Posts Tagged ‘chasing clients’

Lawsuit recruiters lure women into unneeded surgery

New York Times deep dive into the ethical morass of pelvic-mesh-suit recruitment, in which lawsuit shops recruit women into often unnecessary and sometimes dangerous surgery to remove implanted material, a step needed for claims to be lucrative. [Matthew Goldstein and Jessica Silver-Greenberg, New York Times] Opening paragraphs:

Jerri Plummer was at home in Arkansas, watching television with her three children, when a stranger called to warn that her life was in danger.

The caller identified herself only as Yolanda. She told Ms. Plummer that the vaginal mesh implant supporting her bladder was defective and needed to be removed. If Ms. Plummer didn’t act quickly, the caller urged, she might die.

And how, in the age of HIPAA, did the recruiter on the phone come to know so very much about the medical history of the woman being pitched? What follows is a story of conduct that is shocking, appalling, unethical — but neither surprising nor unusual to those of us who have been writing about the abuses of the litigation business for many years. Plaintiffs suing over back pain after accidents, for example, are regularly steered into unnecessary back surgery, and plaintiffs in the breast-implant litigation were steered into removal surgeries for which the only indications were legal, not medical. These alas are the incentives of injury litigation: run up the medicals (the higher the bill for testing and therapy, the higher the claim value) and if you’re suing over a drug or therapy itself, maybe disengage from it to show your fears are genuine.

All that said, congratulations to the Times and reporters Goldstein and Silver-Greenberg for an investigation that shines a bright light on the need for reform. More: Beck.

April 11 roundup

  • For best effect, read it aloud: “Do YOU appear in the form of water droplets? Are YOU found on grass and windows in the morning? If so you MAY be dew condensation.” [Andy Ryan]
  • “Bezos could get out of Trump’s kitchen by telling the editors and reporters at his newspaper to shut up about the President.” [John Samples]
  • Wave of ADA web-accessibility suits hit banks: “N.Y. lawyers sue 40-plus companies on behalf of blind man in a month” [Justin Stoltzfus, Legal NewsLine] More: Jonathan Berr, CBS MoneyWatch;
  • “Law schools should not continue hiring faculty with little to no practical experience, little to no record of scholarship, and little to no teaching experience. ” [Allen Mendenhall, Law and Liberty]
  • U.K.: “Couple claiming compensation for food poisoning exposed by holiday selfies” [Zoe Drewett, Metro]
  • Federal judge: “every indication” that prominent Philadelphia personal injury firm “essentially rented out its name in exchange for referral fees” [ABA Journal]

Medical roundup

How common are lawyer-themed birthday parties for toddlers, anyway?

“There were a bunch of kids all dressed up, the boys wearing power ties.” Are toddler birthday parties themed after personal injury lawyers becoming a thing? The latest case, from South Carolina, like one noted in 2015 from Louisiana, seem to have come into existence because the kids see and listen to injury lawyers’ ads and jingles on TV again and again (and again) and fix on them. Indeed, they may even begin to interpret the counselors as some species of superhero. “The report includes plenty of party pics as well as a three-minute highlight video, all provided by the office of George Sink, P.A., Injury Lawyers. Is it a marketing piece? Sure. But hey—the family asked him to come to the party, and he was a good sport about it. He’s entitled to a little credit for that, I think.” [Lowering the Bar; earlier 2015 on Louisiana case]

Medical roundup

Liability roundup

  • Hoping to blame Pacific Gas & Electric power lines for Northern California fires, lawyers from coast to coast descend on wine country [Paul Payne, Santa Rosa Press-Democrat]
  • Courts should police lawyers’ handling of class actions, including temptation to sweep additional members with doubtful claims into class so as to boost fees [Ilya Shapiro, Trevor Burrus, and Reilly Stephens on Cato certiorari amicus in case of Yang v. Wortman]
  • “Seventh Circuit Curtails RICO Application to Third-Party Payor Off-Label Suits” [Stephen McConnell, D&DL] “Here Is Why The False Claims Act Is An ‘Awkward Vehicle’ In Pharma Cases” [Steven Boranian]
  • Litigation finance moves into car crash business [Denise Johnson, Insurance Journal]
  • Slain NYC sanitation worker’s “frequent advice to Sanitation colleagues about how to save for the future helped persuade the jury that Frosch had a viable career ahead of him in financial planning,” contributing large future earnings component to $41 million award [Stephen Rex Brown, New York Daily News]
  • “Ninth Circuit Overturns State Licensing Scheme Forcing Businesses to Incorporate in California” [Cory Andrews, WLF]

Liability roundup

“Blinded by the Eclipse?”

Yes, really; it’s from the Facebook feed of Florida attorney and political hopeful John Morgan of Morgan & Morgan, who has featured in these columns on various occasions over the years. More eclipse-chasing from the firm’s website: “If you’re an eclipse viewer and you’re hurt on someone else’s property, you could have a claim, depending on the circumstance.” [George Bennett, Palm Beach Post]

P.S. According to this Space.com account of the turbulence found on the sun’s surface, “These pockets, or ‘bombs,’ eject plasma.” So that explains it. The sun has deep pockets! (And welcome Ray Dunaway show listeners.)