I woke up early this morning thinking about the woman who had her bladder removed yesterday all because of a mesh implant and I hope she is okay. It is too soon to know how she is and I will wait and see just like everyone else. But I also began thinking of the disillusionments of lawsuits and I decided to put it all into perspective.
These implants are happening to women all over the world, but the difference in this country is that the TV adverts by lawyers when someone is injured by a medical device or a drug, lulls us into a false state of security. While we are well and not injured by a medical device, we are lulled into a safe belief that if we become one of the injured, there will be justice for us and our families. But once we are in it, we learn slowly and we become totally disillusioned by the whole process.
When this happened to me in March 2010, I did not just run right out to find a lawyer. My first belief was that my doctor would do all she could to help me until I was better. Although many things happened that shouldn’t have, during the four months I was on post-op including a second surgery, I hung in thinking I would get well and go back to the normal life I was leading at the time. At that time I still hung on to the belief that doctor’s would help me in my time of need. When that did not happen and I was out of money and prospects of getting well. I became disillusioned and angry. I did not know where to turn or what to do.
I looked at all my options in my own State and soon learned there wasn’t any medical help for someone injured by an implant. Getting on disability was going to take me longer than waiting for my Medicare to kick in, which was at the time, two years and three months from the time of my implant surgery. So I had to make a plan while I waited and that included taking a whole lot of supplements to try to ease the pain and stay as healthy as possible.
I also began working on a career as a milliner and I began designing my own patterns and writing books about hats and headpieces, to keep my mind occupied and feel less stressed. I also sold some pieces to pay for the supplements I needed which made me feel useful. It wasn’t always easy to stay focused on something other than my pain, but part of living is also an ability to ease any mental stress you are dealing with and that is how I eased mine. I was lucky that I could sit because my implant damaged my femoral nerve. I say lucky because for other women, it damages their pudendal nerve and their injuries are the opposite of me. They can walk and do things I can’t do, but daily living means it becomes a huge struggle when you can’t sit.
In-between designing I wrote blogs just because it too eased the mental stress I was under. I went through more anguish when I fell and cracked two bones in my wrist and I could not design or make anything for weeks. I knew then I had to face the fact than I needed a walking stick to try to stop myself from falling. Later I had to admit I needed a walker and all of this caused me more anguish and more anger.
When I began talking to women about what happened to them, I realized things could always be much worse, but I thought that signing up with a lawsuit was going to bring me justice and my long lost funds from paying cash for my original surgery and my injuries. I lived in that lull for a long time because in October 2012 I began a very long ordeal of getting mesh removed and then trying to repair my body from the damage it had caused for a long time. I did not even begin to feel I was going to make it until 2014 and only then after I had taken so many supplements I often felt that I rattled with them.
Feeling better was dulled by all I was learning about those who made money from our bad situation and used us to help themselves. I struggled with that knowledge but finally realized I could not sit on the truth and remain quiet. I knew opening up would rattle feathers, but there is more to lawsuits than I ever thought possible. So I told what was going on about lawsuit loans and the people who use us as stepping stones for bettering their own lives.
I did not really do much reading on lawsuits until a year ago when I began feeling stronger. I am not one for burying my head in the sand and I wanted to learn more and understand what I could do for my future. As I read and digested facts, I became even more disillusioned by the whole process. When I signed up, I read the paperwork and I believed that one day I would see justice. However, I had no idea that thousands upon thousands of women would also be signing up and I would become one of a giant bucket of crabs, trying to find a way out of the bad situation I was in with an unfounded belief of a complete expectancy of justice because I believed in the system of justice.
I was not under any illusion that I would see justice overnight. I knew it may take years. However when I looked into it in a deeper way, I realized not only would our lawyers let us all down by accepting low amounts of money to share with many other women, but they will come out of this far better than any injured woman. The reason is, the more women you sign up the higher the payment regardless of the expenses you put out. Most lawyers take 40% of the payout which we first think the 60% left is quite good, even though we accept there will be fees to come out of our ‘share’. But what our lawyers don’t tell us is that they add more expenses by going to the judge and asking for more money to be taking out from every woman’s settlement for a fund to be used for catastrophic cases. Then you would have to fight with all the other injured crabs out of an amount far less than should have been paid in the first place. And there are no guarantees you will get anything after more work you have to do to prove your injuries.
Not only that but when we sign up, we have no idea that the greedy insurance companies who collect fees every month for us to have this insurance would be standing in line to collect from OUR share and worse yet our government would do the same! Yes, the very government who approved implants that have not been tested in women, BEFORE approval by them, would also allow any Tom, Dick or Harry doctor to put them in as many women as possible either with or without their informed consent. Then our ‘paid for’ while working Medicare money, would also want to collect back from any surgeries resulting in complications from said implants. What the hell kind of system is this?
If you are living on a fixed income of Medicare in retirement, it will not pay for any more than 80% of any surgery or doctor visit, so you are forced to pay out for an insurance policy to cover the extra 20% and that also comes out of your small income. So now you have two groups wanting part of your settlement that you were totally unaware of before you signed up with a lawsuit. Why is this not disclosed by our lawyers at the very beginning? I can tell you why, because we would all raise hell at this injustice and they would not gather all these clients.
I also want to know this. Lawyers make us do discovery before they accept us as clients, or at least they SHOULD do this before our cases are filed. That discovery is really hard to do when you are trying to wade through finding a doctor who can remove the implant that is causing havoc with your body. These lawyers are supposed to be aware of what can happen to women, BEFORE they accept a low ball offer from a manufacturer. They also had the first cases to review that were settled back in 2008, with a smaller group of injured women, so they KNEW that many woman would wind up having many surgeries and live with disabilities long after the mesh implant. Why did they not take this into consideration when they negotiated with the morons who make these implants? They aren’t blind, they know what is going on!
They also know that these companies could settle for much more money per woman, because I have read all about how they spend millions and billions on buying up other companies and acquire new ones to grow into giant Pharmaceutical monsters. I have also read plenty of bullshit about a company may be going bankrupt if they ask for more. Isn’t this what their medical malpractice insurance is for? If they are not punished in some way for these crimes to humanity, then they can do even more damage to the people of the world, without ANY consequence. These manufacturers also know that by not going to trial with every case, most women who are severely injured will never see their day in court. By not going to trial some of these companies saved even more millions by not paying lawyers to defend their actions and the lawyers accepted a pittance for lifetime injuries. They took the easy way out and left women high and dry. Is that justice?
Not only this, but once our lawyer has accepted an offer on our behalf, which we have absolutely NO say in or are a part of, they sit back and wait while companies take over and review us like we are animals, not worthy of paying much money for our injuries. This is called a MATRIX system.
We don’t think about being judged when we sign up for a lawsuit, let alone that judging will come from strangers who will review everything we have done in our lives and not about the IMPLANT which should be the center of scrutiny, not we, the injured party. I was quite shocked when I was asked to sign away my medical records, NOT just the ones concerning the mesh implant which they already had, but ANYTHING from my past including any psychiatric records and anything to do with sexual diseases I may have had treatment for. I DON’T have any records for either of these, but it made me furious because this had NOTHING TO do with implants that have NEVER been tested before they are put into our bodies. WE are instantly condemned by our past. We should not be on trial by strangers who review us as NOTHING MORE THAN LIARS AND SCAMMERS. That is what I think about the whole MATRIX way of deciding who is worth what and how little money we should receive, based on our past, not on the implant itself.
Instead of giving us points for our injuries and funding us for that damage, points are then taken away until we are left to deal with the mess we live in NOW without any decent funds to cover it.
What happened to the innocence of those who were implanted WITHOUT their full knowledge and informed consent? Why is that not being addressed?
Why is there a cutoff date and then nothing will be paid out after that date, REGARDLESS of any future surgeries or after care? Do they believe this does not affect our future?
Why are these giant companies literally getting away with murder?
Then you have the disgusting people like Jane Akre and Aaron Horton who set up websites to lure women into believing they are doing good things, while all along they are making money from lawyers, doctors and loan companies and they are not punished by luring women into traps. Then women get kicked out of their lawsuit because they were lulled into a false belief of do-gooders who are actually predators.
I am very grateful for Reuters News for writing about the loan lawsuit rip off side of these lawsuits, but I wish someone would write about the bottom line figures of the aftermath of a medical implant lawsuit. Or write about those who are left disabled without money for carers. Without the ability to have sex with their partner. Those partners are also disillusioned because they will receive nothing and they are left to pay all the bills. Why doesn’t someone write about why our lawsuit system is geared towards the betterment of those who injure with their implants, rather than towards the future of the injured party?
My last question is this. What kind of points will be given to a woman who has had her bladder removed because of an implant? Doesn’t her husband deserve his day in court to share all he has watched his wife go through and how much it costs him to help her get through it and he too be compensated? What will her children be paid for growing up without a mother who could be the completely healthy mother they deserved? The answer is nothing of course.
That is why I am so disillusioned at this present time, but at least I got it out of my system by writing about what an unfair world we live it when we are injured by a medical implant.
I rest my case.