Initiate Phase. . . .Whatever

Last week I received my settlement offer.

I’d be more excited, but having had so many women share their experiences here on this blog, I have a pretty good idea of what’s in store and it’s just another long phase of waiting.

I am grateful, I am. But, I’m not gonna lie, I was expecting the offer to be more. Although, my lawyers are reminding me each time I call with a questions that this was a first pass and that my actual total is likely to go up.

One small bit that did surprise me was that Garretson had already started work on my medical liens before I received my official offer. I guess they were optimistic I’ll sign it. I’ve had a few different health insurances over the years and all but one are playing nice. This worries me a bit. I think Bayer is starting to hold on to ALL funds until ALL liens are dealt with  – this could take more than a year.

Other than that, not much to report. I’ve gone over the offer with a highlighter and have compared it to any other document my lawyers have given me just to make sure there is nothing contradictory. So far everything lines up and is as I expected (35% lawyers fees, Judge’s fee, holdback for PLRP, etc.). I’ll mail the agreement back this week and then all I’ll have to do is wait and try to forget about it (I know, simple, right!?!).

I’ve tried so hard not to have any expectations, but I think that’s nearly impossible. Am I glad I joined the lawsuit? Yes. Do I think we’ve had the effect on Bayer I was hoping for? No. The bad press on YAZ has hurt the company’s ability to sell it, true, and I think that more women are starting to question their use of these drugs, but I was really hoping the FDA would step-up and take these drospirenone pills off the market. That’s not going to happen and Bayer will continue to make money while young healthy women drop dead taking a drug most don’t really need.

Am I glad to be receiving money for my injuries? Yes. This will enable us to pay down debt and save for the medical “what if’s” that could come our way. Will we be buying a vacation home in Aspen or flying the whole family off to Hawaii for vacation? Haha, no. But I’m grateful for the opportunity to wipe my financial slate clean.

I’m sorry if this post seems a little disillusioned. It’s been a long process for all of us. But, I hope most of you are nearing the end of this phase of your journey. I encourage all of you to keep asking questions, keep cheering each other on, and keep telling your story to anyone willing to listen. Our experiences have and will save lives!

An aside: For those of you who have received a settlement offer, but your lawyers are not telling you a.) how much it was for or b.) breaking down exactly where all of your fees and holdbacks are, I’d be concerned and suggest you hound your lawyers to provide this for you or get a definitive answer (in writing) as to WHY they can’t provide you that information. They should at minimum be able to give you a ball park.

Advertisements

45 comments

  1. mollyhasgoodtaste · · Reply

    Hi, glad you posted this. I was expecting to hear something, as my case went into mediation recently. I wanted to wait for the attorneys to respond, but I am feeling anxious. I may have to email them. Did your attorney call you after the mediation? I was expecting a letter or something. I was aware that Garretson was forging ahead with my liens -the way it was explained to me was that Bayer wasn’t paying claims to anyone who hadn’t released to Garretson. I know we are all hearing different things. I appreciate all the information you have posted! The survey results were super helpful. Good luck on a smooth process!

  2. YAAHH for Mrs. T! Any news is good news, right? I took your advice and just sent an email to my lawfirm asking what the settlement amount is and/or why they can’t release that info to me.

    1. Wow. I actually received a response after asking why the I wasn’t or couldn’t be provided with the settlement amount.
      Per the lawfirm, they are mailing a summary from the “settlement administrator” that contains the breakdown of reimbursement amounts and an area for me to fill out my prefered method of payment.
      Also, that the defense counsel has been provided with the lien info and once they review it this will allow them to disperse my funds.
      So, I’m assuming I have at LEAST another 6 months or so before I see any reimbursement.
      Here’s my timeline so far:
      10/2012 – Initiated Yaz case
      2/2013 – All information regarding insurance/health records finalized with Lawfirm
      5/2013 – Lien Packet received, signed and returned
      6/2013 – Release info received, signed and returned
      10/2013 – per lawfirm, Lien search initiated
      12/2013 – update regarding potential liens
      2/2014 – defense counsel provided with lien information for review

      The lien process really drags!

      1. @dd – great news and thank you for the timeline breakdown! Where in your timeline did you actually recieve your settlement offer? Was that part of the release info?

      2. @Mrs.T – Just prior to the “release signing phase” in 6/2013 I was told my claim had reached settlement. However, they told me they weren’t sure of my settlement amount which I thought was bizarre but what do I know?
        I still have never been told a settlement amount only given the amount my insurance is claiming in the lien (which is close to 5 figures).
        After your last post, I started writing emails to the lawfirm asking why they couldn’t or wouldn’t provide me with the settlement amount. I received a response yesterday letting me know they were mailing out the settlement breakdown…. coincidence?

  3. Hi, Mrs. T. So were your offer pretty much in line with the results of that survey you made few weeks ago? Just curious….

  4. I meant “was” not “were” ….lol …can’t think straight today!

    1. Haha, no problem. . .was my offer in line? Well, not really. It was lower than I was expecting based on the questionnaire, but not so much that I was going to flat out refuse the offer. It was just disappointing. Maybe Bayer sees all the money they’re having to pay out (and will have to pay out once they really dig into the Stroke and Death cases) and are starting to lower their group settlement offers.

      1. Anonymous · ·

        I had a stroke in 2008, and Bayer isn’t even recognizing my injury right now. All I keep getting is “Bayer isn’t currently settling claims that arose from arterial clots”. I just told my lawyers not to contact me until it’s all over. I’ve been going through the emotional roller coaster long enough. It doesn’t seem they want to resolve my case at all. I’m glad that you all have at least gotten a settlement. I can’t even get disability even though my doctor says in disabled. I hadn’t worked long enough. Ha! Is still be working if not for Yaz. Oh well. I hope all turns out well for you guys!

      2. I’m so sorry you’re having to go through all of this. My lawyers did say the same as yours in that Bayer is not addressing Stroke or Death claims. Although, I personally know some stroke victims who have been given settlment offers, so I’m not sure what made those cases different from all the others. The inconsistencies of this entire case is staggering! Maybe it’s best if you just try your best to forget and simply go on with life as best you can until you hear something. It’s really hard to do (and sounds especially hard for you considering your injuries). Just knowing how bloody slow this whole process moves, I’m guessing we won’t see the majority of Stroke and then Death settlement offers for another year. (This is me just guessing though, I have nothing to base this on other than they still have DVT/PE cases to get through and they started settling those two years ago).

  5. mollyhasgoodtaste · · Reply

    Thank you for posting this. My case went to mediation recently and I am a nervous wreck waiting to hear something. Did they call you after? I figured a letter would come good news or bad. I had to sign off on Garretson late January as my firm said Bayer was refusing claims that hadn’t signed off on the medical liens release. I was told they would hold back 30% I believe.
    Fingers crossed for a smooth process for you from now on. I appreciate you putting together this forum, and just saw the survey results which is extremely helpful!

    1. @mollyhgt, my lawyers did not call me immediately after mediation, but did notify me once a settlement offer was made and they were working to split it amongst those in my group. I had to confirm/clarify my major case points. I will say my law office has been pretty good updating me, but only after I’ve requested the update. I think from mediation to official settlement letter was about 4 months. It took them a few weeks just to get the settlment letters in the mail.

  6. Progress is progress! Thanks for giving us hope and a dose of reality on the timeline. Still waiting over here!

    1. @jb, You’re right and progress is a good thing. I still have this little spark of hope that I’ll come home from work in the next few days and a Priority envelope with a check will be waiting for me. Haha, nice little fantasy, I know.

  7. Mrs. T – I totally understand your frustration. Of course we are happy that we are getting something – but I think we all feel that it should be more. Especially after everyone else gets almost half of our money by the time they are done with it!!! I think the worst part of this process is getting the runaround. It makes us all feel stressed and anxious and then it makes you angry after you can’t get answers for so long. In my case, I fell like I have been given information by Garretson that has been different every time I talk to them. This makes me even more frustrated. So, yes, I think we all understand what you are feeling and you have every right to feel it. Yes, it will be good to pay off some debt and have a little left over – but no vacation home – or in my case, first home. I was really hoping to purchase a home with my settlement but between the amount I will finally get and them sending out partial amounts I’m just not going to have enough. But, we are all in this together and I am glad at least that yours is moving along. Some people go faster than others so maybe it won’t quite take a year 🙂 (Well, one can hope anyway) ha ha!!! Hang in there and thanks for the post!!!

  8. I am suppose to be near the end as well as everything is complete – ahhh but getting the check…
    but unlike you, I am tired of my attorney group trying to make me feel they did me a favor and it is free money — I believe the attorneys just wanted it to be over and do not feel as if I personally was truly represented. If we had no injuries there would have been no settlement. It was their choice to allow for the lien process as finalized. It was the judge who made other choices for us. (My fees were 40% lawyers fees, holdback for PLRP, plus court costs etc.) I have found the follow up and information to be weak and I too am disillusioned with the process and the way I feel my attorney group handled the information.

    Am I glad I joined the lawsuit? I am not so sure I entered with my eyes open and wish I had realized we as a group had options with multiple attorneys as I was not aware I had a choice. Do I think we’ve had the effect on Bayer? No.

    Am I glad to be receiving money for my injuries? Yes. I’m grateful for the opportunity to wipe my financial slate clean, assuming I ever really see the check. I am 30 days past lien wavers and no update, no check. I feel like I am in the middle of some huge lie and it is all smoke and mirrors.

    I am grateful to you Mrs T for having the vision to set up this site. You have made a difference for us going through the same thing and have been a source that so many of us needed to survive the process…although it will never take us back to where we were, but it has brought us comfort.

    1. @CWW2, I almost think it would be worse knowing you were 30 days past lien waivers and still haven’t heard anything. I’m on the fence regarding whether ignorance really is bliss. I understand when you say you’re not sure you entered with your eyes open. It’s hard to do unless you’ve been through a lawsuit like this before. When everything most of us know about Mass Tort we’ve learned from watching Erin Brochovich it’s hard to gauge appropriate expectations. That’s what we’ve relied on our lawyers to do and some are obviously better at it than others.

      I’m so grateful for your kind words regarding the creation of this blog. I admit it’s been a little neglected lately, but the fact that many of you have still been active in posting and supporting one another means a lot to me.

  9. The timelines and results sure seem to vary greatly among the lawyers, themselves. I’m fortunate in that mine has been expedient, informative, thorough, concise… I signed up in October and I’ve already accepted the offer, signed the PLRP, waived structured settlement, etc. I was given a ball-park figure 2 months ago (Low-end to high-end) and told that it could be higher but that it would definitely not be any lower. I was warned that my causation analysis was going to impact my settlement amount… they basically prepared me for the worst. I was shocked when I got the actual settlement offer. It’s substantially higher than I was prepared for.
    Hearing everybody else’s stories makes me angry. I don’t think you guys got the representation that you deserve.

    1. @Shelley – Whoa, that is one of the fastest timelines I’ve ever heard of. You filed a claim in October 2013 or you received a settlement offer in October? Either way, kudos to you, that’s awesome. In the end, I’m actually quite pleased with my lawyers. I wish they had been more informative throughout the entire process, but they’ve actually been really helpful whenever I’ve asked questions. I just feel like they’ve been last in line to start settlement discussions – no fault of their own, just the way it turned out.

  10. My actual claim was initiated in October 2013. That’s when I signed the agreement with the attorney and filled out all of the medical questionnaires. They prepared me for a much longer process, as well, so the speed in which this has progressed is a surprise to me. The process that took the longest was the pharmacy records. My injury was back in 2003 and the records had been archived. So they had to subpoena the main Kroger pharmacy. They did say that I joined at just the right time and that if the delay with the pharmacy had taken any longer, my case would have been included in the next group of claims.

    1. It’s true, timing is everything 🙂 Hope everything else goes as smoothly.

  11. Oh I’m green with envy…very happy for y’all, but green all the same 🙂 I’m still in a holding pattern as they aren’t settling BeYaz cases from my year yet…and my lawyer isn’t sure now if they will…trying to be patient…

  12. Mrs. T – and group – I just got an email from my attorney saying that they submitted my paperwork to the defense and now they’re waiting for their approval. This is for the release of 70% of my funds as Garretson is still working on my lien process. My attorney said that once they get the approval from Bayer they should be able to turn the check around pretty quickly. I thought I have read some posts where people said how long it took while they were waiting for approval from Bayer for release of funds but I can’t find it. Does anyone remember a time-frame for this step? Obviously it’s great news but every time I get excited and think it will be soon months go by ha ha 🙂 Anyway, any help would be appreciated!!!

    1. Hey T, that’s great news! I think Bayer has 20 days to release the funds, but I’m not sure when the clock starts ticking. Maybe from the time of approval? Someone else will hopefully chime in. I’ll dig around and see if there is more info hiding on the blog. Good to know they’re releasing 70% in the first check.

      1. Anonymous · ·

        I filled my claim in june 2010 got my settlement offer oct 2012 signed release jan 2013 and i am still waiting for my check. My attorneys are not very informative. I have to call them and all they say is they sent information to whoever i don’t get any helpful answers.i just want it to be done and over with.

  13. Mrs. T, wondering if we have the same lawyer. I am pretty sure my office was one of the last too. Maybe it just feels that way. Received a return email today with the news that they met with the defense and are moving toward a settlement. Not exactly sure what this means. They told me they will be preparing a letter to mail to me shortly. I think this is good news? It’s the most encouraging piece of information to date anyway!

  14. Anonymous · · Reply

    I know all the timelines vary greatly, but can any one comment on their timeframe between signing the settlement offer and paperwork to enter the PLRP, etc to seeing a check? I accepted my offer and signed Garretson paperwork with insurance information (not the actual claims resolution) beginning of Nov and am patiently waiting for other communication.

    1. I signed my agreement and PLRP papaerwork in Dec of 2012 and still have not gotten a check. I found out that it took 3 months to even get the paperwork to Garretson which means they have only had it since March of 2013. I recently signed an addendum to the PLRP so that I can get 70% of my settlement but no check yet.

    2. I signed my PLRP waaaaaaay before I got a settlement offer, , ,like 2 years before. 8-10 months seems to be the average for the time between accepting an offer and gettting a first check. I’ll let the others chime in though.

  15. Anonymous · · Reply

    I received my settlement offer in July of 2012. Signed the lien paperwork in March…them everything went radio silent. Finally sIgned the Bayer Releases at the beginning of the year and received all my funds this month…they had already resolved healthcare liens so didn’t have to do holdback. I am just grateful that this is over. Thank you for setting up this blog, it helped me to remain patient. 🙂

    1. That’s great news, just sorry it took so long. It sounds like they waited until ALL your liens were resolved before releasing any funds, which means you probably got one check. The lien resolution is the longest part of the process and most plaintiffs seem to still be waiting for a final check. My lawyers said I’d likely see two checks: one for the majority of the settlement and another with whatever funds remained post lien resolution.

  16. Jennifer C · · Reply

    I signed my release in May of 2013 and got my 1st check on December 18th 2013. Now i am waiting for the rest of my funds which is frustrating because they already have the hold from Medicaid which was my insurance at the time and I just talked to Garretson and they are saying they are still waiting for private insurance answer, but i never had private insurance! WHAT IF private insurance never responds so will i never get my money? No one can tell me how that works, I feel like if private insurance doesn’t respond in a certain amount of months they should release my check. Anyone else in this same boat?

    1. Yes i am in the same boat as u waiting on private insurance that i never had i got my first check on dec 31 an was told by garretson that it take about six months from the date they sent your info out to the insurance companies to see if they have any lien in they do that every month on the15th of every month i was told that i will done around april or may so that about six months u should ask garretson when did they send your info out mines was in oct

      1. Jennifer C · ·

        thanks LJ! So good to hear from someone in the same boat as me 🙂 When I talked to Garettson back in earlier part of Jan the lady told me they sent it to 3rd party back in October? I spoke to someone a few days ago and she really wasnt helpful I appreciate your timeline information.

  17. Dis any of you guys later or paralegal ask you how much your annual salary was at the time of your Injury?

    1. “Did any of your lawyers or paralegal ask you how much your annual salary was the time of injury?” Good question, can’t remember. If your lawyers are considering lost work wages as part of your compensation then they would need to know how much you were making at the time, so the questions seems logical (to me at least).

      1. Mrs.T, thanks for correcting my question and giving me your thoughts on it. I am just trying to hang in here until I get my check in hand, I filed my claim in 2010. On another one I am so happy for the surviving sisters who have received some payouts may God continue to keep you healthy.

  18. So, I talked to someone at Garretson last week and she said that they were settling with kaiser for approx 3k which would take a few more weeks. This is GREAT! I had bilateral PE’s and was in the hospital for 3 nights and then still had follow ups with docs and labs, etc. for at least a year before my insurance with them ended. I thought it would be way higher. Also, they told me that they weren’t participating in the PLRP and then I got really nervous because I thought they wouldn’t be able to lower it. The kicker was that she said that the little health center I go to was holding me up. She said they aren’t responding or don’t understand the process. She was really nice when I explained that I don’t have insurance through them and that they just do cost based on income. She had me fax them my latest bill (because I owe them just under $300) to see if that would help. Another lady got the bill and she kept in contact with me by email. She emailed me Monday and said that they were able to finalize the private healthcare lien and that they would pass the clinic info on to the defense to approve the amount owed to the health center since it was a nominal amount. She said, this means that the lien resolution for your case is complete and the next step is the approval from the defense. So, I guess kaiser agreed to the settlement which is great because last week they said a few more weeks! So, I just have to hope Bayer agrees to pay the balance I owe the health center and then they might approve the release of all my funds. I haven’t gotten my 70% check yet which I am waiting for form a release addendum I signed last month. I will keep you all posted 🙂

  19. Like I said in another post im new hear in june of 2013 I spoke with an attorney who said settlements were around XXX,XXX and could be had in 8 weeks. In jan of 2014 my lawyer went in to settle my case be called to ask if any other injuries had occurred which they did so I figured it would help my settlement well my case is settled I got the paperwork two months ago but the release has no name on it and says im getting XXXX.00? No mention of how or when im to be paid! My settlement estimate says I won XXX,XXX and after there 40% and costs im not getting much. It just doesnt feel right I hired an independent lawyer who looked at these papers in amazement also my attorneys are pressuring me to sign and return the release ive sent them several emails and phone calls about my issues but I get ignored. I have unusual fees being charged they wont explain. They wont change my release form. My new attorney had finally after two weeks made contact and was told I got the biggest settlement he said ok prove it they said the judge put a cap on payouts cause Bayers running out of money send the judges original order send me an itemized account of what you did on my case they said medical records cost 1250.00 its never an even number and there not that much. The Yazz attorney started out being cooperative but my new attorney says hes uneasy about someone offering to do to many favors such as he said hed get my attorney the nessacary phone numbers but then said he’d make the calls. At one point I spoke with the paralegal I also am a paralegal she just kept talking in circles but said after they recieved all our release it would take 20 days to receive our money I believe from what I’ve read that’s the shortest time. These people look at us as a pay check they no we need this money and believe we’ll sign anything to get it even if we end up screwed. also my first DVT was discovered after a car accident and believed to be caused by that so it was paid out of this settlement I dont believe the Yazz lawyer went in with my new injuries so Medicaid should be none the wiser so I should have no liens. The Yazz attorney also told my new attorney they sent me paperwork about my lien information I never recieved. I to was looking to get a car and house. Now I have no idea what’s going on or how bad im getting screwed. If anyone else has run into anything similar please respond with what you did or attempted to do.
    Thank you,
    Jenn

    1. All of what is going on with your case sounds super shady to me. If I were you, I’d proceed with caution.

      1. That’s what several people my sons personal injury attorney and my newly hired attorney says you know my names not on any of the documents they sent me im hoping this attorney can help me my case sounds so different from others ive read.

  20. I am contimplating opening a case, I was on Yaz and suffered substantial injuries. However, I have no idea where to start looking for an attorney. Can anyone point me in the direction of an attorney they’ve had a good experience with, or provide a link for research? I don’t know where to start :/

    1. You should be able to find a list of YAZ lawsuit attorneys simply by searching “YAZ Attorney _______” and then enter the name of your state. You don’t NEED to be in the same state as your attorney, but it can’t hurt. Just be wary of anyone offering a quick payout. There is NOTHING about this process that is quick. And, the average take of any lawyer is about 30-45%. If they ask for money up front to open a case for you, RUN!

      1. thank you 🙂

  21. Hello, full disclosure, I work for a law firm involved in Yaz litigation. I’ve come across this blog many times and think it is immensely valuable and is an excellent resource for Yaz Yasmin survivors. I am not trying to spam. I just don’t want these threads to go dead because there are still many women out there who have not sought compensation. Bayer has been dragging its heals in hopes that plaintiffs would settle for less or drop out all together; finally the courts have had enough and Bayer is being pressured to move forward.

    I want women to know that if they haven’t filed a claim, it’s not too late! My firm is currently taking cases, however, to preserve the integrity of this site, I will not post the name of it here. You can checkout our Yaz Survivors Settlement Network fb page https://www.facebook.com/YazSurvivor (no relation to yaz survivor center), where you can find plenty of links to our site along with updates and info; personal shares are welcome as well.

    Drug companies factor in settlements when deciding when and how they will provide information about side effects and study results. It’s important that as many women as possible who were harmed by this drug file claims for the compensation they deserve- this is the only way our message that deceptive marketing practices and failure to inform patients of serious, life altering risks is unacceptable, will be heard by Bayer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: