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@bfw-lawyers.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.

Required Disclaimers:

Alabama Rule of Professional Conduct 7.2: No representation is made that the quality of legal service to be performed is greater than the services provided by other lawyers.

The Mississippi Supreme Court advises that a decision on legal services is important and should not be based solely on advertisements. Free Background information is available upon request to a Mississippi attorney. The listing of any area of practice by a Mississippi attorney does not indicate any certification of expertise therein. See Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 7.2(d), Rule 7.4(a), Rule 7.6(a) (1997).

General Disclaimer: This information is posted for general information purposes to help those interested parties or persons with potential civil claims better understand their rights and potential causes of action. If readers are currently represented by an attorney on the subject matter of this post then they are encouraged to continue with said representation. No attorney-client relationship is established by this post.

Stryker Hip Replacement Settlement

$1.4 BILLION DOLLAR HIP REPLACEMENT SETTLEMENT ANNOUNCED The recent settlement related to the hip replacement device manufactured by Stryker is an example of how the Mass Tort laws work to help thousands of victims recover compensation. Drug and medical device manufacturers have a duty to notify their customers/patients of any side effects or defects caused by the use of their products. This duty continues even after the drug or device has completed clinical trials and received approval from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to be distributed. When a manufacturer learns of a side effect or defect, it has a responsibility to notify physicians and patients, immediately, so to protect the safety of the public. If a manufacturer fails to properly warn of a side effect or defect and, as a result, patient suffers an injury, a lawsuit can be brought against the drug or medical device manufacturer for compensation. Failure to warn claims against drug and medical device manufactures have evolved into a very complex area of law, an area commonly referred to as Mass Tort Law. While victims share a common injury or damage, the victims are often spread out over a diverse geographic area. As a result, thousands of lawsuits are often filed in state and federal courthouses throughout the country. To coordinate or centralize the handling of the pretrial proceedings in the federal cases, often the manufacturer and/or a lawyer(s) representing the victims will request the United States Judicial Panel on Multi-district Litigation (MDL) transfer the cases to one federal court. By statute, the MDL panel’s job is to 1) determine whether the cases involve one or more common questions of fact such that the actions should be transferred to one federal district for coordinated pre-trial proceedings; 2) select the judge or judges and court assigned to conduct such proceedings; and 3) appoint a victim’s/plaintiff’s steering committee, a committee of plaintiff lawyers set-up to coordinate the pre-trial proceedings. Typically, the federal court assigned will not, only, oversee the pre-trial proceedings, but will, also, oversee “bellwether trials.” In these trials, the judge and parties will select a representative sample of cases, usually between five (5) to ten (10), that are fully prepared and tried to a jury. Ultimately, the goal of these bellwether trials is to provide the parties a good indication as to what will happen in future cases and assist with settlement discussions. Those cases not filed in the federal system, but within a state court’s system, are coordinated similarly to those in the federal system. In fact, the state court judge assigned to the drug or device defect cases will often coordinate the scheduling of pre-trial proceedings with the federal judge assigned the cases by the MDL. The current hip replacement litigation is a real world example of this multi-jurisdictional legal process. In July, 2012, Stryker, the manufacturer of Rejuvenate and ABG II metal hip devices, announced the metal hip devices were to be pulled from the market as a result of metal corrosion and other substantial defects requiring revision surgeries. In the months leading up to this announcement and following, over a thousand lawsuits were filed on behalf of victims in New Jersey state court (the corporate headquarters of Stryker is located in New Jersey) and federal courts throughout the country. Ultimately, the MDL panel met and chose the U.S. District Court of Minnesota as the court to assist with the pre-trial proceedings and appointed a plaintiff’s steering committee (PSC). From there, the federal court in Minnesota coordinated pre-trial proceedings with Stryker and the PSC and worked with the judge in New Jersey toward a common goal, resolution. In 2014, the New Jersey Superior Court held several bellwether trials in 2014. As a result of the process and those bellwether trials, a $1.4 billion dollar settlement was announced in the Superior Court of New Jersey and U.S. District Court of Minnesota wherein victims who underwent a revision surgery to remove the Rejuvenate and ABG II metal hip devices BEFORE November 3, 2014 qualified for compensation. Knox Boteler is a partner in the law firm of Boteler, Finley & Wolfe. The firm assists those injured as a result of accidents, defective products, or other wrongful actions. If you have any questions related to the Stryker hip replacement settlement, please contact Knox Boteler at knox@bfw-lawyers.com or 251-433-7766.   REQUIRED DISCLAIMERS Alabama Rule of Professional Conduct 7.2: No representation is made that the quality of legal service to be performed is greater than the services provided by other lawyers. The Mississippi Supreme Court advises that a decision on legal services is important and should not be based solely on advertisements. Free Background information is available upon request to a Mississippi attorney. The listing of any area of practice by a Mississippi attorney does not indicate any certification of expertise therein. See Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 7.2(d), Rule 7.4(a), Rule 7.6(a) (1997). General Disclaimer: This information is posted for general information purposes to help those interested parties or persons with potential civil claims better understand their rights and potential causes of action. If readers are currently represented by an attorney on the subject matter of this post then they are encouraged to continue with said representation. No attorney-client relationship is established by this post.

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@bfw-lawyers.com or call him toll free at 1-866-975-7766.

STRYKER HIP IMPLANT MANUFACTURER ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT

Stryker, the manufacturer of Rejuvenate and ABG II metal hip devices, has settled class actions pending in the Superior Court of New Jersey and U.S. District Court of Minnesota. In July, 2012, the metal hip devices were pulled from the market as a result of metal corrosion and other substantial defects requiring revision surgeries. An estimated 20,000 people were implanted with Rejuvenate and ABG II metal hip devices. Pursuant to the terms of the settlement, only those victims who underwent a revision surgery to remove the device BEFORE November 3, 2014 qualify for compensation.  stryker hip replacement Knox Boteler of Boteler, Finley & Wolfe has already helped several people review their potiential hip replacement claims and he can file the necessary claim forms for victims. If you have any questions related to the settlement agreement or whether you qualify for a claim, please contact Knox Boteler at knox@bfw-lawyers.com and put “hip replacement” in the subject line. Or call toll free at 1 866 975-7766   Required Disclaimers:

Alabama Rule of Professional Conduct 7.2: No representation is made that the quality of legal service to be performed is greater than the services provided by other lawyers. The Mississippi Supreme Court advises that a decision on legal services is important and should not be based solely on advertisements. Free Background information is available upon request to a Mississippi attorney. The listing of any area of practice by a Mississippi attorney does not indicate any certification of expertise therein. See Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 7.2(d), Rule 7.4(a), Rule 7.6(a) (1997). General Disclaimer: This information is posted for general information purposes to help those interested parties or persons with potential civil claims better understand their rights and potential causes of action. If readers are currently represented by an attorney on the subject matter of this post then they are encouraged to continue with said representation. No attorney-client relationship is established by this post.

CASE REJECTED BY TV LAWYER

Denied Accidental Death Life Insurance Benefits

For the second time in less than two weeks, Mark Wolfe of Boteler, Finley & Wolfe has helped a local family recover accidental death life insurance benefits that were originally denied by the insurance company. In this most recent case, Mark was able to secure the benefits through the Federally required appeal process. In the other case, a lawsuit was required in State court but benefits were paid after written discovery and depositions had been completed.

Both matters centered around “coverage exclusions” in the accidental death insurance policies. According to Wolfe, most accidental death policies, or double indemnity provisions in life insurance policies, have a number of exclusions that insurance companies can fall back on to try and deny benefits. “These exclusions can apply even if the death certificate lists the cause of death as accidental,” he said.

 According to Wolfe, most people do not realize just how many exclusions are contained in accidental death life insurance policies nor do they understand the legal issues related to the application of these exclusions to the facts of the death. “These type of claims can be very legally technical and medically complex,” he said. He further stated that many claimants do not seek legal advice after a claim is denied because the insurance company usually sends out a “detailed” letter explaining why the benefits are being denied and often these letters reference medical conditions or contain lots of legal jargon. “These denial of benefits letters are intended to be intimidating and designed to discourage the claimant from pursuing the matter further.” However, Wolfe pointed out that a qualified and experienced insurance claims attorney can review the denial of benefits letter and investigate the denial further to determine if the denial is actually legitimate. He reported, “I helped one family that had received a two page denial of benefits letter explaining in complex medical detail what information from the deceased’s hospital records supported their position that the death was not accidental. The letter just didn’t seem right to me so I got involved and it turned out the company had simply reviewed the hospital admission summary and the death discharge report. They failed to review or consider a CT scan during the hospital stay prior to death that showed a large cerebral hemorrhage. I had the CT scan results reviewed by a radiologist and a neurosurgeon who both concluded that the hemorrhage was traumatic in origin and most likely from the fall the deceased had in her bathroom prior to being admitted to the hospital. On behalf of the family, I presented the insurance company with affidavits from both doctors confirming that the death was in fact accidental and the company paid the benefits as well as additional damages for the wrongful denial of insurance benefits.”

Wolfe, who has been helping individuals present and prosecute insurance claims since 1988 and is one of America’s best lawyers, urged anyone who has a claim for accidental death life insurance benefits denied to consult with an experienced insurance claim attorney. This is especially true if the insurance policy in question was provided through an employer. [Click here for important information about employer provided insurance polices.]  He also said, “most attorneys who practice in this area of law provide free consultations and will only charge a fee if they recover the benefits in dispute.” If you have questions about a denied life insurance claim, e-mail Mark today at mark@bfw-lawyers.com

tort attorney   Required Disclaimers:

Alabama Rule of Professional Conduct 7.2: No representation is made that the quality of legal service to be performed is greater than the services provided by other lawyers. The Mississippi Supreme Court advises that a decision on legal services is important and should not be based solely on advertisements. Free Background information is available upon request to a Mississippi attorney. The listing of any area of practice by a Mississippi attorney does not indicate any certification of expertise therein. See Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 7.2(d), Rule 7.4(a), Rule 7.6(a) (1997). General Disclaimer: This information is posted for general information purposes to help those interested parties or persons with potential civil claims better understand their rights and potential causes of action. If readers are currently represented by an attorney on the subject matter of this post then they are encouraged to continue with said representation. No attorney-client relationship is established by this post.

Whittier v. Amercian Honda Motor Company Inc.

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Georgia, Brunswick Division, Case Number: 2:13 CV-0051-LGW-JEG – Products Liability – Automotive This automobile products liability case involved a defective ignition lock-out system in a 2004 Honda Pilot. The ignition lock-out system on a vehicle is designed to prevent the transmission from slipping out of park and rolling when the vehicle is running or is turned off. On October 20, 2011 Ms. Whittier reached inside her vehicle to turn it off after unloading her luggage. The vehicle was in park but when she turned off the motor the defective ignition lock-out system allowed the vehicle to jump out of park and the vehicle rolled over her. She received severe leg injuries which required surgery and the placement of titanium rods and plates. She was out of work for a year while recovering from the injuries. Mark Wolfe of Boteler, Finley & Wolfe handled the case for her and used automotive expert Gerald Rosenbluth of Automotive Consulting Services, Inc. to document the defect and assemble an exemplary ignition system that did not have the defective components. Roy J. Boyd, Jr., of Killian & Boyd P.C. in Brunswick, GA served as local counsel for Ms. Whittier. After six months of litigation, the parties agreed to a voluntary mediation of the case. Charles K. Reed of Hennig Mediation & Arbitration Services, Inc. served as the mediator for the case and he was able to help the parties reach a settlement. At the request of Ms. Whittier, the parties agreed not to disclose the amount of the settlement.

BP Oil Spill Settlement – Important Update

Boteler Finley and Wolfe Law Firm in Mobile AL, BP Oil Spill Settlement Claims Resources As you may have read or heard, BP is trying to contest certain aspects of the class action settlement that was approved last year. BP has also started an advertising campaign concerning “fraudulent claims.” While we can not speak to the number of alleged fraudulent claims that may have been submitted, we can say that all business revenue loss claims submitted by Boteler, Finley & Wolfe have been done so in strict compliance with the terms of the settlement agreement with all required supporting records and documents. So far all claims submitted by BF&W have been paid or have payment pending. We are committed to making sure all claims submitted for our clients are calculated and presented in strict compliance with the terms of the settlement agreement that BP negotiated and that BP asked the Court to approve. BP has now filed an Appeal of the Class Certification to try and set-aside all or some of the current settlement terms and agreement. It is predicted that the hearing on the appeal will occur sometime this Fall with a ruling sometime in early 2014. It seems to be a consensus among attorneys representing the claimants in this matter that if the ruling is favorable to BP and the settlement terms are changed or modified or the class de-certified, the Court will allow those claims currently submitted and pending to proceed under the current terms of the settlement agreement. (Note: this is simply our opinion but one shared by most attorneys currently representing claimants.) FOR THIS REASON, we are encouraging all of our business clients who have not submitted a claim to have their financial records analyzed as soon as possible to see if in fact their business qualifies for a business revenue loss claim under the current terms of the settlement! It is our goal to have all qualified business revenue lass claims submitted by no later than October 31, 2013. If you would like to read more about the terms of the current settlement agreement to see if your business might qualify please visit our blog article concerning the terms of the BP Oil Spill Settlement.  Analysis of your potential claim is done at no charge and qualifying claims are presented and prosecuted on a reduced contingency fee of 15% plus expense reimbursement. For more information about your potential claim, please contact Knox Boteler at 251 433-7766 or by e-mail at knox@bfw-lawyers.com (please put “BP Claim” in the subject line.) *DISCLAIMER: To the extent this informational post may be considered an attorney advertisement, the Alabama State Bar Regulations require the following disclaimer: No representation is made that the quality of legal service to be performed is greater than the legal services performed by other lawyers. If you currently have an attorney assisting you on the subject matter of this advertisement then you are encouraged to continue using said attorney. However, if you are not satisfied with the service and advice of your current attorney, you are entitled to seek a second opinion from another attorney. The Mississippi Supreme Court advises that a decision on legal services is important and should not be based solely on advertisements. Free Background information is available upon request to a Mississippi attorney. The listing of any area of practice by a Mississippi attorney does not indicate any certification of expertise therein. See Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 7.2(d), Rule 7.4(a), Rule 7.6(a) (1997).

M. Al-Sheik v. Galaxy Motors, LLC, et.al. Mobile County Circuit Court Case Number: CV 2010-902312

Type of Case: Motor Vehicle Accident/Defective Tires Facts: This legally complex case started on January 24, 2009 when Mr. Al-Sheik was seriously injured while a passenger in a single vehicle accident. The driver was test driving a car from the car lot of Galaxy Motors and Mr. Al-Sheik had agreed to accompany the driver as a favor to the owner/operator of Galaxy Motors who was Mr. Al-Sheik’s cousin. The driver of the vehicle lost control on a wet road while either accelerating or attempting to negotiate a sharp turn and crashed into a tree. Mr. Al-Sheik suffered a broken ankle, broken femor, fractured wrist and elbow in the collision. His injuries required multiple surgeries and resulted in permanent impairments and restrictions. [Despite his serious injuries and extensive medical care Mr. Al-Sheik, who was an engineering student at the time of the collision, was able to complete his course work for that semester and graduate.] The insurance company for Galaxy Motors initially denied the liability claim of Mr. Al-Sheik claiming he was an employee and therefore barred from making a liability claim. Knox Boteler and Mark Wolfe of Boteler, Finley & Wolfe were retained to present and prosecute a liability claim for Mr. Al-Sheik. Knox was able to defeat the assertion of “workers’ compensation immunity” and the case proceeded through the litigation process on the theory that Galaxy Motors violated Alabama Code Section 32-5-210(a)2 which requires safe tires on cars being offered for sale in Alabama. The issue in the case was whether or not the tires were “safe.” And, even if they were not safe, was that the proximate cause of the accident? Mark and Knox retained Chris Medwell, P.E., of Bloomberg Consulting for consultation on tire safety standards and general accident reconstruction principles. The insurance company for Galaxy Motors vigorously defended the case and raised numerous legal defenses against the claims of Mr. Al-Sheik. The case finally resolved shortly after it was learned that one of the tires from the involved vehicle to be inspected and tested for safety compliance could not be located by Galaxy Motors. By mutual agreement of the parties the settlement amount is not subject to disclosure.

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.