn't take steps to opt out of the class action. When there are class actions there is an agreement to settle the case and everyone represented in the class gets the amount agreed on. But normally there is a notification that is sent to the proposed members of the class, probably from a list of people who got this procedure, and the recipients can elect to opt out of the class and do their own lawsuit for a different amount of damages.
What you need to do is find all your paperwork that relates to the settlement you received and contact an Oregon Attorney who handles pelvic mesh lawsuits and find out if you have any rights to further damages. It may be that you have accepted a final settlement. In Oregon there is no such thing as two settlements for a lawsuit, one for physical damage and a subsequent one for emotional damage. There is just one settlement, usually involving a release that you have to sign, and then you are done. But there could be a voluntary payment that doesn't involve signing a release.
Also in these class actions there are sometime multiple defendants and the settlement payments come in separately from the defendants. If this is what is happening you may be getting more payments.
If you are represented by an attorney, then you need to be asking that attorney all your questions, or seek out another attorney familiar with these cases for a second opinion. Just be aware that sometimes settlements are lower than what one would hope because the defendant has filed bankruptcy and there simply is a limit to how much money can be paid to the litigants due to the bankruptcy. I don't know if that is a factor in the pelvic mesh cases. But even if a bankruptcy hasn't been filed, it is sometimes threatened, and that can lead to a settlement that may seem low to the victims.
There is no reason you can't find a loving relationship that doesn't require painful sexual intercourse. It may be harder to find someone but it isn't impossible and I know couples that are happily married although one or the other has issues that prevent them from having normal sexual relations. Relationships can survive without intercourse. Don't give up.
There are advancements in medical procedures all the time. I would continue to investigate revision surgery or other medical treatments that will help relieve your suffering. I know that there have been problems removing the mesh from the articles I have read. But I wouldn't give up. There is often one doctor that will come up with a better way of solving a problem. Just keep looking for that doctor.
I don't know about your exercise limitations, but if you haven't tried swimming you might want to consider it. The buoyancy factor of the water might make it more comfortable for you to exercise.
I found these link that appear to explain better what is going on:
Apparently this isn't a class action, but rather it is a bunch of separate lawsuits that have been consolidated. There are several manufacturers who are being sued.
It says that some manufacturers have settled while litigation continues against others. I suspect that you joined on with a law firm that is handling these types of cases and you may have just received a pro-rata share of one of these settlements.
The attorneys involved are still fighting what are called "Bellweather" suits against the defendants which means that they are trying to get a jury to decide in one case that the manufacturer in question was negligent for having produced and sold this device. Once they can get a decision by a jury that there is negligence in one suit, they can try to use that same decision to fast track the decisions in other cases still pending, by saying that this same defendant can't put them through proving the issue of liability in subsequent lawsuits because the first lawsuit already proved this element. This concept is called "res judicata". But it isn't a complete solution because in lawsuit 2 there is a different Plaintiff with different damages will still need to be proven and the attorneys defending the case can still argue that Plaintiff #2 did something that contributed to their damages. Also a jury decision against one manufacturer defendant isn't binding on other manufacturer defendants.
So you need to talk to the lawyer or lawyers you are working with as to how your specific case fits into the big picture of what is going on in all these lawsuits. Just know that when one defendant settles, your payment may be limited to your pro-rata share of the total settlement amount so there can't be an adjustment for your particular damages. (There may be a formula that assesses the severity of the injuries and people get different amounts based on how their injury is rated.)
Ask your lawyer how many more defendants there are that might bring you a settlement or more damages. That is probably what is still going on. But be prepared that if the case is settled, the amount you can receive will be limited to a prorata piece of the money pot.
Typically the lawyers in these cases make literally millions of dollars because they are taking a contingency piece of the entire settlement pot. To some degree this is justified because they took a lot of risk and invested a lot of money to push the case forward. But it can also seem unfair when the people who were injured can small settlements. One has to be very careful in picking a law firm to represent one in these types of mass medical product lawsuits. Some law firms are more considerate of their client's recovery then others.
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