Transvaginal Mesh Settlement Announced

$830 MILLION TRANSVAGINAL MESH/BLADDER SLING SETTLEMENT ANNOUNCED

Under the terms of a recently negotiated $830 million settlement,bladder sling photo 2 women who have complications because of an American Medical Systems’ (AMS) transvaginal mesh device can now receive compensation for their medical expenses and pain and suffering. Transvaginal mesh implants, often referred to as bladder slings, are medical devices that are designed to provide a less-invasive way to treat urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. These problems had previously been treated with abdominal surgery; however, the implants could be inserted vaginally. Though the transvaginal mesh was created to allow women faster recoveries, the device was created serious medical complications. An estimated 25,000 + women have suffered painful side effects and required removal of the devices. In some instances, multiple surgeries have been required. It is currently unclear how many women may have the dangerous device but have not yet experienced complications. AMS currently faces over 22,000 lawsuits in relation to the devices. The settlement will provide $830 million in compensation for those whose medical records reflect use of the device and with confirmation of properly documented compensable facts. There are still other transvaginal mesh manufacturers facing litigation over similar injuries caused by their products. If you, or someone you love, had an American Medical Systems device or any other transvaginal mesh product implanted and have suffered as a result, we can help you file and process your claim for damages. Contact Knox Boteler at knox@brwlawyers.com  (please put “Mesh Settlement” in the subject line of your e-mail) or call Knox at 1 866-975-7766 toll free. Learn more about our law firm here.

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U.S. Supreme Court Ends BP’s Oil Spill Appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court has ended BP’s attempt to undo the settlement it negotiated with Gulf Coast residents and businesses in 2012.  Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement originally agreed to by BP, Gulf Coast residents and businesses will have until early June, 2015 to file their claims with the Deepwater Horizon Claim Center.  BP OilThe Supreme Court’s decision of December 9, 2014 was widely expected by legal analysts.  BP lost its appeal at every level of the federal appellate court system.  As many analysts pointed out throughout the appeals process, BP had made too many statements contrary to its position taken on appeal for the Fifth Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court  to rule in its favor. Specifically, BP agreed with the Claim Administrator’s interpretation of the Economic and Property Damage Settlement Agreement in a letter of September 28, 2012 and BP requested the District Court give its final approval of the agreement on December 21, 2012. BP then completely reversed its position and joined an appeal pending with the Fifth Circuit in early 2013.  As legal experts quickly pointed out, BP’s challenge of the settlement terms previously agreed to was in direct conflict with its agreement to “support the final approval and implementation of this Agreement and defend it against objections, appeal, or collateral attack.”  While unfortunate that BP’s appeal delayed the claims process and payments for almost a year, its ability to contest the Economic and Property Damage Settlement Agreement is over.  It is expected the Claim Administrator and his staff will be working expeditiously to issue claim payments in 2015.  For more information regarding the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damage Settlement Agreement please contact Knox Boteler at Knox@brwlawyers.com or call him toll free at 1-866-975-7766.

Estate of Pierce v. Monumental Life Ins Co., Claim Number 07003142

Type of Case: Wrongful Denial of Life Insurance Benefits Facts: This claim involved a denial of accidental death benefits. After Mr. Pierce was killed in a motorcycle accident, his family made a claim for accidental death benefits under a life insurance policy issued by Monumental Life Insurance Company. The claim was denied based upon an “exclusion” in the policy. BF&W was retained by the family to investigate the denial of benefits. Mark Wolfe asked that the denial of benefits be reconsidered and he submitted supporting documents and legal citations which clearly showed the exclusionary provision cited by the company in its original denial was not applicable based upon the facts of the underlying accident. After reconsideration, the benefits were paid in full without need of litigation.

F&S Marine LLC v. Indemnity Insurance Company of NA, et al., CV 2009-900715

Type of Case: Wrongful Denial of Insurance Benefits Facts: This insurance benefit case involved a significant loss claim for F&S Marine LLC (F&S) at a shipyard job site in South Carolina. F&S submitted the claim for the loss and it was denied because the insurance company claimed F&S was not covered for the loss. Mark Wolfe of BF&W was retained by F&S to investigate and prosecute this matter. Pre-litigation attempts at resolution were not successful and a lawsuit was filed. Shortly after filing the lawsuit, a confidential settlement was reached in the matter.

Estate of Rose Clark v. Hartford Life Insurance Company, Claim Number: ADD-10900 49-59141

Type of Case: Wrongful Denial of Life Insurance Benefits Facts: This claim involved the denial of accidental death benefits. Ms. Clark died from a cerebral hemorrhage ten days after she had a fall at her house. At the hospital, and before her death, medical personnel indicated to her family that the cerebral hemorrhage appeared to be trauma related. Based upon these observations and comments, her daughters who were beneficiaries under an accidental death policy issued by Hartford, submitted a claim. After six months the claim was denied by Hartford because their adjuster did not believe the cerebral hemorrhage was of an “accidental origin.” Mark Wolfe of BF&W was retained to prosecute the appeal of the denied benefits. In support of the appeal, BF&W submitted a full set of relevant medical records including the digital CT scan related to the cerebral hemorrhage as well as affidavits from a radiologist and a neurosurgeon. Both doctors testified that based upon the medical records and the CT scan, the cerebral hemorrhage was of traumatic origin and consistent with a head trauma. After reviewing the documents and material submitted by BF&W, Hartford reversed its previous denial and paid the full amount of life insurance benefits owed along with accrued interest.

Gradford v. Nicholas Concrete

Type of Case: Personal Injury & Workers Compensation Facts: Mark Wolfe took over the appeal of this case after a jury returned a verdict in favor of the Defendant. (The lawyer who had represented the vicim at trial did not want to file an appeal.) The case was reversed and remanded by the Alabama Supreme Court based upon an incorrect jury charge and was settled in mediation for $220,000.00 in advance of the new trial.  Read the full opinion here.

Voivedich v. Douglas CV 01-1630

Type of Case: Motor Vehicle Collision Facts: This case involved a motorcycle collision with a small farm tractor. The accident happened when Mr. Voivedich ran his motorcycle into the back of a small farm tractor being operated by the Defendant on a rural Mobile County road. Mr. Voivedich received extensive injuries including the loss of part of his right foot. There was a dispute as to the lighting conditions at the time of the accident. The tractor was being operated without any lights or reflective warning devices but the Defendant contended that it was dusk and there was enough light that Mr. Voivedich should have seen the tractor. Mr. Voivedich stated it was dark at the time of the accident and his testimony was later verified by an independent witness. The case then settled for the full policy limits of the Defendant, $301,000.00. Mark Wolfe handled the case for the firm.

Lockwood v. Hicks and Nationwide Ins. Co., CV 05-4256

Type of Case: Motor Vehicle Collision & Workers Compensation Facts: At about 6:30 am on April 18, 2005 the Defendant lost control of is car. His car went off the roadway at over 50 miles per hour and across an apartment complex parking lot. The car hit a van parked in front of the Plaintiff’s apartment. The force of the impact launched the van into the Plaintiff’s apartment where the Plaintiff was sitting on his living room sofa having a cup of coffee and checking his morning office e-mail on his laptop. The van partially landed on the Plaintiff shattering his collar bone and severely injuring his foot as well has hurting his back and neck. The Defendant claimed he blacked out because of a sudden medical emergency, which is a defense to a claim of negligence under Alabama law. During the discovery phase of the lawsuit, it was determined that the Defendant’s “black-out” was caused by his misuse of medications.  Mark Wolfe represented the victim in his liability case as well as his workers’ compensation case.  A policy limits settlement was reached in the liability case and the victim received a Permanent Total Disability award on the workers compensation claim.

Westbrook, et al v. Jones, CV-00-1173

Type of Case: Wrongful Death-Motor Vehicle Collision Facts: This tragic accident occurred on June 20, 1999 in Mobile County, Alabama when a drunk driver ran a red light at a high speed and crashed into a van occupied by the Westbrook family and friends as they were returning from a trip to Disney World. Four year old Joia White was killed in the accident and her grandfather, Elmore Westbrook, Jr. died about two weeks later from complications of his injuries. Because there was limited insurance coverage available, Mark Wolfe did not charge a fee for his services. A 2.5 million dollar judgment was obtained against the drunk driver for the victims and their families.

Holmes v. Progressive Halcyon Insurance Company, U.S. Federal District Court No.1:07-487

Type of Case: Motor Vehicle Collision  Facts: On July 29, 2005 Dewana Holmes of Mobile was driving in Montgomery. As she was stopped in traffic her vehicle was rear-ended by another driver. At first, she did not think she was injured bad enough to require a trip to the emergency room. However, after a few days the pain complaints in her lower back had gotten worse and she sought follow up care from her family doctor in Saraland. This began a long and arduous course of care and treatment which ultimately required surgery for a herniated disk in her lower back. The surgery did not fully relieve her pain complaints and she ultimately had to stop her work as an insurance billing clerk for an area dentist. The insurance company for the at-fault driver eventually paid the limits of their liability insurance coverage, but that amount was inadequate to compensate Dewana for the totality of her injuries. Because of this she filed a lawsuit against her own automobile insurance carrier (Progressive)for underinsured motorist benefits. Progressive vigorously denied her claim for benefits and aggressively defended the case. At trial, the Progressive attorney told the jury that Dewana and her husband were trying to “put one over” on their insurance company. The jurors did not believe that and after only 30 minutes of deliberation they returned a verdict for Dewana in the amount of $205,721.07 which was the exact amount requested by BF&W attorney Mark Wolfe in his closing argument.