Attorney/Client » Mesh Litigation Conspiracy Alleged

Mesh Litigation Conspiracy Alleged

surgeon chops mesh for hernia

April 18, 2018

According to a New York Times investigative article, an “assembly-line-like system” involving plaintiff attorneys, litigation funders, banks, physicians and marketers is enticing women into needless and sometimes dangerous remedial surgery, in order to improve the chance of prevailing in class action litigation. The surgery is to remove a mesh product that had previously been implanted in order to address a condition known as pelvic organ prolapse. It’s a serious condition and there is no dispute that sometimes it can be addressed by mesh implantation, but studies have shown that up to 15 percent of women then encounter problems. Even then removal of the mesh is not always recommended, however, because it’s difficult surgery and comes with serious risk. (It’s been likened to trying to remove chewing gum from hair.) The thrust of the NYT investigation is that a significant share of remedial surgeries now being done should have been deemed unnecessary or not worth the risk, but nonetheless have been encouraged and sometimes financed because the chances of prevailing in a lawsuit are better if the mesh has been removed, and there are a lot of players in the scenario who come out well. Some doctors are said to be performing four or five of the procedures a day and making about $3,500 for each procedure. Finance firms, some of them backed by major banks and in one case a $1.8 billion hedge fund, specialize in fronting the money for the surgery at high interest, repayable only if the plaintiff prevails. The general counsel of one major funder, based in Boca Raton, Fla,, agreed to talk to the Times and said this litigation represents only a small share of the company’s business, and that it gets involved only if a doctor says the procedure is necessary. “We don’t substitute our judgment for a licensed physician,” he said.

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